COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 13, 2021) – After a difficult year apart, the U.S. Women’s National Team, ranked No. 2 in the world, is coming together to defend its title at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) on May 25-June 24 in Rimini, Italy.
U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly and his staff have named the 18 players on the long list for the tournament, which is being held in a secure “bubble” with no fans for the health and safety of all participants. Fourteen players will be selected from the 18 for each three-day segment of the preliminary round.
The four Olympians on the roster are: Team captain and outside hitter Jordan Larson (2012, ’16), middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson (2012, ’16) and outside hitters Kim Hill (2016) and Kelsey Robinson (2016).
Nine players on the 2021 squad return from the 2019 VNL Final Round roster where the U.S. Women beat Brazil in the gold-medal match: setters Lauren Carlini and Jordyn Poulter, outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, opposites Annie Drews and Jordan Thompson, middles Tori Dixon, Chiaka Ogbogu and Haleigh Washington and libero Megan Courtney.
The five other players on the 2021 VNL roster saw action with the U.S. Women in the 2019 VNL preliminary round and/or other 2019 tournaments: setter Micha Hancock, outside hitters Kathryn Plummer and Sarah Wilhite Parsons, middle Hannah Tapp and libero Justine Wong-Orantes.
The U.S. Women are the two-time and only defending champions of the VNL, which began in 2018. The 2020 edition of the VNL was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As in past VNL editions, 16 women’s teams will compete against each other in three-day round-robin segments during the five-week preliminary round May 25-June 20.
Unlike the past, only the top four teams will advance to the final round. The semifinals will be played June 23 and the medal matches on June 24.
This year’s VNL will be the U.S. Women’s only official international competition prior to the Tokyo Olympic Games, which begin July 24.
The VNL will be broadcast in the United States on the FIVB’s streaming service Volleyball World TV.
U.S. Women’s National Team 18-Person Roster for FIVB Volleyball Nations League
No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Okla., Penn State Univ.)
2 Jordyn Poulter (S, 6-2, Aurora, Colo., Univ. of Illinois)
3 Kathryn Plummer (OH, 6-6, Aliso Viejo, Calif., Stanford Univ.)
4 Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Cypress, Calif., Univ. of Nebraska)
6 Tori Dixon (M, 6-3, Burnsville, Minn., Univ. of Minnesota)
7 Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, Aurora, Ill., Univ. of Wisconsin)
8 Hannah Tapp (M, 6-3, Stewartville, Minn., Univ. of Minnesota)
10 Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Univ. of Nebraska)
11 Annie Drews (OPP, 6-4, Elkhart, Ind., Purdue Univ.)
12 Jordan Thompson (OPP, 6-4, Edina, Minn., Univ. of Cincinnati)
13 Sarah Wilhite Parsons (OH, 6-2, Eden Prairie, Minn., Univ. of Minnesota)
14 Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (OH, 6-3, Champaign, Ill., Univ. of Illinois)
15 Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, Portland, Ore., Pepperdine, Univ.)
16 Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson (M, 6-3, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Stanford Univ.)
17 Megan Courtney (L, 6-1, Dayton, Ohio, Penn State Univ.)
22 Haleigh Washington (M, 6-3, Colorado Springs, Colo., Penn State Univ.)
23 Kelsey Robinson (OH, 6-2, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Univ. of Nebraska)
24 Chiaka Ogbogu (M, 6-2, Coppell, Texas, Univ. of Texas)
U.S. Women’s Schedule for FIVB Volleyball Nations League (all times Pacific)
May 25 at 9 a.m.: Dominican Republic vs USA
May 26 at 10:30 a.m.: USA vs Canada
May 27 at noon: Brazil vs USA
May 31 at 10:30 a.m.: Serbia vs USA
June 1 at 9 a.m.: USA vs Netherlands
June 2 at 3 a.m.: Thailand vs USA
June 6 at 10:30 a.m.: German vs USA
June 7 at 7 a.m.: Korea vs USA
June 8 at 10:30 a.m.: Italy vs USA
June 12 at 6 a.m.: USA vs Belgium
June 13 at 3 a.m.: USA vs Japan
June 14 at noon: USA vs Turkey
June 18 at 9 a.m.: Poland vs USA
June 19 at 3 a.m.: USA vs Russia
June 20 at 3 a.m.: China vs USA
June 23: Semifinals 1 and 2
June 24: Bronze and Gold medal matches