TOKYO (May 26, 2019) – The U.S. Collegiate National Team – Japan Tour (CNT – Japan Tour) battled Sunday, but it was the host Japan Under-20 team that came away with a 3-1 victory (25-12, 27-25, 27-29, 25-19) at the Japanese Olympic Training Center in Kita, Tokyo. 

“I really liked the way we competed today,” said CNT – Japan Tour head coach Heather Olmstead. “We were hitting high and hard, and we were figuring out ways to score. I thought our offense was good. I liked our fight, and I like the way we’re getting better every time we play with our serve-pass game.”

After the hosts took the first set, CNT – Japan Tour stiffened in the second, forcing extra points by scoring on nearly half of their attacks. Japan’s U20 team ultimately took the second 27-25, but the U.S. countered with a 27-29 victory in the third frame. They took an early 5-8 lead in the fourth set, but the U20 squad rallied to win the set and clinch the match. 

“I thought the match went well,” said CNT – Japan Tour middle Lauren Forte (California-Berkeley; Tempe, Ariz.). “We showed grit towards the end, but we couldn’t pull off the win. Their defense is relentless. They were all over the place, and they weren’t going to just give it up for us.” 

As a team, the U.S. combined for 100 receptions, their highest total of the tour. Half of those came from Jacqueline Quade (Illinois; Fort Wayne, Ind.), 54 percent of which were positive. Others with double digits in the category were Dani Drews (Utah; Sandy, Utah; 18), CC McGraw (Minnesota; Prior Lake, Minn.; 15), and McKenna Melville (UCF; Eagan, Minn.; 10).

Offensively, nine different players found the floor for CNT – Japan Tour. Kenzie Koerber (Utah; Chino Hills, Calif.) led the way with 12 kills and a .348 attack efficiency (12-4-23). Quade was one shy with 11 points on the attack. 

As they have all tour, the U.S. controlled the net Sunday, out-blocking their hosts 14-5. Heather Gneiting (BYU; Pleasant Grove, Utah) led the team with four blocks, and Koerber stopped three. Melville added two, and five others stuffed one apiece. 

“There were a lot of ups and downs today,” said Gneiting. “We did well at times, and there were times we couldn’t problem-solve. We definitely got better with our serving and our passing.”

After a rest day to travel to Okayama, Japan, the U.S. Collegiate Team will wrap up their tour with a match against the Okayama Seagulls, a squad in Japan’s top volleyball league. That contest will take place Tuesday, May 28. 

“We get one more opportunity to play together as a team, so we’re going to just keep working towards getting into a better rhythm,” said Olmstead. “We want to keep working on our communication, and we want to keep competing.”


May 22
vs Nippon Sport Science University, W 3-2

May 23
vs Japan Women’s U20 Team, L 1-3
NEC Red Rockets Training Center; Kawasaki

May 24
vs Japan World University Games Team (DH)
L 1-2; T 2-2
NEC Red Rockets Training Center; Kawasaki

May 25
vs Japan World University Games Team, L 1-2
NEC Red Rockets Training Center; Kawasaki

May 26
vs Japan Women’s U20 Team, L 1-3
Japan National Training Center; Kita, Tokyo

May 28
vs.Okayama Seagulls