The U.S. Women’s National Team continues its 2022 FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) odyssey this week with four matches in Quezon City, Philippines
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo (June 15, 2022) – The U.S. Women’s National Team opened the second round of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-20) win over Bulgaria on Wednesday in Quezon City, Philippines.
The U.S. Women (4-1) will be back in action at 8 p.m. PT on Thursday against Poland (3-2). Bulgaria falls to 1-4. Matches are being shown on VolleyballWorld.tv, a subscription service.
The last time the U.S. Women played Bulgaria was in 2019 at the Olympic Qualification Tournament in Shreveport, Louisiana. Bulgaria took that match to five sets before the U.S. Women prevailed and went on to win their first Olympic gold medal.
Wednesday’s match was less dramatic, but Bulgaria did present a challenge, taking the lead to open each set and making the United States fight back.
With only five players returning from the roster that competed in VNL round 1, which was also in Shreveport, U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly knew his team would need time to find its rhythm.
“We have a very different group here than we had in Shreveport,” he said. “We have a real challenge of figuring out ways to connect, to bring out the best in each other and to elevate the play and the performance of the people around us.
“We certainly didn’t play our best volleyball, and that is to be expected with a lot of people playing their first USA match of the 2022 season. We did get things better. It was good that we got uncomfortable and had some chances to reset and some chances to upgrade some things.”
The U.S. Women led in kills (44-37), blocks (7-5) and aces (7-6). The United States scored 17 points on Bulgaria’s errors while committing 14.
Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson, the only U.S. starter who played in the first week of VNL in Shreveport, led the U.S. in scoring with 14 points on a match-high 13 kills and one ace.
Opposite Danielle Cuttino made her VNL debut, scoring 12 points on 10 kills and two blocks.
Middle blocker Hannah Tapp scored 11 points on nine kills, one block and one ace. Middle Haleigh Washington finished with 10 points on four kills, two blocks and a match-high four aces. Washington’s service runs were critical to helping the U.S. Women pull ahead.
“Haleigh really stressed a couple of Bulgarian passers in particular and created lots of scoring chances for us,” Kiraly said.
Outside hitter Kathryn Plummer finished with eight points on seven kills and one block. Plummer also led the U.S. women in successful receptions with seven and in digs with nine.
Setter Micha Hancock scored three points on a kill, a block and an ace. She set the U.S. Women to a .364 hitting efficiency.
Libero Justine Wong-Orantes was credited with eight digs and three successful receptions.
U.S. Women’s Preliminary Roster for 2022 VNL
No. Name (Pos., Ht, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
1 Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Okla., Penn State Univ., Oklahoma)
3 Kathryn Plummer (OH, 6-6, Aliso Viejo, Calif., Stanford Univ., Southern California)
4 Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Cypress, Calif., Univ. of Nebraska, Southern California)
5 Morgan Hentz (L, 5-9, Lakeside Park, Ky., Stanford Univ., Pioneer)
7 Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, Aurora, Ill., Univ. of Wisconsin, Great Lakes)
8 Hannah Tapp (MB, 6-3, Stewartville, Minn., Univ. of Minnesota, North Country)
9 Madi Kingdon Rishel (OH, 6-1, Phoenix, Ariz., Univ. of Arizona, Arizona)
15 Haleigh Washington (MB, 6-3, Colorado Springs, Colo., Penn State Univ., Rocky Mountain)
20 Danielle Cuttino (Opp, 6-4, Indianapolis, Ind., Purdue Univ., Hoosier)
23 Kelsey Robinson (OH, 6-2, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Univ. of Nebraska, Southern California)
24 Chiaka Ogbogu (MB, 6-2, Coppell, Texas, Univ. of Texas, North Texas)
30 Ali Frantti (OH, 6-1, Spring Grove, Ill., Penn State, Great Lakes)
31 Anna Stevenson (MB, 6-2, Laurens S.C., Univ. of Louisville, Palmetto)
33 Nia Reed (Opp, 6-1, Fort Lee, N.J., Penn State, Garden Empire)
Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Erin Virtue, Tama Miyashiro, Alfee Reft
Performance Analyst: Brian Hurler
Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer: Kara Kessans
Team Doctor: Christopher Lee
Consultant Coach: Sue Enquist
Team Manager: Coley Pawlikowski
Sports Dietitian: Shawn Hueglin
Strength & Conditioning Coach: Brandon Siakel
2022 U.S. Women’s VNL Schedule (All times PDT)
Week 1 – Shreveport-Bossier City, La.
May 31-June 5
USA def. Dominican Republic, 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-18)
USA def Canada, 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-19)
USA def Brazil, 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-18)
Japan def USA, 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-20)
Week 2 – Quezon City, Philippines
USA def Bulgaria, 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-20)
Thursday, June 16
8 p.m. USA vs Poland
Saturday, June 18
4 a.m. USA vs China
Sunday, June 19
12 a.m. USA vs Thailand
Week 3 – Calgary, Canada
Wednesday, June 29
7 p.m. USA vs Belgium
Thursday, June 30
7 p.m. USA vs Serbia
Saturday, July 2
1 p.m. USA vs Turkey
Sunday, July 4
1 p.m. USA vs Germany
Finals: July 13-17 in Ankara, Turkey