The U.S. Women's National Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 22, 2023) – The U.S. Women’s National Team took one more step toward Olympic qualification on Friday by beating Italy 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-21, 25-18) at the FIVB Road to Paris Olympic Qualifier in Łódź, Poland.

The U.S. Women (5-0), the defending Olympic champions, are now the only undefeated team in their pool. They will play Poland (4-1) on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. PT. The top two teams will qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The U.S. Women led Italy in kills (63-58). The teams tied in blocks (9-9) and aces (2-2). The U.S. scored 24 points on Italy’s errors and gave up 14.

“What a freaking fight and huge team win,” U.S. libero and Team Captain Justine Wong-Orantes said. “So proud of this whole squad for digging deep and staying together throughout the whole match.”

Wong-Orantes was credited with 14 digs and two excellent receptions.

“Our service pressure was key late in the game and just minimizing their middles in the offense,” Wong-Orantes said. “Also, Kathryn Plummer just coming off the bench and igniting a huge fire allowe the whole team to play big.”

Opposite Jordan Thompson led all scorers with 24 points on a match-high 23 kills (.384 hitting efficiency) and one block.

Outside hitter Kelsey Cook added 16 points on 12 kills (.344), three blocks and one ace. Cook led the team in successful receptions with five and in digs with 18.

Outside hitter Kathryn Plummer, who played as a substitute and started the fourth set, scored 11 points on 10 kills (.500) and one ace.

Setter Lauren Carlini scored two points on two attacks and set the team to a .371 hitting efficiency. She also had eight digs.

Middle blocker Dana Rettke totaled nine points on five kills and a match-high four blocks.

Outside hitter Jordan Larson scored seven points on seven kills and had 11 digs.

Middle Chiaka Ogbogu scored five points on four kills and one block.

After cruising to the first-set win, the U.S. Women trailed in the second set 19-14. They kept battling and pulled to within one at 23-22 and 24-23, but Italy’s Ekaterina Antropova scored the final point with a kill.

The U.S. Women led the third set 9-5. Italy tied the score at 12-12 and kept close to the U.S. until the U.S. lead was 18-17. A kill from Plummer and an Italy attack error put the U.S. ahead 20-17 and Italy did not threaten again.

The teams were tied 11-11 in the fourth set when the U.S. scored on Italy’s error and a Thompson kill to go up by two. Italy scored once before the U.S. scored three more points in a row to pull away.

Matches will be shown on

U.S. Women’s Roster for 2023 Road to Paris Olympic Qualifier

No. Name (Pos., Ht., Hometown, College, USAV Region)
4C Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Cypress, Calif., Univ. of Nebraska, Southern California)
Ali Frantti (OH, 6-1, Spring Grove, Ill., Penn State, Great Lakes)
Morgan Hentz (L, 5-9, Lakeside Park, Ky., Stanford Univ., Pioneer)
Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, Aurora, Ill., Univ. of Wisconsin, Great Lakes)
10 Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Univ. of Nebraska, Great Plains)
11 Annie Drews (Opp, 6-4, Elkhart, Ind., Purdue Univ., Hoosier)
12 Jordan Thompson (Opp, 6-4, Edina, Minn., Univ. of Cincinnati, North Country)
15 Haleigh Washington (MB, 6-3, Colorado Springs, Colo., Penn State Univ., Rocky Mountain)
16 Dana Rettke (MB, 6-8, Riverside, Ill., Univ. of Wisconsin, Great Lakes)
22 Kathryn Plummer (OH, 6-6, Aliso Viejo, Calif., Stanford, Southern California)
23 Kelsey (Robinson) Cook (OH, 6-2, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Univ. of Nebraska, Southern California)
24 Chiaka Ogbogu (MB, 6-2, Coppell, Texas, Univ. of Texas, North Texas)
27 Avery Skinner (OH, 6-1, Katy, Texas, Baylor, Lone Star)
28 Ashley Evans (S, 6-1, Liberty Township, Ohio, Purdue, Ohio Valley)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coach: Tama Miyashiro
Second Assistant Coaches: Alfee ReftErin Virtue, Marv Dunphy
Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer: Kara Kessans
Performance Analyst: Rianne Verhoek
Strength & Conditioning Coach: Brandon Siakel
Team Manager: Coley Pawlikowski
Team Doctor: Mark Hutchinson
Athletic TrainerJackie Chan
Nutritionist: Shawn Hueglin
Massage Therapist: Luis Hernandez
Mental Performance Coach: Sue Enquist
Performance Analyst: Matthieu Van Der Broeke

U.S. Schedule for the Road to Paris Olympic Qualifier
(all times PT)
Sept. 16 USA def Colombia, 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-13)
Sept. 17 USA def Thailand, 3-0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-18)
Sept. 19 USA def Slovenia, 3-1 (25-13, 25-13. 20-25, 25-13)
Sept. 20 USA def Korea 3-1 (20-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-17)
Sept. 22 USA def Italy 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-21, 25-18)
Sept. 23 at 8:30 a.m. USA vs Poland (world No. 7)
Sept. 24 at 8:30 a.m. USA vs Germany (world No. 12)