ARLINGTON, Texas (July 12, 2023) – A crowd of almost 5,000 showed up to the College Park Center on Wednesday to cheer on the U.S. Women’s National Team and Team USA didn’t let them down, beating Japan 3-1 (25-23, 25-21, 18-25, 25-18) in the quarterfinals of the Volleyball Nations League.

The U.S. Women (11-2) will take Thursday off and await the winner of the quarterfinal between Türkiye and Italy at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.


The victory helped diminish the memory of last year’s quarterfinal loss to Serbia in the Final Round and the loss to Japan during this year’s preliminary round.

“We had a very disappointing loss in this match last year to Serbia in the fifth set in Türkiye,” U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “That’s a long way to go for one match.

“It’s really nice to be going to the semifinals. Even at 24-whatever, I am not taking anything for granted. That team can come back from any deficit and it’s never over until the last whistle blows.”

At the end of the match, the U.S. led in kills (62-50) and blocks (10-9) while the teams tied in aces (2-2). Japan scored 29 points on U.S. errors and gave up 19.

After the U.S. Women battled to win the first two sets, Japan gained control of the third set. Kiraly looked to his bench and brought in Dana Rettke at middle blocker for Chiaka Ogbogu, Jordan Thompson at opposite for Annie Drews and Avery Skinner at outside hitter for Khalia Lanier.

Skinner went on to finish with 11 points on nine kills and two blocks.

“I just really wanted to come in and make an impact in whatever way I could,” said Skinner, who is from Katy, Texas and played her final collegiate season at Baylor. “We needed someone to put the ball away, so I really wanted to go in and do that.”

Drews led all scorers with 13 points on 11 kills and a match-high two aces. Outside hitter Kelsey (Robinson) Cook added 11 points on 10 kills and one block.

Ogbogu and Lanier each scored nine points. Lanier had six kills and a team-high three blocks.

Washington scored seven points on six kills and one block. Rettke totaled five points on three kills and two blocks.

Setter Micha Hancock scored four points on four kills and set the team to a .267 hitting efficiency.

Outside hitter Ali Frantti, who subbed in for Kelsey (Robinson) Cook after Cook took a hard fall going after a ball on the sideline, scored three points on three kills. Thompson finished with two points on two kills.

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U.S. Women’s Preliminary Roster for 2023 VNL
No. Name (Pos., Ht., Hometown, College, USAV Region)

Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Okla., Penn State Univ., Oklahoma)
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)
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)
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)
26 Asjia O’Neal (MB, 6-3, Southlake, Texas, Univ. of Texas, North Texas)
27 Avery Skinner (OH, 6-1, Katy, Texas, Baylor, Lone Star)
29 Khalia Lanier (OH, 6-2, Scottsdale, Ariz., Univ. of Southern California, Arizona)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coach: Tama Miyashiro
Second Assistant Coaches: Alfee ReftErin Virtue, Marv Dunphy
Performance Analyst: Rianne Verhoek
Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer: Kara Kessans
Consultant Coach: Sue Enquist,
Team Manager: Dana Burkholder
Sports Dietitian: Shawn Hueglin
Strength & Conditioning Coach: Brandon Siakel

U.S. Women’s Schedule for the 2023 VNL
All matches will be broadcast on

Week 1 at Antalya, Türkiye
May 31: USA def. Serbia 3-2 (25-20, 19-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-12)
June 2: USA def. Italy 3-2 (25-16, 14-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-9)
June 3: USA def. Korea 3-0 (25-16, 27-25, 25-11)
June 4: USA def. Türkiye 3-2 (25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 11-25, 15-9)

Week 2 at Brasilia, Brazil
June 13 USA def. Croatia 3-1 (17-22, 25-22, 25-18, 25-15)
June 15 USA def. Thailand 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-16)
June 17 Japan def. USA 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 25-19, 23-25, 15-6)
June 18 USA def Brazil 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-22)

Week 3 at Suwon, Korea
June 27 USA def Poland 3-2 (17-25, 25-15, 27-25, 28-30, 16-14)
June 28 USA def Bulgaria 3-0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-17)
July 1 USA def Germany 3-1 (25-22, 18-25, 25-22, 25-13)
July 2 China def USA 3-2 (18-25, 25-19, 19-25, 25-20, 15-8)

Final Round on July 12-16 at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas
(All times PT)
July 12 USA def Japan 3-1 (25-23, 25-21, 18-25, 25-18)
July 15 at 6:30 p.m. USA vs Türkiye
July 16 at 1 p.m. Bronze medal match
July 16 at 4:30 Gold medal match