The U.S. Women’s National Team got their 2022 FIVB Volleyball Nations League campaign off to a strong start with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-18) win over Dominican Republic on Tuesday at Brookshire Grocery Arena.
SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. (June 3, 2022) – The U.S. Women’s National Team was in a celebratory mood on Friday, and it came across in its 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-19) win over Canada in a Volleyball Nations League (VNL) preliminary match at the Brookshire Grocery Arena.
The U.S. Women (2-0) will face Brazil (3-0) at 8 p.m. CDT on Saturday in a rematch of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic gold medal final.
The U.S. Women won that gold medal, which they celebrated on Friday by saluting all 23 athletes that contributed to the Olympic victory, either by competing in Tokyo or training with the team in the gym.
Opposite Annie Drews, who was among those who won the gold medal at the Olympics, led all scorers with 15 points on 13 kills and two blocks. Veteran player Madi Kingdon Rishel, who was an Olympic alternate, added 12 points on 11 kills and one block.
“This is my first time starting for the USA in a couple of years,” Kingdon Rishel said. “It felt really great to be on the court tonight. I love these girls. The energy that we have is very unique.”
The U.S. Women led Canada in kills (44-36), blocks (8-6) and aces (2-1). Setter Lauren Carlini helped the U.S. to a .380 hitting efficiency. The U.S. Women scored 21 points on Canada’s errors while committing 12.
Middle blocker Bri Butler, who was making her first start ever for the U.S. Women, finished with nine points including a match-high three blocks, and truly enjoyed the experience.
“I just can’t be more happy inside to be a part of this program,” she said. “One thing we talked about with Canada was their speed to the pins. I think we did a really good job of slowing down their hitters and getting good touches.”
Outside hitter Kara Bajema, who also made her senior national team debut, scored 12 points on nine kills, two blocks and one ace. Middle Tori Dixon scored three points on three kills and Carlini finished with three points on two kills and an ace. Libero Kendall White was credited with 17 digs and six successful receptions. Bajema led in receptions with 18.
With Canada behind them, the U.S. Women are ready to focus on Brazil.
“Brazil is very physical. They are the Olympic silver medalist and I think they will have some girls from that team playing tomorrow,” Kingdon Rishel said. “I am expecting them to hit hard and get big blocks, but we can do the same thing. I am excited for that.”
All matches will be shown on VolleyballWorld.tv, which is a subscription service.
U.S. Women’s Roster for VNL First Round
No. Name (Pos., Ht, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
5 Morgan Hentz (L, 5-9, Lakeside Park, Ky., Stanford Univ., Pioneer)
6 Tori Dixon (MB, 6-3, Burnsville, Minn., Univ. of Minnesota, North Country)
7 Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, Aurora, Ill., Univ. of Wisconsin, Great Lakes)
9 Madi Kingdon Rishel (OH, 6-1, Phoenix, Ariz., Univ. of Arizona, Arizona)
10 Brionne Butler (MB, 6-4, Kendleton, Texas, Univ. of Texas, Lone Star)
11 Annie Drews (Opp, 6-4, Elkhart, Ind., Purdue Univ., Hoosier)
12 Jordan Thompson (Opp, 6-4, Edina, Minn., Univ. of Cincinnati, North Country)
13 Sarah Wilhite Parsons (OH, 6-2, Eden Prairie, Minn., Univ. of Minnesota, North Country)
16 Dana Rettke (MB, 6-8, Riverside, Ill., Univ. of Wisconsin, Great Lakes)
18 Kara Bajema (OH, 6-2, Lynden, Wash., Univ. of Washington, Puget Sound)
19 Jenna Gray (S, 6-1, Shawnee, Kan., Stanford Univ., Heart of America)
22 Kendall White (L, 5-5, Zionsville, Ind., Penn State, Hoosier)
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)
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 – Bossier City, La.
USA def. Dominican Republic, 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-18)
USA def Canada, 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-19)
Saturday, June 4
6 p.m. USA vs. Brazil
Sunday, June 5
1 p.m. Japan vs. USA
Week 2 – Quezon City, Philippines
Wednesday, June 15
12 a.m. USA vs. Bulgaria
Thursday, June 16
8 p.m. USA vs Poland
Saturday, June 18
4 a.m. USA vs China
Sunday, June 19
Midnight 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