COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 1, 2023) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Germany, 3-1 (25-22, 18-25, 25-22, 25-13) in Volleyball Nations League (VNL) preliminary round play in Suwon, Korea.
MATCH STATISTICS (PDF)
The U.S. team (10-1) completes preliminary round play July 2 against China (7-4) at 1:30 a.m. PT.
Outside hitter Ali Frantti and opposite Jordan Thompson each paced the U.S. with 17 points. Franti led the team with 15 kills, Thompson added 14, and middle blocker Brionne Butler and outside hitter Kara Bajema each contributed 12. Bajema finished with 12 digs and Thompson registered 10.
Butler hit at a .750 efficiency percentage with her 12 kills and no errors in 16 total attacks. Middle blocker Anna Stevenson Hall recorded eight kills as the U.S. Women held a 63-48 advantage in kills.
“We knew Germany was going to scrap. They have a great defense and are a great ball control team. Putting pressure on our serve allowed us to be really good on our blocking defense,” said libero Justine Wong-Orantes, who posted a team-best 19 digs.
The U.S. trailed most of the first set and were down 19-16 before ending the set on a 9-3 run. A Butler block gave the U.S. its first lead of the set, 21-20. Thompson led the way with six kills. They trailed throughout the second set, but they got off to strong starts in the final two sets.
The off-speed game and an ace by setter Micha Hancock, who entered the game in the third set, led to a 5-0 start in that set. A Hall kill on an overpass extended the lead to eight points, 16-8. Germany pulled within two points, 24-22, but a Frantti kill gave the U.S. a 2-1 match lead.
An ace by Hall gave the U.S. Women a 10-2 lead in the fourth set and Germany was unable to mount a comeback. Frantti and Bajema each recorded five kills in the set in which the U.S. hit .500 as a team.
“Simple calls early. We talk about that every day in practice and putting that into the game really helped,” Wong-Orantes stated in reference to defending the tough Germany serve. “We stayed patient. We know Germany has been battling each week and each match, so when we had opportunities on our side of the net to transition and execute, we did a great job.”
Volleyball Nations League is the world’s premier annual international indoor volleyball tournament. The top 16 teams in the world play four matches a week for three weeks of preliminary competition. The top eight teams at the end of the preliminaries will go to the Final Round
The United States will host the 2023 Women’s VNL Final Round on July 12-16 at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas, which means the U.S. automatically qualifies.
Get tickets for the final round at tickets.volleyballworld.com/arlington.
U.S. Women’s Preliminary Roster for 2023 VNL
No. Name (Pos., Ht., Hometown, College, USAV Region)
1 Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Okla., Penn State Univ., Oklahoma)
4 Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Cypress, Calif., Univ. of Nebraska, Southern California)
5 Ali Frantti (OH, 6-1, Spring Grove, Ill., Penn State, Great Lakes)
6 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 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)
14 Anna Stevenson Hall (MB, 6-2, Laurens S.C., Univ. of Louisville, Palmetto)
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)
18 Kara Bajema (OH, 6-2, Lynden, Wash., Univ. of Washington, Puget Sound)
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)
Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coach: Tama Miyashiro
Second Assistant Coaches: Alfee Reft, Erin Virtue
Performance Analyst: Rianne Verhoek
Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer: Kara Kessans
Team Doctor: Eugene Yim
Team Manager: Coley Pawlikowski
Sports Dietitian: Shawn Hueglin
U.S. Women’s Schedule for the 2023 VNL
All matches will be broadcast on volleyballworld.tv
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 at 1:30 a.m. PT USA vs China
Final Round on July 12-16 at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas