COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 2, 2023) – The U.S. Women’s National Team dropped its Volleyball Nations League (VNL) final preliminary round match to China, 3-2 (18-25, 25-19, 19-25, 25-20, 15-8), in Suwon, Korea.
The U.S. team completed preliminary round play with a 10-2 record, placing second behind Poland. The 2023 Women’s VNL Final Round will be played July 12-16 at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas.
Four U.S. players scored in double figures, led by outside hitter Kathryn Plummer’s 22 points on 21 kills and one service ace. Outside hitter Kelsey (Robinson) Cook registered 17 kills with opposite Annie Drews adding 15 kills and one block.
Middle blocker Dana Rettke totaled 10 points, including two blocks, and one ace. Rettke and fellow middle blocker Haleigh Washington each hit at a .500 hitting efficiency percentage with seven kills.
Justine Wong-Orantes paced the U.S. defense with 16 digs, while Plummer (11) and Cook (10) also recorded double-digit digs. Setter Lauren Carlini led the offense to a .353 hitting percentage with four kills of her own.
The U.S. Women led by as many as seven points on multiple occasions in the opening set. China pulled within three points, 21-18, but after a timeout, the U.S. scored the final four points of the set. China scored the first three points of the second set and never trailed to even the match.
Back-to-back kills by Drews gave the U.S. a little breathing room in the third set and a 12-8 lead. Plummer’s back-to-back kills extended the lead to seven, 19-12. The lead reached nine (23-14) and the U.S. eventually closed out the set to take a 2-1 lead.
China scored the first six points of the fourth set. The U.S. cut the lead to three points late in the set (21-18 and 22-19), but China held on to send the match to a fifth set. A Cook kill gave the U.S. a 5-3 lead in the deciding set, but China scored the next nine points to take control.
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 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