After going five sets in the first two VNL matches, The U.S. Women’s National Team needed only three sets to defeat Korea 3-0 (25-16, 27-25, 25-11) on Saturday in Antalya, Türkiye.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 4, 2023) – The U.S. Women’s National Team finished its first round of Volleyball Nations League (VNL) at 4-0 after beating host Türkiye 3-2 (25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 11-25, 15-9) on Sunday in Antalya.
U.S. Ambassador to Türkiye Jeff Flake and his wife Cheryl were on hand to watch the victory, which was the U.S. Women’s third five-set win of the first four matches. An estimated crowd of 10,500 filled Antalya Arena.
“Honestly, this was really special to play in,” U.S. opposite Annie Drews said. “To see the way Turkish fans value volleyball is really, really incredible. This is a match I don’t think I’ll forget for a very long time.”
The U.S. Women get the week off while the U.S. Men play their first four VNL matches on June 7-11 in Ottawa, Canada. The U.S. Women will be back on the court on June 13 when they play Croatia in Brasilia, Brazil.
The U.S. Women edged Türkiye in kills (62-61). Türkiye led in blocks (13-3) and aces (8-3). The U.S. scored 30 points on Türkiye errors while losing 21 points.
“Honestly, after the fourth set, we were in the mud,” Drews said. “We could not be further in a hole. But we (said), ‘We’re going to be there. We’re going to climb our way out of it. So just (take it) one at a time.”
Drews led the U.S. scoring with 19 points on 17 kills and two aces. Outside hitter Avery Skinner added 16 points on 16 kills. Khalia Lanier scored 12 points on 11 kills and one ace.
Setter Micha Hancock led the team in digs with 13 and scored four points on three kills and one ace. Libero Justine Wong-Orantes was credited with 12 digs and four successful receptions. Skinner and Lanier each had seven successful receptions.
Among other scorers, middle blocker Dana Rettke scored nine points on eight kills and one block. Middle Asjia O’Neal, who took over for Brionne Butler in the second set, scored five points on four kills and one block. Butler had three points on three kills.
Opposite Danielle Cuttino, outside hitter Roni Jones-Perry and outside Brooke Nuneviller all played as substitutes.
VNL matches are livestreamed in the United States on VolleyballWorld.tv.
U.S. Women’s Roster for 2023 VNL Preliminary Round 1
No. Name (Pos., Ht., Hometown, College, USAV Region)
1C 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)
6 Morgan Hentz (L, 5-9, Lakeside Park, Ky., Stanford Univ., Pioneer)
8 Brionne Butler (MB, 6-4, Kendleton, Texas, Univ. of Texas, Lone Star)
11 Annie Drews (Opp, 6-4, Elkhart, Ind., Purdue Univ., Hoosier)
16 Dana Rettke (MB, 6-8, Riverside, Ill., Univ. of Wisconsin, Great Lakes)
20 Danielle Cuttino (Opp, 6-4, Indianapolis, Ind., Purdue, Hoosier)
25 Brooke Nuneviller (OH, 5-11, Chandler, Ariz., Univ. of Oregon, Arizona)
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)
28 Ashley Evans (S, 6-1, Liberty Township, Ohio, Purdue, Ohio Valley)
29 Khalia Lanier (OH, 6-2, Scottsdale, Ariz., Univ. of Southern California, Arizona)
31 Roni Jones-Perry (OH, 6-0, West Jordan, Utah, BYU, Intermountain)
36 Madeleine Gates (MB, 6-3, San Diego, Calif., Stanford, 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: James Suchy
Team Manager: Coley Pawlikowski
U.S. Women’s Schedule for the 2023 VNL
All matches will be broadcast on volleyballworld.tv
Week 1 (all times PT) 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 at 1:30 p.m. USA vs Croatia
June 15 at 10 a.m. USA vs Thailand
June 17 at 1:30 p.m. USA vs Japan
June 18 at 6 a.m. USA vs Brazil
Week 3 at Suwon, Korea
June 27 at 11:30 p.m. USA vs Poland
June 28 at 11:30 p.m. USA vs Bulgaria
July 1 at 1:30 a.m. USA vs Germany
July 2 at 1:30 a.m. USA vs China
Final Round on July 12-16 at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas