COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 24, 2021) – The U.S. Women’s National Team, ranked No. 2 in the world, begins its 2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) campaign on Tuesday (9 a.m. PDT) against the Dominican Republic in Rimini, Italy. Coincidentally, the last match that the U.S. Women played as a team was a 3-2 loss...
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 25, 2021) – After more than a year and a half, the U.S. Women’s National Team returned to the competition court on Tuesday and emerged victorious, sweeping the Dominican Republic, 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-12) at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) in Rimini, Italy.
The U.S. Women, who are the VNL two-time defending champions, will play their next preliminary round match against another NORCECA zone foe, Canada, at noon PDT on Wednesday (May 25).
Outside hitter Kathryn Plummer, making her VNL debut, led the U.S. scoring on Tuesday with a match-high 16 points on 14 kills and two blocks. Outside hitter Jordan Larson added 15 points on 14 kills and one block and opposite Jordan Thompson scored 15 points on 13 kills, one block and one ace.
“We are trying to maximize our potential,” Larson said. “It’s been a long time since we were able to compete under our flag and represent the USA. We are very excited to be together again, just coming together for one goal. In this game, there were times when we were a bit slow, but I think we got better as the match wore on.”
Middle blocker Hannah Tapp scored seven points on a match-high four blocks and three kills. Middle Tori Dixon added six points on six kills. Setter Lauren Carlini scored three points on one kill, one block and one ace. Libero Justin Wong-Orantes was credited with 10 digs and nine successful receptions.
The U.S. Women led the Dominican in kills (51-34), blocks (9-3) and aces (2-1). The U.S. had 13 errors as compared to 15 for the Dominican. Carlini set the U.S. to a .376 hitting efficiency.
Coincidentally, prior to Tuesday, the last match that the U.S. Women played as a team was a 3-2 loss to the Dominican Republic in the final of the NORCECA Championship in October 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly started Larson and Plummer at outside hitter, Dixon and Tapp at middle, Carlini at setter, Thompson at opposite and Wong-Orantes at libero. There were no substitutes.
With the score tied 7-7 in the first set, the U.S. Women went ahead by two on a Larson kill and an ace from setter Lauren Carlini. The U.S. led by as many as four at 15-11. The Dominican came back to trail by one at 15-16, but two kills from Thompson and middle blocker Hannah Tapp kept the lead intact.
The U.S. led 14-11 in the second set, but the Dominican came back to tie it at 16s. The U.S. used a 4-1 run, including three kills from Larson, to lead 21-17 and the Dominican never threatened again.
The U.S. jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the third set and never looked back. Set highlights included three big blocks from Tapp.
The VNL will be broadcast in the United States on the FIVB’s streaming service Volleyball World TV.
U.S. Women’s National Team 14-Person Roster for May 25-27
No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Okla., Penn State Univ.)
3 Kathryn Plummer (OH, 6-6, Aliso Viejo, Calif., Stanford Univ.)
4 Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Cypress, Calif., Univ. of Nebraska)
6 Tori Dixon (M, 6-3, Burnsville, Minn., Univ. of Minnesota)
7 Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, Aurora, Ill., Univ. of Wisconsin)
8 Hannah Tapp (M, 6-3, Stewartville, Minn., Univ. of Minnesota)
10 Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Univ. of Nebraska)
11 Annie Drews (OPP, 6-4, Elkhart, Ind., Purdue Univ.)
12 Jordan Thompson (OPP, 6-4, Edina, Minn., Univ. of Cincinnati)
13 Sarah Wilhite Parsons (OH, 6-2, Eden Prairie, Minn., Univ. of Minnesota)
15 Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, Portland, Ore., Pepperdine, Univ.)
16 Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson (M, 6-3, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Stanford Univ.)
17 Megan Courtney (L, 6-1, Dayton, Ohio, Penn State Univ.)
22 Haleigh Washington (M, 6-3, Colorado Springs, Colo., Penn State Univ.)
U.S. Women’s Schedule for FIVB Volleyball Nations League (all times Pacific)
May 25: USA def Dominican Republic, 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-12)
May 26 at noon: USA vs Canada
May 27 at 10:30 a.m.: Brazil vs USA
May 31 at 10:30 a.m.: Serbia vs USA
June 1 at 9 a.m.: USA vs Netherlands
June 2 at 3 a.m.: Thailand vs USA
June 6 at 10:30 a.m.: German vs USA
June 7 at 7 a.m.: Korea vs USA
June 8 at 10:30 a.m.: Italy vs USA
June 12 at 6 a.m.: USA vs Belgium
June 13 at 3 a.m.: USA vs Japan
June 14 at noon: USA vs Turkey
June 18 at 9 a.m.: Poland vs USA
June 19 at 3 a.m.: USA vs Russia
June 20 at 3 a.m.: China vs USA
June 23: Semifinals 1 and 2
June 24: Bronze and Gold medal matches