The U.S. Women’s National Team returns to the court for its second week of Volleyball Nations League (VNL) preliminary round competition today when it plays Croatia at 1:30 p.m. PT
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 13, 2023) – The U.S. Women’s National Team moved to 5-0 in Volleyball Nations League (VNL) preliminary round play with a 3-1 (17-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-15) victory over Croatia in Brasilia, Brazil. The team, which is currently ranked No. 2 in the world, finished 4-0 in the tournament’s first round last week.
The U.S. Women have Wednesday off before facing Thailand (2-2) at 10 a.m. PT on June 15.
Croatia earned its first set win in this year’s VNL in the opening frame. The U.S. Women rallied to take a close second set before rolling to victories in the third and fourth.
“After the first loss, we had to make some adjustments with our blocks and defense systems,” said outside hitter Ali Frantti, who was making her 2023 VNL debut. “We also talked about serving more aggressively. They were very comfortable in serve receive, so it was important to try to get them off the net.”
Frantti and opposite Jordan Thompson, who was also making her VNL debut this season, combined for 29 kills. Frantti led the U.S. team with 15 kills with a .419 hitting percentage, and Thompson registered a .541 hitting efficiency with 14 kills.
“It was a surreal moment to step back on the court wearing the USA jersey. It’s something I never take for granted,” Frantti described. “Playing with these women is an absolute dream for me. All of us have the same goal and we all push ourselves to be better. Everyone steps up when they need to and that’s the beauty of a team sport.”
Outside hitter Khalia Lanier contributed 12 kills, while middle blockers Brionne Butler (six) and Asjia O’Neal (three) totaled nine kills without an error in 13 attacks.
The U.S. totaled 14 blocks to Croatia’s six, led by Butler’s five.
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 Roster for 2023 VNL Week 2
No. Name (Pos., Ht., Hometown, College, USAV Region)
1 Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Okla., Penn State Univ., Oklahoma)
3 Kendall White (L, 5-5, Zionsville, Ind., Penn State, Hoosier)
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)
8 Brionne Butler (MB, 6-4, Kendleton, Texas, Univ. of Texas, Lone Star)
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)
20 Danielle Cuttino (Opp, 6-4, Indianapolis, Ind., Purdue, Hoosier)
22 Kathryn Plummer (OH, 6-6, Aliso Viejo, Calif., Stanford, Southern California)
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)
Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coach: Tama Miyashiro
Second Assistant Coaches: Marv Dunphy, Alfee Reft, Erin Virtue
Performance Analyst: Rianne Verhoek
Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer: Kara Kessans
Team Doctor: William Briner
Team Manager: Coley Pawlikowski
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 (all times PT) at Brasilia, Brazil
June 13 at USA def. Croatia 3-1 (17-22, 25-22, 25-18, 25-15)
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 (all times PT) 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