Outside Hitter, 6-3
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 31, 2021) – The U.S. Women’s National Team made quick work of a young Serbian team on Monday, beating the defending world champion, 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-12) on Monday at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) in Rimini, Italy.
The U.S. Women (4-0), the two-time defending VNL champions, have lost only one set so far in the preliminary round and are first in the standings. Serbia falls to 2-2. The U.S. Women play Netherlands (3-10) on Tuesday at 9 a.m. PDT.
Serbia arrived in Italy without some of its star players that helped it to the 2018 FIVB World Championship.
“Serbia was very young but very talented,” U.S. setter Jordyn Poulter said. “Right from the start, they were going after us from the service line.
“We knew that it was going to be a little strange, Serbia not having some of their more veteran players.”
The U.S. Women led Serbia in kills (43-23), blocks (8-5) and aces (5-3). The U.S. Women scored 19 points on Serbian errors and committed 17.
“I think early on in this VNL tournament all the teams can say they are just trying to settle in and see what different lineups can do – and that’s what we are doing,” Poulter said. “We have a couple of girls who haven’t seen the court yet this season and we all haven’t played together since 2019… We are doing a great job staying patient and managing some of the good jitters that come along with getting back our rhythm.”
U.S. opposite Jordan Thompson led all scorers with 17 points on a match-high 15 kills (.500) and a team-high two aces, including an ace for the final point of the match.
Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, who made her 2021 VNL debut, scored 11 points on nine kills, one block and one ace. Middle blocker Haleigh Washington added 11 points on a match-high four blocks, six kills and one ace.
Middle Chiaka Ogbogu scored nine points on six kills, two blocks and one ace. Outside hitter Kim Hill, who also made her 2021 VNL debut, totaled five points on five kills.
Poulter scored three points on two kills and a block. She set the U.S. Women to a .343 hitting efficiency. Libero Megan Courtney was credited with a match-high 22 digs and five successful receptions. Bartsch-Hackley also had five successful receptions.
U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly started Bartsch-Hackley and Hill at outside hitter, Ogbogu and Washington at middle, Poulter at setter, Thompson at opposite and Courtney at libero. He did not make any substitutions.
U.S. Women’s National Team 14-Person Roster for May 31
No. Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Okla., Penn State Univ.)
2 Jordyn Poulter (S, 6-2, Aurora, Colo., Univ. of Illinois)
4 Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Cypress, Calif., Univ. of Nebraska)
6 Tori Dixon (M, 6-3, Burnsville, 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)
14 Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (OH, 6-3, Champaign, Ill., Univ. of Illinois)
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.)
23 Kelsey Robinson (OH, 6-2, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Univ. of Nebraska)
24 Chiaka Ogbogu (M, 6-2, Coppell, Texas, Univ. of Texas)
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: USA def Canada, 3-0 (26-34, 25-15, 25-10)
May 27: USA def Brazil 3-1 (25-17, 25-19, 23-25, 25-22)
May 31: USA def Serbia vs USA, 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-12)
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