Türkiye took the U.S. Women’s National Team to the brink Saturday afternoon, but key plays by Annie Drews, Kelsey Robinson and Hannah Tapp helped lead the U.S. to a five-set victory (25-22, 18-25, 27-25, 23-25, 18-16) in the Volleyball Nations League in Canada.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 3, 2022) – They’re the world’s top-ranked team, and they are officially the VNL’s top-ranked team, too.
With a 3-1 (25-17, 25-13, 13-25, 25-22) win over Germany on Sunday in Calgary, Alberta, the U.S. Women’s National Team clinched the best record going into the upcoming Volleyball Nations League (VNL) final phase.
They went 11-1 during the preliminary phase, winning all but seven sets played.
“Props to our team on playing a very strong VNL through all three weeks with different travel groups and starting lineups,” Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “They did a nice job bringing out the best of each other and working to reset when things weren’t going so well. We’re really happy with how our team responded.”
The U.S. is one of eight teams who’ll compete for the VNL title July 13-17 in Ankara, Türkiye. It has won all three VNL titles, winning in 2018, 2019 and 2021. The 2020 VNL was canceled due to COVID-19.
The Women’s National Team faces Serbia in the quarterfinals (date and time to be confirmed). The U.S. Women beat Serbia, 3-0 (25-17, 33-31, 25-16) June 30.
“It feels great to finish how we did,” U.S. outside hitter Sarah Wilhite Parsons told VolleyballWorld.tv after the match against Germany. “It’s been a long five weeks, and after 12 matches, it’s great to finish on a win. Germany pushed us pretty hard, especially in the third and fourth set, and we just stayed calm and fought for it until the end.”
The U.S. led all scoring categories Sunday, landing 51 attacks to Germany’s 50, 11 blocks to seven, and six service aces to three. Germany led the U.S. in digs and receptions.
Wilhite Parsons dominated the individual stats, scoring 24 points on 18 kills, four blocks and two aces. She posted an attack efficiency of 30% and scored on 42% of her swings. Fellow outside hitter Jordan Thompson scored 14 points, 12 on the attack, and Kathryn Plummer found the floor 10 times.
The U.S. cruised to set victories in the first two sets. They jumped out to an early first-set lead, withstood a German rally midway through the frame, and won it by eight points. An early 8-1 scoring run gave the U.S. all the lead they’d need in the second. Seventeen of Parsons’ points came in the first two frames.
Germany stunned the Americans with a 13-25 third-set victory, and the fourth was hard-fought with three lead changes and seven tie scores. Down 6-8, Tori Dixon blocked a German attack to pull the U.S. within one, and she tied the match by downing an over pass on the next play. Thompson then gave the U.S. a lead with a kill, and the U.S. never trailed again.
“We made a strong statement and qualified atop the season standings,” Kiraly said. “That won’t count for anything in Finals week, so we look forward to starting fresh and going to Ankara against the best teams in the world.”
U.S. Women’s Roster for 2022 VNL Week 3
No. Name (Pos., Ht, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
1 Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Okla., Penn State Univ., Oklahoma)
2 Jordyn Poulter (S, 6-2, Aurora, Colo., Univ. of Illinois, Great Lakes)
3 Kathryn Plummer (OH, 6-6, Aliso Viejo, Calif., Stanford Univ., Southern California)
4 Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Cypress, Calif., Univ. of Nebraska, Southern California)
5 Morgan Hentz (L, 5-9, Lakeside Park, Ky., Stanford Univ., Pioneer)
6 Tori Dixon (MB, 6-3, Burnsville, Minn., Univ. of Minnesota, North Country)
8 Hannah Tapp (MB, 6-3, Stewartville, Minn., Univ. of Minnesota, North Country)
11 Annie Drews (Opp, 6-4, Elkhart, Ind., Purdue Univ., Hoosier)
12 Jordan Thompson (Opp, 6-4, Edina, Minn., Univ. of Cincinnati, North Country)
13 Sarah Wilhite Parsons (OH, 6-2, Eden Prairie, Minn., Univ. of Minnesota, North Country)
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, Pugen Sound)
23 Kelsey Robinson (OH, 6-2, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Univ. of Nebraska, Southern California)
Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Erin Virtue, Tama Miyashiro, Alfee Reft
Performance Analyst: Brian Hurler
Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer: Kara Kessans
Consultant Coach: Sue Enquist
Team Manager: Coley Pawlikowski
Sports Dietitian: Shawn Hueglin
Strength & Conditioning Coach: Brandon Siakel
2022 U.S. Women’s VNL Schedule (All times PDT)
Week 1 – Shreveport-Bossier City, La.
May 31-June 5
USA def. Dominican Republic, 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-18)
USA def Canada, 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-19)
USA def Brazil, 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-18)
Japan def USA, 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-20)
Week 2 – Quezon City, Philippines
USA def Bulgaria, 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-20)
USA def Poland, 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-16)
USA def China, 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-21)
USA def Thailand, 3-1 (17-25, 25-13, 25-23, 25-18)
Week 3 – Calgary, Canada
Wednesday, June 29-July 4
USA def Belgium, 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-19)
USA def Serbia, 3-0 (25-17, 33-31, 25-16)
USA def. Türkiye, 3-2 (25-22, 18-25, 27-25, 23-25, 18-16)
USA def. Germany, 3-1 (25-17, 25-13, 13-25, 25-22)
Finals: July 13-17 in Ankara, Turkey