The U.S. Women’s National Team opened the 2023 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) by winning a battle with world No. 1 Serbia 3-2 (25-20, 19-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-12) on Wednesday in Antalya, Türkiye
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 3, 2023) – After going five sets in the first two 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. The U.S. is now 3-0 in the first week of VNL 2023.
U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly made slight adjustments to the starting lineup for the first back-to-back match of the season. Kiraly called upon setter Ashley Evans and opposite Danielle Cuttino as new additions. Roni Jones-Perry, Avery Skinner, and Asjia O’Neal filled out the rest of the lineup, with Brionne Butler not taking long to enter the game in the first set. Morgan Hentz got her second start in as many days at libero.
The U.S. came out with a strong defensive presence thanks to blocks from O’Neal and Evans. Well-placed serves from Cuttino helped the team earn a five-point lead that they would maintain with two more blocks courtesy of Butler. Hentz covered the court with three of her nine total digs in the first set.
In the second set, Korea found gaps in the U.S. defense to quickly earn an 11-5 lead. The lead grew to seven points at its highest margin before the U.S. began the comeback. A timely block from Butler and three consecutive points from Cuttino and Jones-Perry helped close the gap to one. A block from Cuttino tied the match at 23. After trading scores, it was Cuttino again breaking the tie at 24 to take the lead with an ace. The U.S. completed the rally with a 27-25 final score in set two.
It was all U.S. in the third set. The team quickly made it a nine-point advantage and didn’t look back. They won the third set with ease, 25-11, to seal the match victory.
Avery Skinner was the kills leader with 12 and also added an ace to her final total.
Butler was credited with three kills and three blocks. The U.S. held a team blocking margin of 15-3 over Korea for the match. Jones-Perry led the way with 10 digs while also putting up six kills as the third leading scorer.
Cuttino finished as the leading scorer and blocker with 19 points on six blocks to go with 11 kills and two aces.
“This team and this group of girls we have here is incredible,” said Cuttino. “The encouragement and the confidence they instill in me, it helps me play at a higher level.”
In addition to the 15-3 blocking margin, the U.S. held a 5-0 ace advantage over Korea.
The U.S. Women (3-0) face Türkiye on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. PT. Türkiye is also 3-0 with wins over Italy, Korea and Serbia.
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 at 10 a.m. USA vs Türkiye
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