Wednesday, 29 May 2024

U.S. Women’s National Team Faces Tough Loss to Japan in VNL

The U.S. Women’s National Team encountered a challenging match against Japan in the preliminary round of the 2023 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) held in Brasilia, Brazil. Despite a valiant effort, the U.S. team fell short, losing 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 25-19, 23-25, 15-6) to Japan. This marked the second consecutive year that Japan has handed the U.S. their first VNL defeat.

A Fierce Battle on the Court

The highly anticipated match between the U.S. and Japan featured intense moments and impressive performances from both teams. In the opening set, opposite Danielle Cuttino led the U.S. to a two-point victory with her eight points. However, Japan fought back in the second set, mirroring the U.S.’s two-point victory.

Despite giving their all, the U.S. experienced difficulties in the third set, succumbing to six service errors and resulting in a loss. The fourth set saw a thrilling competition, with the U.S. taking their first lead midway through the set and eventually securing a two-point advantage. After Japan’s resistance at 24-21, the U.S. pushed the match into a fifth set with a kill from setter Ashley Evans.

Japan Clutches the Win

The final set began with Japan’s strong start, scoring six consecutive points and ultimately clinching victory in the deciding set. This win marked Japan’s first five-set victory in this year’s VNL, while the U.S. women had already played four five-set matches during the preliminary round.

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Standout Performances

Outside hitter Khalia Lanier displayed an exceptional performance, contributing 20 points (15 kills, three blocks, two service aces) for the U.S. team. Cuttino led the team with 17 kills, while outsider hitter Avery Skinner recorded 12 kills. Additionally, middle blocker Anna Hall showcased her prowess with 11 kills, hitting an impressive .500.

Building Up to the Final Round

The Volleyball Nations League is the premier annual international indoor volleyball tournament, featuring the top 16 teams in the world. Over a period of three weeks, these teams engage in four matches a week during the preliminary competition. The top eight teams at the end of the preliminaries will advance to the Final Round.

The United States will have the privilege of hosting the 2023 Women’s VNL Final Round on July 12-16 at the College Park Center in Arlington, Texas. As the host, the U.S. automatically qualifies for the finals.

Further Information: To purchase tickets for the final round, please visit Alpinetgheep.com.

U.S. Women’s Roster for 2023 VNL Week 2

  1. Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Okla., Penn State Univ., Oklahoma)
  2. Kendall White (L, 5-5, Zionsville, Ind., Penn State, Hoosier)
  3. Ali Frantti (OH, 6-1, Spring Grove, Ill., Penn State, Great Lakes)
  4. Morgan Hentz (L, 5-9, Lakeside Park, Ky., Stanford Univ., Pioneer)
  5. Brionne Butler (MB, 6-4, Kendleton, Texas, Univ. of Texas, Lone Star)
  6. Jordan Thompson (Opp, 6-4, Edina, Minn., Univ. of Cincinnati, North Country)
  7. Anna (Stevenson) Hall (MB, 6-2, Laurens S.C., Univ. of Louisville, Palmetto)
  8. Haleigh Washington (MB, 6-3, Colorado Springs, Colo., Penn State Univ., Rocky Mountain)
  9. Danielle Cuttino (Opp, 6-4, Indianapolis, Ind., Purdue, Hoosier)
  10. Kathryn Plummer (OH, 6-6, Aliso Viejo, Calif., Stanford, Southern California)
  11. Asjia O’Neal (MB, 6-3, Southlake, Texas, Univ. of Texas, North Texas)
  12. Avery Skinner (OH, 6-1, Katy, Texas, Baylor, Lone Star)
  13. Ashley Evans (S, 6-1, Liberty Township, Ohio, Purdue, Ohio Valley)
  14. Khalia Lanier (OH, 6-2, Scottsdale, Ariz., Univ. of Southern California, Arizona)
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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

Week 1 at Antalya, Türkiye:

  • USA def. Serbia 3-2 (25-20, 19-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-12)
  • USA def. Italy 3-2 (25-16, 14-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-9)
  • USA def. Korea 3-0 (25-16, 27-25, 25-11)
  • USA def. Türkiye 3-2 (25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 11-25, 15-9)

Week 2 at Brasilia, Brazil:

  • USA def. Croatia 3-1 (17-22, 25-22, 25-18, 25-15)
  • USA def. Thailand 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-16)
  • Japan def. USA 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 25-19, 23-25, 15-6)
  • June 18 at 6 a.m. PT USA vs Brazil

Week 3 at Suwon, Korea (all times PT):

  • 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

Don’t miss the thrilling conclusion of the VNL at the Final Round hosted in Arlington, Texas from July 12-16.

FAQs

  1. What is the Volleyball Nations League (VNL)?

    • The VNL is the world’s premier annual international indoor volleyball tournament, featuring the top 16 teams in the world competing in a three-week preliminary competition.
  2. How does the VNL work?

    • During the preliminary competition, teams play four matches per week. The top eight teams at the end of the preliminaries will advance to the Final Round.
  3. When and where will the 2023 Women’s VNL Final Round take place?

    • The final round will be held on July 12-16 at the College Park Center in Arlington, Texas.
  4. How can I purchase tickets for the final round?

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Conclusion

The U.S. Women’s National Team encountered a challenging loss to Japan in the VNL, highlighting the competitiveness and talent of both teams. With the final round on the horizon, the U.S. team is determined to bounce back and showcase their skills on their home turf. Stay tuned for more exciting volleyball action at the 2023 Women’s VNL Final Round in Arlington, Texas.