Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

WNT Veterans, Rookies Combine for Victory against Serbia at VNL

The U.S. Women’s National Team kicked off the 2023 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) in style with a hard-fought 3-2 (25-20, 19-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-12) victory over world No. 1 Serbia in Antalya, Türkiye[^1^]. This win sets the stage for an exciting tournament as the U.S. Women look forward to their upcoming match against defending VNL champions and world No. 2 Italy[^2^].

The presence of three Olympic gold medalists – Annie Drews, Micha Hancock, and Justine Wong-Orantes – in the starting lineup played a pivotal role in securing this victory, demonstrating their experience and leadership on the court[^3^].

Match Statistics

Annie Drews was the top scorer of the match, tallying 25 points with 22 kills, two aces, and one block. She also showcased her defensive skills with 14 digs[^4^]. Micha Hancock orchestrated the team’s offense, setting them up for an impressive .343 hitting efficiency, and contributed three points through kills[^4^]. Justine Wong-Orantes, known for her exceptional defensive abilities, recorded 11 digs and four successful receptions[^5^].

The U.S. Women outperformed Serbia in kills (67-61) and blocks (13-8), while Serbia held the advantage in aces (6-5) and capitalized on 28 points from U.S. errors[^6^].

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Rising Stars Make an Impact

In addition to the seasoned veterans, several rookies made their mark in the VNL. Avery Skinner finished the match with 19 points on 17 kills, one block, and one ace, while Khalia Lanier contributed 16 points with 13 kills, two aces, and one block[^7^]. Asjia O’Neal, who entered the match in the third set, showcased her skills with five points from four kills and one block, replacing Dana Rettke[^8^].

This cohesive display of talent and teamwork from both the veterans and the rookies highlights the depth of talent in the U.S. Women’s National Team. As Avery Skinner put it, the contribution of multiple players is a testament to the team’s potential and bodes well for their future performance[^9^].


Q: Who were the top performers in the U.S. Women’s victory over Serbia at the VNL?
A: Annie Drews led the team with 25 points, followed by Avery Skinner with 19 points and Khalia Lanier with 16 points[^4^][^7^].

Q: How did the U.S. Women’s National Team fare in terms of statistics against Serbia?
A: The U.S. Women outperformed Serbia in kills and blocks but trailed in aces and points from errors[^6^].

Q: What role did the rookies play in the U.S. Women’s victory?
A: The rookies made significant contributions, with Avery Skinner and Khalia Lanier delivering impactful performances, and Asjia O’Neal stepping in to replace Dana Rettke in the third set[^7^][^8^].


In their opening match at the 2023 VNL, the U.S. Women’s National Team showcased their prowess by defeating top-ranked Serbia in a thrilling five-set battle. Led by veterans like Annie Drews and Micha Hancock, along with standout performances from rookies Avery Skinner and Khalia Lanier, the team displayed a winning combination of experience and new talent. With a strong start to the tournament, the U.S. Women are poised for further success as they continue their VNL campaign[^1^]. Visit for more updates and exciting volleyball coverage.

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