Wednesday, 29 May 2024

WNT Wins Second Straight Five-Set Match at VNL

The U.S. Women’s National Team showed their resilience once again, coming back from a 2-1 deficit to secure a thrilling five-set victory against the formidable Italian squad. The match, which took place in Antalya, Türkiye, saw the U.S. team demonstrate their unwavering determination to emerge victorious (25-16, 14-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-9).

The U.S. Women’s team, with a 2-0 record, is set to face Korea on Saturday morning at 7 a.m. PT. Korea has struggled in the tournament, losing both matches to Türkiye and Canada in straight sets.

Impressive Performance Against Italy

U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly made some changes to the starting lineup for the second match of the season. Setter Micha Hancock, outside hitter Khalia Lanier, opposite Annie Drews, and middle blocker Dana Rettke maintained their positions. Roni Jones-Perry was brought in as an outside hitter, while Asjia O’Neal started at middle instead of Brionne Butler. Morgan Hentz took over the libero position from Justine Wong Orantes.

The new lineup started strong, dominating the first set. However, Italy fought back and claimed sets two and three. In set four, the U.S. had a substantial lead, but Italy managed to catch up at 17-17 before the U.S. pulled ahead. In the decisive fifth set, the U.S. took an early lead and never relinquished it.

Impressive Contributions from the U.S. Team

Setter Micha Hancock commended the tenacity and depth of the team, stating, “We like to say 14 strong. Everyone was ready to come off the bench. We have a relentless attitude when we’re all together. It’s really fun to see a bunch of young girls let it rip.”

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The U.S. team showcased their balanced attack, with five players scoring in double figures. Lanier led the team with 16 points, followed closely by Perry with 15 points. Rettke, Drews, and O’Neal also made significant contributions to the team’s success.

A Promising Outlook

U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly expressed his admiration for the team’s resilience, stating, “Two straight matches where we were down 2-1 and come back to tie it and then come out strong in the fifth to close it out. And those are two very good teams: Serbia, the current world champion, and Italy, the team that beat us for bronze in the world championship. Of course, those teams are missing a few players, as is Team USA. But our young people are holding up really well.”

Kiraly is most impressed with the team’s battling spirit and their ability to stay focused. Despite a tough loss in set two, the team came back strong. Kiraly also commended the young players who are competing at the FIVB level for the first time.

Statistical Recap

Italy narrowly outperformed the U.S. in certain statistical categories, including kills, digs, and aces. However, the U.S. Women capitalized on Italy’s errors, scoring 31 points, while only surrendering 22 points due to their own mistakes. Both teams recorded nine blocks.

Looking Ahead

The U.S. Women’s National Team is set to continue their journey in the 2023 VNL. Volleyball enthusiasts in the United States can catch all the action on

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U.S. Women’s Roster for 2023 VNL Preliminary Round 1

  • 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

Week 1 (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 at 7 a.m. USA vs Korea
  • June 4 at 10 a.m. USA vs Türkiye

Week 2 (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
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Week 3 (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


Q: What was the result of the match between the U.S. Women’s National Team and Italy?
A: The U.S. Women’s National Team emerged victorious in a thrilling five-set match against Italy, winning with a score of 3-2 (25-16, 14-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-9).

Q: How did the U.S. Women’s team perform in their previous matches?
A: The U.S. Women’s team currently holds a 2-0 record in the 2023 VNL. They defeated Serbia in a five-set match and secured another five-set victory against Italy.

Q: Who are the key players in the U.S. Women’s roster for the 2023 VNL?
A: The U.S. Women’s roster includes notable players like Micha Hancock, Khalia Lanier, Annie Drews, and Dana Rettke, among others. These players have made significant contributions to the team’s success in the tournament.


The U.S. Women’s National Team continues to defy the odds in the 2023 VNL, showcasing their resilience and determination. Led by Head Coach Karch Kiraly, the team fought back from a 2-1 deficit to secure a thrilling five-set victory against Italy. With a balanced attack and impressive performances from various players, the U.S. team is shaping up to be a force to be reckoned with in the tournament. Stay tuned for more exhilarating matches as the U.S. Women’s team aims to claim the top spot in the 2023 VNL. For live streaming, visit