American Women Get Last Word Against China
In a four-match series versus China, the U.S. finished up with a win for a 2-2 overall series record. Both of Team USA’s wins were in straight sets. In the final matchup on June 12, outside hitter Kelsey Robinson led the match with 18 points: 14 kills, two aces, and two blocks. Also offering significant contributions to the U.S. offense were outside hitter Megan Easy, middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo, and opposite Kelly Murphy.
U.S. Men Undefeated in American Leg of Pool
With two wins over Poland in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, the U.S. Men’s National Team heads overseas for the next round of pool play boasting a 6-0 record in World League play. Previously undefeated Poland fell to 4-2.
In Friday’s five-set (23-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-22, 15-9) win, outside hitter Matt Anderson led the team with 17 kills, while Poland’s Bartosz Kurek led the match with 23 kills. National team rookie Aaron Russell, a recent Penn State grad, started the match, but was pulled in the second set and replaced by Thomas Jaeschke, a current player at Loyola University in Chicago. The next night, however, Russell turned it around, leading all scorers with 20 points (19 kills, one block) during the four-set win in front of a sellout crowd of 10,000 people.
The men’s national team will now head to Iran for the next leg of World League pool play competition. It will be the first time the U.S. team has traveled to Iran.
Women’s National Team Goes Up 2-0 in Pan American Cup
With wins over Puerto Rico and Columbia, the U.S. Women’s National got off to a good start in the Pan American Cup in Lima, Peru. The Pan Am Cup is a qualifier for the FIVB World Grand Prix tournament, which will kick off later this month.
Krista Vansant, playing in her first international tournament for the national team, put away 18 points in Sunday’s match versus Columbia, which the U.S. won 25-21, 25-9, 23-25, 25-16. Current Stanford middle Inky Ajanaku is also making her national team debut and collected 11 kills in the win over Columbia.
The U.S. defeated Puerto Rico in straight sets on Saturday 25-22, 25-12, 25-18. Opposite Alix Klineman led the match with 14 points: 11 kills, two blocks, and an ace. Vansant added 10 kills, while Kristin Hildebrand, who is serving as team captain at the event, contributed seven kills and two aces to the effort. Former USC star libero Natalie Hagglund is playing libero for the team and had a combined total of 24 digs in the two matches.