18. 06. 2019

VNL 2019 W: With Robinson as libero, USA make historic run against Russia to advance to F6

Source: volleyball.world; Photo: volleyball.world

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The United States joined the group of five Final Six participants of the 2019 FIVB Women’s Volleyball Nations League whose names are known at the end of Day 1 of Week 5. The name of the sixth contestant will remain unknown for, at least, one more day of the Preliminary Round.


China (hosts), Italy and Turkey secured their spots in the Finals via Week 4. Brazil and the USA did it on the opening day of the final week, Week 5.

The United States beat Pool 19 hosts Russia in the city of Yekaterinburg by a 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-18) and will have the chance to defend the VNL title in the Final Six in Nanjing, China. By beating “Zbornaya“ today, the Americans made the biggest ever winning streak against the rivals at major world level tournaments (6).

Despite not having any chance of reaching the Final Six, Russia (3-10; 10 points) made USA’s path to Nanjing very difficult. The United States (10-3; 30 points) needed to recover from a five-point deficit in the first set (12-17) and from a 14-17 in the second set, making an 11-0 run to take the lead in sets 2-0.

USA’s Michelle Bartsch-Hackley scored game-high 16 points, while Haleigh Washington set up 4 kill blocks. Angelina Lazarenko, Irina Voronkova, and Tatyana Iurinskaia notched 9 apiece for Russia.

Interestingly, USA’s head coach Karch Kiraly used outside hitter Kelsey Robinson as libero in the game, and it was not the first time that she jumps in to cover this position in the national team as the same thing happened in the 2018 VNL.

2019 FIVB Women’s Volleyball Nations League, Day 1 – Week 5:

Pool 17 (Ankara, Turkey):

Brazil – Italy 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-23)

Turkey – Belgium 1-3 (27-25, 24-26, 21-25, 23-25)

Pool 18 (Ningbo, China):

Bulgaria – Serbia 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-23)

China – Germany 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-15)

Pool 19 (Yekaterinburg, Russia):

Netherlands – Thailand 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-16)

Russia – USA 0-3 (23-25, 17-25, 18-25)

Pool 20 (Boryeong, South Korea):

Japan – Poland 1-3 (23-25, 23-25, 25-19, 22-25)

South Korea – Dominican Republic 1-3 (19-25, 25-20, 24-26, 28-30)




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