International Volleyball

MADI SKINNER LEADS USA TO BEAT THAILAND IN DREAM DEBUT

MADI SKINNER LEADS USA TO BEAT THAILAND IN DREAM DEBUT

The 22-year-old opposite scored 20 points in the first international match of her career

A three-time NCAA champion, Skinner is one of the latest additions to the American squad

Playing her first match in a USA womenโ€™s national team uniform, opposite Madisen Skinner led the Americans to victory in their Volleyball Nations League 2024 debut as the Olympic champions topped Thailand in four sets at the Maracanรฃzinho stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Wednesday. In the second match of the day, the Dominican Republic overcame world champions Serbia also in four sets.

  • Watch Volleyball Nations League 2024 live on VBTV

Having the 22-year-old opposite as their main offensive option, the Americans rebounded from a difficult second set to regain control of the match and down the Asians 3-1 (25-22, 19-25, 25-12, 25-18) in their first match of the season. The outcome of the match didnโ€™t have much of an impact on the FIVB World Rankings, adding 0.8 points to the United States and subtracting the same amount from Thailand, who both kept their positions (second and 13th, respectively).

The encounter will, however, always be a memorable one for Skinner, who left the court as the top scorer in the first international match of her career. A three-time national collegiate champion, she didnโ€™t feel the pressure of the debut and contributed 20 points after registering 13 kills, four blocks and three aces.

โ€œMy teammates supported me through it and gave me a lot of confidence as we were training this past week,โ€ the opposite commented. โ€œBeing on the court with them was awesome, so kudos to them for having my back. Itโ€™s a huge season for Team USA and we have so many important players coming back, so Iโ€™m super excited to see the team weโ€™ll put together. The talent we have is endless, so itโ€™s going to be a great group.โ€

One of the returning players mentioned by Skinner is Olympic champion setter Jordyn Poulter, who was sidelined since December 2022 because of a knee injury and played her first match since then in Rio, appearing as the American captain.

The 26-year-old setter made the American offense perform at a very high level, allowing for four other players to register double digits in scoring โ€“ outside hitters Alexandra Frantti (14) and Madisenโ€™s older sister Avery (11) and middle blockers Anna Hall (12) and Brionne Butler (ten).

The return of Olympic champion setter Jordyn Poulter was another highlight in the American victory

Besides their…

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