Friday, 22 September 2023

International Volleyball

Roster set as USA opens with Colombia in “Road to Paris Volleyball Qualifier”

Volleyball Nations League: China beats USA, which plays Japan in quarterfinals

Haleigh Washington attacks against China during VNL in July/Volleyball World

The path to the Olympics officially gets underway for the USA women on Saturday against Colombia in Lodz, Poland.

That’s their site of the Road to Paris Volleyball Qualifier where teams will be begin to claim spots in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

As explained by USA Volleyball:

There are two other eight-team qualifiers going on at the same time in Japan and China. At the end of the three qualifiers, six teams for the Olympics will be determined, plus the host country France.

The other five teams will be determined based on world rankings in June 2024.

The USA women, who won the gold medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, are currently ranked No. 2 in the world behind Türkiye, followed by Serbia, Brazil, Italy, China, Poland, Japan, the Netherlands and Dominican Republic. 

Türkiye won Volleyball Nations League this summer and last week the Dominican Republic defeated the Americans in the NORCECA Continental Cup gold-medal match.

In Poland, the USA plays seven matches in nine days (all times Eastern):

Saturday, September 16, vs. Colombia, 5:30 a.m.
Sunday, September 17, vs. Thailand, 8:30 a.m.
Tuesday, September 19, vs. Slovenia, 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 20, vs. Korea, 8:30 a.m.
Friday, September 22, vs. Italy, 2:45 p.m. 
Saturday, September 23 vs. Poland, 11:30 a.m.
Sunday, September 24, vs. Germany, 11:30 a.m.

All matches can be seen on Volleyball World TV. Use “VOLLEYBALLMAG” for a discount.

The USA is in Pool C. Pool A in Ningbo, China, has Canada, China, Czechia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Netherlands, Serbia and Ukraine; and Pool B in Tokyo has Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Japan, Peru, Puerto Rico and Türkiye.

The USA roster looks a bit different than the one that finished fourth in Volleyball Nations League. To begin with, Olympic setter Micha Hancock is out with an injury. The USA was already without starting Olympic setter Jordyn Poulter, who is recovering from major knee surgery.

So backing up Lauren Carlini, who split time with Hancock in VNL, will be veteran Ashley Evans. Evans has been with the team all spring and summer and was with the squad for VNL. The Purdue product played in one match. 

Coach Karch Kiraly told us, “Our plan had Micha on our roster, as we did in NORCECA, but she is unable to participate at this time. 

“Looking back, we cannot remember a single major event going ‘according to plan,’ and this is no…

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