U.S. Defeats Netherlands with 2nd Straight Sweep

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, June 12, 2024. – The U.S. Women’s National Team got its second straight sweep in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) on Wednesday when it beat Netherlands (25-21, 25-20, 25-22) in Fukuoka, Japan.

The U.S. Women (6-4) will continue week 3 at 11:30 p.m. PT on Friday when they will play Italy (7-2). The U.S. is in sixth place in the standings and the top seven teams plus host Thailand advance to the Final Round on June 20-23. The Netherlands, which is fighting for an Olympic berth by virtue of its world ranking at the end of VNL, fell to 5-5.

Three players led the U.S. Women with 13 points each. Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson Cook had a match-high 11 kills and two aces. Middle blocker Dana Rettke finished with 10 kills, two blocks and one ace. Opposite Annie Drews, who made her 2024 VNL debut, scored on 10 kills, two aces and one block.

“I think, more than the score, I’m just trying to contribute what I can and bring the energy,” Drews told Volleyball World. “Things that weren’t happening on our side of the court took a backseat today.”

The U.S. Women led Netherlands in kills (48-40) and aces (5-0). Netherlands led in blocks (8-6). The U.S. scored 16 points on Dutch errors and committed 15.

Middle Chiaka Ogbogu scored 12 points on nine kills and a team-high three blocks. Outside hitter Kathryn Plummer scored five points on five kills.

Setter Lauren Carlini scored three points on three kills and set the team to a .321 hitting efficiency. Libero Justine Wong-Orantes made some critical plays and was credited with 11 digs and two successful receptions.

The teams were tied 19-19 in the first set when the U.S. scored on successive kills from Cook, Plummer and Drews and a block from Ogbogu to lead 23-19. Netherlands scored twice and the U.S. called timeout. The U.S. reached set point with a Plummer kill and won the match on a Dutch hitting error.

The U.S. jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the second set and never trailed.

The U.S. led the third set 21-18. Netherlands pulled to within one at 23-22. The U.S. scored the final two points on kills by Carlini and Cook.