Volleyball Nations League: American women swept by Japan prepare for next match in Philippines

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After a week in Bossier City, Louisiana, Japan had the best record after the first round of the Volleyball Nations League.

That’s because Japan scored their time at Brookshire Grocery Arena with a 25-22, 25-20, 25-20 sweep of the United States on Sunday afternoon.

Japan finished the week 4-0, while the United States, Brazil and Poland each went 3-1.

Now they are taking a break as the VNL men’s team kicks off. The American men are in Brazil and face Slovenia on Tuesday. We’ll have more on the men later on Monday.

The American women return to Anaheim and then travel to Quezon City in the Philippines where they will face Bulgaria on June 15. The following matches will be against Poland, China and Thailand. There are 25 players on the USA/VNL roster and 14 have come to Bossier City. There will likely be changes as the team progresses to the next game.

As noted by USA Volleyball, Japan led in kills (47-46), blocks (6-5) and aces (4-0) and scored 18 points on American errors.

“Japan played a very good game and gave us a lot of problems with their short serves,” USA coach Karch Kiraly told USA Volleyball.

“They put us in really awkward positions, and it took way too long for us to adjust. In the meantime, they had a nice team of passers controlling our serves. So we didn’t cause as much trouble as we would like to. They were able to execute their attack much more than we were able to execute and implement our attack.

Annie Drews, who plays professionally in Japan, led the United States with 11 kills and 11 digs. Anna Stevenson had 10 kills, three blocks and six digs. Kara Bajema had 10 kills and five digsd, Madi Kingdon Rishel had seven kills and seven digs, and Sarah Wilhite had six kills and four digs.

Lauren Carlini had 16 digs, 24 assists and one kill. His team hit .250. Morgan Hentz had 15 digs.

Japan, which had previously beaten Korea, Germany and the Dominican Republic, secured 17 wins each from Sarina Koga and Arisa Inoue. Manami Kojima and Inoue had 16 digs each, Kotona Hayashi had 14, and Koga and Nanami Seki had 10. Seki also had 19 assists.

Annie Drews, left, and Ali Frantti, right, watch Dana Rettke ride with Japan’s Nanami Seki/Volleyball World Photo

“I think they played really well,” Drews said of Japan. “They looked like they were playing together a lot and had great clarity about what they were going to do against us.”

Also in Bossier City on Sunday, Poland beat Germany to victory and Canada swept Korea.

In matches in Ankara, Turkey, Thaliand beat China in five, Serbia beat the Netherlands in five and Turkey beat Belgium in four.

Turkey, Serbia and Thailand all went 3-1.

Japan were excited after beating USA Volleyball World photo
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