Carlini and Larson ‘proud’ of team’s tenacity  

Team USA captain Jordan Larson says she was “really proud” in qualifying for the final round of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League after defeating Russia in straight sets on Tuesday.

The born-and-bred Nebraskan skipper has not featured often in this season’s tournament but played her part in USA’s win with 12 points – 10 kills and a block and ace apiece.

“I thought we came out a little bit slow, but as the match went on, we fought together really well and rode the wave nicely and finished strong,” Larson said.

“I am really proud of our performance as the match went, we got better and better.”

Lauren Carlini echoed her captain’s thoughts in her post-match comments with, saying the team “weathered the storm” early on to book their spot in the last six.

“I am really happy about how our team played,” Carlini said. “Our first match in Russia, against Russia, it is not an easy environment to come into and play hard and win.

“It wasn’t the most orthodox of lineups and we had to change some things throughout the week. I thought we weathered the storm really well, especially in that first set.”

University of Wisconsin graduate Carlini, who set at a 40-kill percentage and added four points with three kills and a block, agreed with coach Kiraly’s thoughts on the “imperfect volleyball” played in Yekaterinburg.

“I think overall, the match wasn’t perfect. As Karch would say, it was very ‘imperfect volleyball’, but we found a way to battle through it and work together and come out on top. I am really proud with how everyone communicated,” added Carlini.

“We battled back and continued to push. Great environment to play in, really cool to play in Russia against Russia. I am so proud of how this team battled.”