Defending champions Team USA produced a terrific comeback to beat Netherlands in five sets in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League to register their 11th victory in the tournament.
The Americans, who have already confirmed their final round berth, showed tremendous persistence to fight back from two sets to one down with Andrea Drews top scoring with 24 points.
After clinching the opening set 25-21, Karch Kiraly’s side conceded the following two sets – 25-23 and 25-22. Nonetheless, the coach continued to show faith in his starting line-up to find a way back into the contest.
— USA Volleyball (@usavolleyball) June 19, 2019
Kiraly’s belief in his team was rewarded as they took the fourth set in dramatic fashion, winning 28-26 and ensuring a fifth and final set would be required to divide the two nations.
With the momentum firmly on their side, USA were in full control in the last set and despite the Dutch women saving two set points, the Americans took the decider comfortably 15-7.
Kelsey Robinson’s versatility was again on display against the Netherlands. After filling in as libero on Tuesday against Russia, the former Husker was outstanding at the net, adding 14 points – which included five blocks.
Fellow University of Nebraska graduate Mikaela Foecke, who was drafted into the roster at the 11th hour, also starred with 18 attacks with Chiaka Ogbogu adding 10 points for the Americans.
Coach, commentator and Freeball podcast host Lewie Lett gives us his match analysis:
It was far from vintage USA in the second and third sets but they showed us – like they have before – the fight and hunger to get over the line in games like this. Kiraly could have easily changed things after the third set but stuck with his original team and they repaid that faith ten fold.
Inconsistency seems to be a problem for the Americans and they will need to iron out some of the creases if they were to have a serious chance of defending their title. But with their determination, who knows?