After suffering three defeats in four games in the VNL, USA coach Karch Kiraly selected a strong line-up from the start. Unlike previous encounters in this year’s competition, Kiraly opted not to make any substitutions during the game.
However, it did not take long for the Americans to find their tempo with opposite Drews, who was not involved in Tuesday’s defeat to Turkey, making her presence felt to clinch the second set 25-23.
Purdue University graduate Drews top scored for the Americans, registering 21 points, while the multi-dimensional former Husker, Kelsey Robinson, put in another complete performance at the Jiangmen Sports Hall.
Coach, commentator and Freeball podcast host Lewie Lett gives us his match analysis:
This victory will provide Kiraly’s side plenty of confidence going forward. The final two sets were excellent for the USA; Lauren Carlini set superbly and with Robinson providing versatility, they look well set for a great game against China.
The performance today will give Kiraly an idea of his strongest line-up and will hope his team have turned a corner after recent defeats. If Drews, Bartsch-Hackley and Robinson continue to play like that, USA will be eyeing a second successive VNL title.