Inspired Thompson helps USA book place in VNL semis

Jordan Thompson starred for Team USA as they defeated Brazil 3-1 to book their place in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League semi-finals in Nanjing, China.

Thompson, one of two starters alongside Dana Rettke who still have remaining collegiate eligibility, replaced USA’s top scorer Andrea Drews in the line-up against the Green and Yellows and did not disappoint. The University of Cincinnati star became the first American to record 30 points in the tournament, hitting 33 in total.

Unlike their opening Finals Week encounter against Poland, the Stars and Stripes got under way in superb fashion, winning the opening set 25-18. The momentum continued for Karch Kiraly’s team in the second as they utilized Thompson out wide to great effect, taking the second 25-17 to ensure a two-set lead.

Service errors hampered the Americans in the third set as Brazil found their rhythm but the defending champions responded terrifically to seal the fourth and final set 25-20.

Mikaela Foecke, Jordan Larson and TeTori Dixon also got their first run outs of the week as Kiraly made full use of his substitutes bench ahead of the semi-final, where the USA will face either China or Italy on Saturday (July 6) after Turkey topped Pool A.

Lewie’s view

Coach, commentator and Freeball podcast host Lewie Lett gives us his match analysis:

It was fitting that Jordan Thompson finished the game – she was nothing short of outstanding. The Americans have now used 13 players from their 14-strong squad – with libero Mary Lake yet to make an appearance – and they look so sharp. Aside from the third set, when Dana Rettke really struggled to get her serve going – which can happen with middle blockers in college, Kiraly will be really pleased with what he’s seen thus far.