Kiraly ‘super-excited’ to be back in front of home crowd 

Team USA coach Karch Kiraly believes his side’s slow start in their win against South Korea was down to “being superexcited” to perform in front of a home crowd in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League 

The Americans fought back from a set down to triumph 3-1 in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Tuesday and now sit top of the standings alongside Turkey and Italy tied on 18 points. 

“I am not quite sure how to explain the slow start – that is now two matches in a row with a slow start,” Kiraly told the Team USA website. 

“This one, part of it can be explained by being superexcited. We don’t get to play on home court much. This is really friendly confines; there is lots of family and great fans. It is easy to get a little overly-activated. Eventually, we got some of that energy out and settled down. 

“It is a focus of ours to get our middles going and we had tremendous passing between Megan Courtney at the libero spot and Jordan [Larson] and Mikaela [Foecke]. That was our best passing match in VNL this year. It gives us more of an opportunity to run our middles.” 

It was a superb return to Lincoln for University of Nebraska graduate Larson, who was joined by fellow former Huskers Kelsey Robinson and Foecke, as she registered 13 points at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. 

“It is great to be back [in the USA],” Larson said. “We are really honored to be a part of this tournament and be in Lincoln again. The fans came out and showed their support, and that was great for us. 

“The Koreans rely on their passing system and try to run a lot of combos. The fact we were able to get them out of system with serving pressure took a lot of pressure off us defensively and made our job easier.”