Lloyd: Playing in front of home crowd is awesome 

Team USA setter Carli Lloyd said “it was awesome” to play her first FIVB Volleyball Nations League game of 2019 in front of a 7,000 crowd in their 3-1 success against Germany on Wednesday. 

The University of California graduate set her team to a 45 kill percentage as the USA breezed through the German side at the Pinnacle Bank Arena.

“It felt really good,” the 29-year-old told TeamUSA.org. “I really love this group of girls; they are a load of fun to play with. It is really cool to have such young energy out there with girls who are still playing college and suiting up for USA for the first tournament.

It was awesome, the crowd was amazing. I love playing in front of a home crowd.”

Lloyd’s joy of playing back on home territory was echoed by her teammate and University of Nebraskan alumni, Kelsey Robinson, who top scored with 18 points (11 kills, four blocks and three aces).

“I think it is such a joy to be in America,” Robinson said. “We spend eight months of the year overseas. Playing in front of foreign crowds and to come home to Nebraska and be here in front of a USA crowd, you can’t really match. To have that opportunity here in Lincoln, it is really exciting.”

Elsewhere, University of Cincinnati alumni Jordan Thompson registered 14 points, while Mikaela Foecke also impressed with 13 kills and one ace.

While pleased with the victory, national coach, Karch Kiraly, believes his team can improve ahead of their crunch game on Thursday against archrivals Brazil as they look to stay top of the standings.

“I don’t think we are dialed in as we need to be,” said Kiraly. “That was not Germany’s first team, but mostly their second team. There are still some things we need to clean up.

“We can be happy with the win, happy with the 3-0 result and unhappy with some things we need to get better at. Our blocking was not nearly effective as it should have been over the course of the evening. We also had some really nice, tough serving from Robinson and Thompson – just jumping high, hitting it really flat over the net.

“We are creating these opportunities, but we are not taking advantage of them with a clean block.”

Brazil are a legendary program, and they have a great coaching staff. We are excited and looking forward to the challenge. It should be a fun one.”