Team USA completed a perfect fifth week in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League after they dispatched Thailand in straight sets in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
The Stars and Stripes have already qualified for the final round in China next month but that did not stop them from producing a stellar performance to finish the round-robin phase with 12 wins from 15 games.
Lauren Gibbemeyer 🇺🇸 was in charge of the last ball! USA completely dominated and got the set by 25-13.
— Volleyball World (@FIVBVolleyball) June 20, 2019
Led by captain Jordan Larson, Team USA came out the blocks firing in the opening set, which included a five-minute delay due to wires falling from the ceiling at 4-0. However, it failed to distract the Americans as they went to to secure the set in dominant fashion 25-13.
Karch Kiraly’s side were made to work harder in the second set as Thailand began to find their groove but it was again the Americans who prevailed with UCLA alumnus Karsta Lowe adding 10 points to her game-high total.
USA were back to their destructive best in the third set as they comprehensively wrapped the match up in style, winning 25-17.
Thailand’s struggles at the net were illustrated in the block statistics, as USA had a 15-2 advantage with Haleigh Washington contributing five blocks.
Coach, commentator and Freeball podcast host Lewie Lett gives us his match analysis:
USA’s blocking game at the net today was nothing short of excellent. They made their presence felt from the very first point and Thailand struggled to get things going. It’s been said before but Kelsey Robinson continues to play a crucial part in her team’s success and Kiraly will need the former Husker to be at her best once again in China next month.
However, Thailand will leave Russia with their heads held high as they finish the preliminary stages with five wins – three more than they managed in last season’s tournament.