Team USA has been given a boost with the return of Jordan Larson, Kelsey Robinson and Carli Lloyd for the forthcoming FIVB Volleyball Nations League matches against Korea, Germany and Brazil.
Karch Kiraly’s women are currently in second place in the VNL standings, having claimed five consecutive victories before slipping to a five-set defeat to the Dominican Republic.
The addition of three of the team’s most experienced players, all of whom took time out to recover from their recently completed club seasons overseas, will add steel and resolve as the USA prepare to take the VNL to Lincoln, Nebraska.
Lloyd will play her first volleyball since waving goodbye to Dentil Praia Clube, where she helped the Brazilian side to the 2018 Supercup, and she will link up with Italian side Pomi Casalmaggiore when the Serie A1 resumes later in the year.
Robinson arrives fresh from winning the Turkish League with VakifBank and will be keen to impress for her country after securing a switch to Fenerbahce for the 2019-20 club season.
Eczacibasi VitrA captain Larson expressed her concerns over players burning out due to the rigours of club seasons bleeding almost seamlessly into international schedules, but Eczacibasi’s elimination from the CEV Champions League at the quarter-final stage afforded her additional recovery time ahead of the VNL.
Youth and experience
The trio join up with a youthful USA squad that includes 22-year-old outside Mikaela Foecke, teenage libero Mary Lake, and 22-year-old opposite Jordan Thompson, all of whom made their international debuts at the VNL.
Opposite Annie Drews is the team’s leading scorer in the competition, having notched 72 points, while outside Madi Kingdon Rishel has contributed 63.
Foecke returns to the fold after missing three VNL matches in Italy while she celebrated her wedding.