The United States national women’s volleyball team beat China 25-21, 25-23, 25-21 in Pool 4 of the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) on Saturday in Quezon City, the Philippines.
Li Yingying of China digs during the FIVB Volleyball Nations League Women’s Pool 4 match between China and the United States in Quezon City, the Philippines on June 18, 2022. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali).
On Saturday, U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly went back to the starting lineup he used on Wednesday in a win over Bulgaria: Plummer and Robinson at the outsides, Haleigh Washington and Hannah Tapp in the middle, Danielle Cuttino at opposite, Micha Hancock at setter and Justine Wong-Orantes at libero.
The group showed that it is finding its connections in the victory over China, the world’s No. 3 ranked team. The U.S. Women are ranked No. 1.
“It was very good for us to be challenged by China,” Kiraly said. “To fall behind in the second game and the third. But our team stayed connected and stayed patient. They exhibited a lot of trust in each other and never let it get frantic even when they were down.”
China held a three-point lead at 9-6 in the first set and a six-point lead at 10-4 in the second, but the U.S. fought back each time.
“It was great to have a really good team win,” Plummer said. “It felt like everyone was connected. It was a fun one to win for sure.”
Plummer said her focus was “being smart on attacking.”
“The first set I had a couple of errors I didn’t want. (China has) a huge block when they are in-system; (I focused on) being smart, using edges, getting easy balls.”
Plummer finished with a match-high 20 points on a match-high 18 kills and 2 aces. She was credited with six digs and five successful receptions. Robinson added 15 points on 13 kills, 1 block and 1 ace.
Washington totaled 11 points on six kills, a match-high three blocks and two aces. Cuttino added eight points on seven kills and one block.
Wong-Orantes led the passing game as she was credited with 11 digs and 4 successful receptions.
Tapp scored six points on four kills and two blocks. Hancock scored five points on two kills and a match-high three aces. She set the U.S. Women to a .347 hitting efficiency.
Overall, the U.S. Women led China in kills (50-35), blocks (7-5) and aces (8-3). The U.S. also took advantage of China’s 22 scoring errors while committing only 10.
The U.S. now has six wins and one defeat, leapfrogging China to sit second in the 16-team table in the preliminary phase. China, with five wins and two losses, was pushed down to third place.
Outside hitter, Kathryn Plummer had a game-high 20 points for the United States. Li Yingying led China with 13 points.