USA defeat Japan in Arlington and progress to the next round

The reigning Olympic champions will face the victors of the Italy versus Türkiye match in the semifinals.

USA Volleyball team

USA Advances in Arlington with Victory over Japan The United States volleyball team emerged victorious in their match against Japan, securing a spot in the semifinals of the 2023 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) Finals. The three-time VNL champions, also reigning Olympic champions, showcased their skills in front of their home fans at the College Park Center in Arlington, Texas.

Final score

In the quarterfinal match held on the opening day of the VNL Finals, the American team triumphed over Japan with a 3-1 victory (25-23, 25-21, 18-25, 25-18). This win granted them the second spot in the semifinals alongside Poland, who had advanced earlier.

While the Americans now eagerly await their next opponents, which will be determined on Thursday, it is either defending champions Italy or Türkiye who will face them in the semifinals. The victory over Japan held particular significance for the US team, as Japan was one of only two teams to defeat the Olympic champions during the Preliminary Phase of the VNL 2023.

Players statistic

Head coach Karch Kiraly strategically selected seven Olympic champions to form the roster for the VNL Finals. Against Japan, Annie Drews and Kelsey Robinson Cook, both Olympic champions, stood out with their strong performances. Drews, playing as the left-handed opposite, scored 13 points (11 kills, two aces), while Robinson Cook, a veteran outside hitter, contributed 11 points (ten kills, one block).

Setter Micha Hancock expressed her excitement about playing at home after three weeks of international competition. The homecourt advantage and the opportunity to sing the national anthem in their home country provided a significant boost. Hancock also acknowledged Japan’s challenging defense, which required the US team to display patience and resilience.

USA Volleyball team

Additionally, rookie outside hitter Avery Skinner made a notable impact off the bench in the third set, accumulating 11 points (nine kills, two blocks) for the American team.

Japan’s Yukiko Wada led the match as the top scorer, contributing 14 points (13 kills, one block). Three other Japanese players, Arisa Inoue, Airi Miyabe, and Sarina Koga, reached double-digit scores with 12, 10, and 10 points, respectively.

Despite committing more errors than their opponents (26 compared to Japan’s 19), the strong offensive performance of the US team compensated for this discrepancy. The American team showcased their prowess in kills (62 to 50) and blocks (ten to nine). Both teams recorded two aces during the match.

Olimpic Games YearPlace in Olimpic Games
Statistic USA Volleyball team in Olimpic Games

5 interesting facts about USA volleyball Olimpic team

  • The United States has been a dominant force in beach volleyball at the Olympic Games. Talented teams like Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings, as well as Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, have won multiple gold medals and solidified the USA’s reputation as a powerhouse in the sport.
  • The USA Men’s Indoor Volleyball team has also seen success at the Olympic level. They won gold at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and achieved notable performances, including a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
  • In the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the USA Women’s Indoor Volleyball team made history by winning the first-ever gold medal in women’s volleyball. This victory marked a significant milestone for women’s sports on the international stage.
  • The USA Volleyball Olympic team boasts some of the world’s best players, both male and female. Athletes like Karch Kiraly, Misty May-Treanor, Logan Tom, and many others have left a lasting impact on the sport with their exceptional skills and achievements.
  • Volleyball has gained popularity in the United States, with an increasing number of young athletes pursuing the sport at the collegiate and professional levels. The success of the USA Volleyball Olympic teams has played a significant role in inspiring the next generation of players.
General Sport Observer Marc Defaou
reviewed by: Marc Defaou (Sport Expert)

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