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International volleyball tournament begins in Lincoln on Tuesday with ex-Huskers, Olympians

International volleyball tournament begins in Lincoln on Tuesday with ex-Huskers, Olympians

USA volleyball practice, 5/14/18

USA volleyball coach Karch Kiraly (center) talks with the team during practice Monday at the Devaney Sports Center.  

Coach Karch Kiraly arrived in Lincoln last weekend and brought with him a roster of players who have some Olympic medals.

When the U.S. women’s volleyball team plays Poland on Tuesday, the American roster will feature seven of the 12 players who were on the U.S. bronze medal-winning team at the 2016 Olympics. Two of the players also earned silver medals in 2012.

The U.S. will play Tuesday through Thursday in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League. It’s the start of a new tournament that includes 15 preliminary matches played all over the world, followed by one week of finals. The tournament purse for team and individual awards is $2.2 million.

After finishing up in Lincoln, the U.S. team will travel to Asia for three consecutive weeks of competition.

“We’re really looking at Lincoln as a great opportunity to start this very difficult and challenging competition off on the right foot in very friendly territory,” Kiraly said.

The other teams in Lincoln are Turkey, Italy and Poland. The U.S. is the highest-ranked and most-experienced team here.

Area fans will be familiar with the U.S. players, including ex-Huskers Jordan Larson, Kelsey Robinson and Justine Wong-Orantes. Nebraska is the only college program with three players on the 14-player U.S. roster. Minnesota has two. More than half of the American players played in college at Big Ten Conference schools.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7435 or On Twitter @LJSSportsWagner.


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Sports reporter

Brent has worked at the Journal Star for 14 years. His beats include Nebraska volleyball, women's basketball and high school soccer and cross country.

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