Three former Nebraska volleyball players were in the starting lineup when the United States women’s national team defeated Thailand 25-13, 25-20, 25-17 on Thursday in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
It was the final preliminary match for the Americans in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, a six-week tournament that included three matches in Lincoln. The Americans finished the prelims with a 12-3 record and have qualified for the VNL Final Six. The Final Six takes place July 3-7 in Nanjing, China, with two pools of three determining the semifinal participants. The other teams to advance to the Final Six are China, Brazil, Italy, Turkey and Poland.
All three Huskers were in the starting lineup because Mikaela Foecke played libero. Ex-Huskers Kelsey Robinson and Jordan Larson were the outside hitters. The U.S. team only had one libero on the 14-player roster this week, and has been playing an outside hitter at the libero position this week. It was the fourth match in a row that the U.S. used a different libero.
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Robinson had 12 points with nine kills on 20 attacks, two ace serves and one block. Larson had nine kills on 21 attacks, one block and one ace serve for 11 points.
Opposite hitter Karsta Lowe scored a match-high 20 points with 16 kills. The Americans’ height advantage at the net played a major part in the match, including a 15-2 margin in blocks.
The U.S. team will now return to California for a week off before the Final Six.