The United States women’s national volleyball team is once again coming to Lincoln.

The city was chosen as one of the host sites for the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, an annual tournament that takes teams all over the world for six weeks. Lincoln will host a four-team round-robin week of the tournament June 4-6.

The U.S. women, who won the inaugural 16-team event last year and the $1 million top prize, will host ninth-ranked Korea on June 4, No. 13 Germany on June 5 and No. 4 Brazil on June 6.

All matches will be played at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Last year the event was at the Devaney Sports Center. In the site selection process, there were two separate proposals from groups wanting to host in Lincoln, at Pinnacle Bank Arena and the Devaney Sports Center.

Last year, former Nebraska volleyball players Jordan Larson, Kelsey Robinson and Justine Wong-Orantes were on the U.S. roster for the tournament, and there is a good chance a few ex-Huskers will be on the roster again this summer.

The U.S. and Brazil have had a long-standing rivalry with tremendous respect for each other’s program over the last four decades, including facing each other in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games gold-medal matches. The two powerhouses have played each other 50 times since 2008, and the U.S. has won 22 of the matches.

The U.S. opened the inaugural Volleyball Nations League last May in Lincoln and went on to win the first-ever VNL title with a 17-2 overall record.

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Unlike last year, this year’s Team USA domestic matches shift to the third week in the five-week long preliminary round schedule. Team USA will be coming to Lincoln from Italy. The U.S. will also travel to Bulgaria, China and Russia. The Final Six round will be in China.

Karch Kiraly, head coach for the U.S. women’s national team, feels the later dates on the schedule will be an advantage in drawing larger crowds. There were crowds of about 5,000 for each match in Lincoln in 2018.

“We had a fabulous time beginning our first-ever preliminary week of FIVB Volleyball Nations League in Lincoln last year, so we couldn’t be happier to do it all over again in 2019,” Kiraly said in a news release. “The community and fan support were great for our first experience. Since this year’s version will be held after the school year has ended for most students, we look forward to having even more families and young’uns cheering our women on as we battle for another world title.”

Tournament all-session tickets can be purchased already through Ticketmaster, while single day tickets will go on sale Feb. 25.

Photos from last year's international tourney in Lincoln

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


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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