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USA vs. Brazil, 6.6

Team USA’s Kelsey Robinson digs a shot in the first set against Brazil during the FIVB Volleyball Nations League tournament at Pinnacle Bank Arena in June.

With two matches still to play, the United State women’s national volleyball team has already qualified for FIVB Volleyball Nations League finals after its 25-23, 25-17, 25-18 sweep over Russia on Tuesday in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

The Americans, ranked third in the world, are now 10-3 overall with 30 points in the VNL. Based on Tuesday’s victory and Poland defeating Japan, Team USA has qualified for the VNL Final Six to be held July 3-7 in Nanjing, China.

The U.S. has two more matches left in the preliminary round, against the Netherlands on Wednesday and Thailand on Thursday.

Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley led Team USA with 16 points from 13 kills on 30 attacks and three ace serves. Outside hitter Jordan Larson contributed 10 kills on 18 swings, one block and one ace serve for 12 points.

Former Husker Kelsey Robinson suited up at libero for the first time in 2019 and started the match. She had a team-best 14 digs and was 75 percent positive on 12 serve receptions. With Larson, another ex-Husker, also passing, U.S. coach Karch Kiraly said it was one of the best passing matches of the season for the American team.

Robinson had played outside hitter during her first two weeks on the U.S. roster this year, but Kiraly only put one libero on the roster for Week 5.

Former Husker Mikaela Foecke is also on the roster this week after not being on it during the previous week. Foecke was not originally on the roster when it was announced, but was later added when libero Mary Lake was dropped from the Week 5 roster for an undisclosed reason. Foecke did not play on Tuesday.

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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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