Robinson and Wong-Orantes named to VNL list

USA Volleyball has announced the 25-athlete roster for the United States Women’s National Team for the 2022 Volleyball Nations League (VNL). Former Husker volleyball stars Kelsey Robinson and Justine Wong-Orantes are two of the 25 players in the listing.

The American women are the three-time defending VNL champions as well as the 2020 Olympic gold medalists and the No. 1 ranked team in the world. Fourteen players from the long list will be chosen for each week’s travel roster. The United States Women’s VNL First Preliminary Round will take place May 31-June 5 at Brookshire Grocery Arena in Bossier City, Louisiana.

They will then play the preliminary rounds in Quezon City, Philippines and Calgary, Canada. The finals will take place July 13-17 in Ankara, Turkey.

Karch Kiraly, in his 10th year as head coach of the Women’s National Team, will lead the team along with assistant coaches Erin Virtue, Tama Miyashiro and Alfee Reft.

“We are thrilled to return to competition and begin a new Olympic cycle, especially since we can host the first phase of the 2022 VNL in Shreveport/Bossier City, Louisiana,” said the head coach of the American women, Karch Kiraly. “We’re thrilled with the people on our roster. We have a wide variety of backgrounds, from Olympians to people going through their first time with our program. And finally, we’re eager to face the unknown and see what lessons this group can come together fighting against the strong teams of the world.”

Eight players in the roster return from the group that won the VNL final round in 2021 and later that summer won gold at the Tokyo Olympics: setters Micha Hancock and Jordyn Poulter, blockers centers Chiaka Ogbogu and Haleigh Washington, facing Annie Drews and Jordan Thompson, outside hitter Kelsey Robinson and libero Justine Wong-Orantes.

Eight players on the roster have VNL experience or have been on previous VNL rosters: setter Lauren Carlini; midfielders Tori Dixon, Dana Rettke and Hannah Tapp; facing Danielle Cuttino and outside Kathryn Plummer, Madi Kingdon Rishel and Sarah Wilhite Parsons.

VNL newcomers are setter Jenna Gray, middlemen Brionne Butler and Anna Stevenson, opposite Nia Reed, outsiders Kara Bajema, Dani Drews and Ali Frantti and liberos Morgan Hentz and Kendall White.

Five players on the roster have spent their college careers representing Penn State University. Two each previously played for the University of Minnesota, Stanford University, University of Texas, Purdue University and the University of Nebraska.

1 Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Okla., Penn State University)
2 Jordyn Poulter (S, 6-2, Aurora, Colorado, University of Illinois)
3 Kathryn Plummer (OH, 6-6, Aliso Viejo, CA, Stanford University)
4 Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Cypress, CA, University of Nebraska)
5 Morgan Hentz (L, 5-9, Lakeside Park, Ky., Stanford University)
6 Tori Dixon (M, 6-3, Burnsville, Minnesota, University of Minnesota)
7 Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, Aurora, Ill., University of Wisconsin)
8 Hannah Tapp (H, 6-3, Stewartville, Minn., University of Minnesota)
9 Madi Kingdon Rishel (OH, 6-1, Phoenix, AZ, University of Arizona)
10 Brionne Butler (MB, 6-4, Kendleton, TX, University of Texas)
11 Annie Drews (Opp, 6-4, Elkhart, Ind., Purdue Univ.)
12 Jordan Thompson (Opp, 6-4, Edina, Minn., University of Cincinnati)
13 Sarah Wilhite Parsons (OH, 6-2, Eden Prairie, Minnesota, University of Minnesota)
15 Haleigh Washington (M, 6-3, Colorado Springs, CO, Penn State University)
16 Dana Rettke (Manitoba, 6-8, Riverside, Ill., University of Wisconsin)
17 Dani Drews (OH, 6-0, Sandy, Utah, University of Utah)
18 Kara Bajema (OH, 6-2, Lynden, Wash., University of Washington)
19 Jenna Gray (M, 6-1, Shawnee, Kan., Stanford University)
20 Danielle Cuttino (Opp, 6-4, Indianapolis, Ind., Purdue University)
22 Kendall White (L, 5-5, Zionsville, Indiana, Penn State)
23 Kelsey Robinson (OH, 6-2, Manhattan Beach, CA, University of Nebraska)
24 Chiaka Ogbogu (M, 6-2, Coppell, Texas, University of Texas)
30 Ali Frantti (Ohio, 6-1, Spring Grove, Ill., Penn State)
31 Anna Stevenson (MB, 6-2, Laurens SC, University of Louisville)
33 Nia Reed (Op, 6-1, Fort Lee, NJ, Penn State)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Erin Virtue, Tama Miyashiro, Alfee Reft
Performance Analyst: Brian Hurler
Physiotherapist/Sports trainer: Kara Kessans
Team doctor: Christopher Lee
Consulting Coach: Sue Enquist
Team Manager: Coley Pawlikowski
Sports Dietitian: Shawna Hueglin
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Brandon Siakel

US Women’s VNL Schedule 2022 (all CDT times)

Week 1 – Bossier City, La.
tuesday 31 may
8 p.m. USA vs. Dominican Republic

Friday, June 3
8 p.m. USA vs. Canada

Saturday June 4
8 p.m. USA vs. Brazil

Sunday June 5
3:00 p.m. Japan vs USA

Week 2 – Quezon City, Philippines
Wednesday June 15
2 a.m. USA vs. Bulgaria

Thursday June 16
10 p.m. USA vs Poland

Saturday June 18
6:00 a.m. USA vs. China

Sunday June 19
2am USA vs Thailand

Week 3 – Calgary, Canada
Wednesday, June 29
9 p.m. USA vs Belgium

Thursday June 30
9 p.m. USA vs Serbia

Saturday July 2
3:00 p.m. USA vs Turkey

Sunday July 4
3:00 p.m. USA vs Germany

Finals: July 13-17 in Ankara, Turkey