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Three Huskers Make Initial Cut for USA Volleyball's VNL Team
Photo Credit: Aaron Babcock

Three Huskers Make Initial Cut for USA Volleyball’s VNL Team

May 13, 2019

USA Volleyball released its 25-player roster for the upcoming Volleyball Nations League on Monday and three former Huskers made the cut.

Long-time Team USA members Jordan Larson and Kelsey Robinson are joined by Mikaela Foecke, fresh off her graduation from Nebraska. 

Former Huskers Justine Wong-Orantes and Kadie Rolfzen were on the preliminary 30-woman roster announced on May 2 but did not make the cut down to 25.

Coach Karch Kiraly will choose 14 players from that 25-player roster to participate in each stage of the Volleyball Nations League. 

Here is the full roster:

  • Setters (4): Lauren Carlini, Micha Hancock, Carli Lloyd, Jordyn Poulter
  • Liberos (2): Megan Courtney, Mary Lake
  • Middles (7): Rachael Adams, Tori Dixon, Lauren Gibbemeyer, Chiaka Ogbogu, Dana Rettke, Hannah Tapp, Haleigh Washington
  • Outsides (8): Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, Mikaela Foecke, Kim Hill, Madi Kingdon Rishel, Jordan Larson, Simone Lee, Kelsey Robinson, Sarah Wilhite Parsons
  • Opposites (4): Danielle Cuttino, Annie Drews, Karsta Lowe, Jordan Thompson

The VNL is a 16-country event (including 12 core teams and four challengers) for both genders that replaced the FIVB World Grand Prix last year. The teams will play 15 round-robin matches with each core team hosting at least one pod. China will host the VNL Final Six July 3-7 and will take on the top five teams after the conclusion of the preliminary round. 

USA will host one week of the event at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln June 4-6. USA will face off against Korea, Germany and Brazil.

The United States went 2-1 at the Devaney Center last year (beating Poland and Italy but falling to Turkey) before going on the win the inaugural 16-team event and the $1 million top prize with a 17-2 record overall. Larson and Robinson both played in the event last year and will likely do so again.

Foecke will likely make her Team USA debut in the event after graduating from Nebraska this spring. She’s joined on the team by another new college graduate in former Illinois setter Jordyn Poulter. Foecke led the Huskers to four Final Fours and two National Championships during her time at Nebraska, earning numerous conference and national honors. She applied for and got into veterinary school at Iowa State but will delay her enrollment as she pursues a professional volleyball career for at least a year.

Wisconsin’s Dana Rettke, Cincinnati’s Jordan Thompson and BYU’s Mary Lake are all current college student-athletes who made the roster.

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