Back-to-back FIVB Volleyball Nations League champions the United States are ready to defend the titles they won in 2018 and 2019 as the team announced its roster for the 2021 edition of the tournament, which will be played Rimini, Italy in a secure 'bubble', from May 25.
Larson highlights USA’s VNL squad
2019 MVP Annie Drews is also part of the American list
Published 09:36, 13 May 2021
Head coach Karch Kiraly has selected 18 players to make the trip to Italy and he’ll pick 14 from this group to form the Americans’ game day roster in each of the five three-day segments of the preliminary round.
The list is headed by 34-year-old outside hitter and team captain Jordan Larson, a two-time Olympic medallist who was crowned as the champion of the inaugural edition of the new American League Athletes Unlimited less than two months ago.
Kiraly’s group features three other Olympic medallists, including 33-year-old middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo-Gunderson, who like Larson won silver at London 2012 and bronze at Rio 2016, and outside hitters Kimberly Hill and Kelsey Robinson, who were both part of the American squad in Rio.
Opposite Annie Drews, the Most Valuable Player of the 2019 VNL, was also included in Kiraly’s list as well as outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, who received the same award in the American victory the previous season.
The USA will play against the Dominican Republic, Canada and Brazil in their first three matches in the tournament, which are scheduled for May 25, 26 and 27, respectively.
USA’s 2021 VNL roster
Micha Hancock, Jordyn Poulter, Lauren Carlini
Annie Drews, Jordan Thompson
Kathryn Plummer, Jordan Larson, Sara Wilhite Parsons, Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, Kimberly Hill, Kelsey Robinson
Tori Dixon, Hannah Tapp, Foluke Akinradewo-Gunderson, Hailegh Washington, Chiaka Ogbogu
Justine Wong-Arantes, Megan Courtney