Kathryn Plummer (USA)

With the United States entering the 2021 edition of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League as the back-to-back defending champions, it was a no-brainer for head coach Karch Kiraly to rely on familiar faces to select the squad that would make the trip to Rimini, Italy.

He felt, however, there was a young, up-and-coming player who deserved an opportunity and added 22-year-old outside hitter Kathryn Plummer to the roster.

A three-time collegiate champion with Stanford, Plummer has enjoyed some success at the professional level playing in Italy for Monza and in Japan for Denso Airybees, but her international experience was limited to the Pan-American Games and the Pan-American Cup in 2019.

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Called by Kiraly for the 2021 VNL, she started in the first two matches the United States played in the tournament and helped the team secure wins against the Dominican Republic and Canada adding 16 and 11 points, respectively.

“It's been really exciting to be out here and compete with Team USA,” she said following the team’s victory against the Canadians. “For me, it's an opportunity to establish connections and build relationships with a new group of players and also to experience all these emotions. I'm happy with my performances so far but more important than that, the team has been playing really well and showing a lot of cohesion.”

Kiraly has one of the deepest groups of outside hitters in the entire tournament with team captain and international star Jordan Larson, 2018 VNL MVP Michelle Bartsch-Hackley and veterans Kimberly Hill and Kelsey Robinson.

Plummer believes her game at the net is her main asset

Plummer believes her game at the net is her main asset

The tallest player in the American roster, the 2.01m-tall Plummer, who won a silver medal at the 2014 FIVB U17 Beach Volleyball Championship and did the same in the following year’s FIVB U18 Volleyball World Championships, knows she’ll have to rely on her offensive power to stand out among such strong competition.

“I'm trying to be an offensive force for the team. We rely a lot on ball control and I’m working hard to improve my serve receiving but I also think I can be an option when we’re out-of-system. I’m here to help in any way I can.”