USA Canada Volleyball Nations League 2024

American players pose after their successful first match in Arlington

After getting mixed results in the opening week of the Volleyball Nations League 2024, the United States made great use of their homecourt advantage to start the second week of the event with a solid win over Canada on Tuesday. On the same day, Poland secured their fifth victory in the tournament, beating world champions Serbia.

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Playing at the College Park Center, in Arlington, Texas, the Americans integrated many key players who missed the first week of the VNL into their matchday squad and displayed a solid game to beat the Canadians, who were one of the top teams of the opening week, 3-1 (25-22, 25-17, 23-25, 25-20) in front of their home fans.

The Olympic champions, who returned home from Rio de Janeiro ten days ago with two wins and two losses, now rank sixth in the VNL 2024 standings with nine points, the same amount as Canada, who are in seventh place.

While the 4.16 FIVB World Ranking points that exchanged hands after the match didn’t make much of an impact for the Americans, who remain in fourth place, now with 355.23, they pushed Canada outside the qualification zone for the Paris Olympics as they are now down to 286.45 points and were passed by the Netherlands, who have 286.67.

Two players who were making their VNL 2024 debuts on Tuesday were key offensive pieces for the USA as outside hitter Kathryn Plummer registered 16 points (14 kills, two blocks) and opposite Jordan Thompson tallied another 15 (13 kills, one block, one ace). Tokyo Olympics MVP Jordan Larson also had 15 points, with 12 kills, two blocks and one ace.

Canada had the two players with the most points scored in the match in outside hitter Alexa Gray, who left the court with 23 points (20 kills, two aces, one block), and opposite Kiera Van Ryk, who contributed 20, with 17 kills, two blocks and one ace.

The Canadians will play their next match on Thursday, at 16:00 local time (23:00 GMT), against Germany, while the Americans will have a pair of days off until they face Bulgaria on Friday, at 20:00 local time (03:00 GMT, Saturday).

Poland continue to win as Wołosz debuts

The first match of the VNL 2024 in Arlington had European volleyball heavyweights Poland and Serbia and saw the Polish continue undefeated after they secured a 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-18, 25-22) over the back-to-back world champions.

Poland, who dropped their first set in the tournament against the Serbians, counted on star setter Joanna Wołosz for the first time in the season and she connected particularly well with opposite Magdalena Stysiak, who produced a match-high 23 points (21 kills, two blocks), and outside hitter Natalia Medrzyk, who scored another 18 (16 kills, one block, one ace).

“I felt that we stopped the good volleyball we had been playing in the second set and gave Serbia the opportunity to come back,” Stysiak remarked. “But the most important thing for us was taking all three points and we did it against a very strong Serbian team. Against them, we need to be at our 100% the entire time. The atmosphere within the team has been great and that’s been pushing us to good results.”

Joanna Wolosz Poland Serbia Volleyball Nations League 2024

In her first match in the VNL 2024, Joanna Wołosz led Poland to victory over Serbia

Serbia had four players scoring in double digits - outside hitters Katarina Lazovic (14) and Aleksandra Uzelac (12) and opposites Vanja Bukilic (11) and Ana Bjelica (ten).

After securing their fifth victory in the VNL 2024, the Polish continue at the top of the VNL standings with 15 points. The result also gave them 5.88 World Ranking points and took the same amount from Serbia's total, but the teams remained in third and seventh places, respectively.

Poland will play Korea on Thursday at 12:30 local time (19:30 GMT), while Serbia is set to face defending champions Türkiye on the same day at 19:30 local time (02:30 GMT, Friday).

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

On Wednesday, the other four teams set to play this week in Arlington will have their first matches, with Korea and Bulgaria meeting at 11:00 local time (18:00 GMT) and Germany and Türkiye battling at 14:30 local time (21:30 GMT).

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