Reigning Volleyball Nations League holders United States, with a mix of Tokyo Olympians and newcomers, made quick work of Bulgaria, 25-20, 25-22, 25-20, to open its Week 2 campaign on a high note Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson, one of the five Tokyo gold medalists playing in the Quezon City leg, came through with 14 points and four receptions to lead the Americans.
It was a big bounce back win for USA from the iopening week’s shock loss to undefeated Japan in the event that has Mikasa, Ganten, Gerflor and Senoh as global sponsors and global suppliers, PLDT Home as presenting partner, Rebisco, MG Philippines, TOP Speed Insurance, Asics and Maynilad as official sponsors, Havas Ortega, The Look Company, Summit Outdoor Media, The Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Marketing Media Ventures, Strong Media Advertising Solutions.
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“I’m just so happy to be wearing the USA jersey and back with amazing teammates and fun to play with new faces,” said Robinson, whose match-winning spike sent her team to a 4-1 card.
Among those young standouts who were included in the Philippine roster who shone was opposite spiker Danielle Cuttino, who scored 12 points, including two blocks, and seven digs, and middle blocker Hanna Tapp, who had 11 points.
Setter Micha Hancock, who is also the team captain, like what she saw with the new bunch of players for the opportunity to get better.
“We will just have fun while we play the best of the world,” said Hancock.
Middle blocker Haleigh Washington, another Tokyo Olympian, was the other American in double digits with 10 points highlighted by match-highs four service aces and two blocks.
Fan favorite Justine Wong-Orantes, a member of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics team whose mother is full Chinese and father is full Mexican, was so happy the reception given to her by Filipino fans.
“I’m super excited that the Filipino fans are amazing,” said Wong-Orantes, who collected eight digs. “I’m just looking forward to see the fans coming out in the next couple of days.”
Miroslava Paskova had 14 points, including two blocks, and six digs while Silvana Chausheva added nine points and six digs for the Bulgarians, who suffered their fourth loss in five games.