USA Sweeps Japan, Netherlands Edges Belgium in 5 to Open #VNL Week 2

  0 Wendy Mayer | May 22nd, 2018 | FIVB Nations League - Women, International Volleyball, News, U.S. Women's Volleyball


Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
22 May 15:40 Belgium  2–3  Netherlands 25–21 19–25 25–23 29–31 10–15 108–115
22 May 19:10 Japan  0–3  United States 20–25 16–25 23–25 59–75

USA def. Japan 3-0

  • USA defeated Japan 25-20, 25-16, 25-23
  • USA moves to 3-1 (10 points); Japan moves to 1-3 (3 points)

The Americans used a strong block and a 21-point effort from Michelle Bartsch-Hackley to score a 25-20, 25-16, 25-23 sweep of Japan to open week 2 of the Volleyball Nations League.

The United States outblocked the Japanese 12-3, including seven stuffs by Lauren Gibbemeyer, and outserved them 4-1 in aces, with three by Bartsch-Hackley, en route to the win.

Bartsch-Hackley continued to make her presence known as the standout scorer for the Americans with a match-high 18 kills, followed by Kim Hill‘s 17 points (15 kills, 2 blocks) and Gibbemeyer’s 11 (3 kills, 7 blocks, 1 ace). Kelly Murphy chipped in six putaways.

Yuki Ishii was the top scorer for Japan with 13 points, all on kills. Mami Uchiseto and Mari Horikawa managed six points apiece, all on kills, while seven other players notched a kill. Japan changed its lineup throughout the match, utilizing 12 of its 14 players in the match, with just Ishii and Haruyo Shimamura going the distance alongside libero Kotoe Inoue.


Netherlands def. Belgium 3-2

  • Netherlands defeated Belgium 21-25, 25-19, 23-25, 31-29, 15-10
  • Netherlands moved to 4-0 (11 points); Belgium moved to 2-2 (6 points)

A handful of kills were the difference in a Dutch five-set win over Belgium, which kept the Netherlands undefeated in Volleyball Nations League action.

The Dutch boasted a 73-63 lead in putaways and held a slight 8-7 margin in aces, to overcome a 14-10 deficit in blocks in an otherwise even match.

Lonneka Sloetjes paced the Netherlands with 26 points (21 kills, 3 blocks, 2 aces), while four other players notched double-digit scoring efforts. Anne Buijs racked up 20 points (16 kills, 3 aces, 1 block) in limited action, starting just the final two sets. Maret Balkestein-Grothues (14), Yvon Belien (10) and Celeste Plak (10) followed. Balkestein-Grothues posted 13 kills, while Plak added 10, while playing in just the first three sets.

Kaja Grobelna was the top scorer in the match with 28 points (22 kills, 4 blocks, 2 aces). Britt Herbots (22), Marlies Janssens (17) and Celine Van Gestel (13) also turned in double-digit scoring performances. Herbots downed 21 kills, while Janssens accounted for eight kills, a team-best seven blocks and two aces. Van Gestel rounded out the offense with 10 kills and two aces.

The Dutch faced a match-point, trailing 29-28 in Set 4, but scored three in a row to send the contest to a decisive fifth set. Balkestein-Grothues was a key factor as the Netherlands surged ahead and on to victory in Set 5.

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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