USA Women sweep Bulgaria, Now 3-0 in VNL


RUSE, Bulgaria, May 23, 2019 – Outside hitter Sarah Wilhite Parsons scored 16 points in leading the U.S. Women’s National Team to a 25-20, 25-16, 25-21 victory over host Bulgaria on Thursday evening to conclude the opening week of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.


The U.S., now 3-0 in the 2019 VNL, resumes action next Tuesday in Conegliano Venato, Italy, as it takes on Serbia on May 28, Italy on May 29 and Dominican Republic on May 30.


Wilhite Parsons powered down 11 kills on 26 attacks while adding three blocks and two aces. Middle Dana Rettke who is still in college at University of Wisconsin, added 12 points with seven kills on 13 swings and a team-best five blocks.


Opposite Jordan Thompson, who has one year remaining at University of Cincinnati, totaled 11 points with two aces. Outside Mikaela Foecke, who just graduated from Nebraska, contributed eight kills, two blocks and an ace.


Team USA’s defense at the net frustrated Bulgaria as the Americans held a 14-3 margin in blocks. Further, the Americans enjoyed advantages of 41-35 in kills and 5-4 in aces.


"I am really impressed with how this group worked and learning, and working together in all the various combinations we have put on the court so far," U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. "We came here not having any expectations. We didn't get a lot of time of training together, and that is not unusual. Almost every team had little time to train and prepare. A lot of teams are playing with some new faces and younger players that involve a lot of learning. We are really proud of the way this group battled and pursued every ball and every rally relentlessly. Lots of great effort, and that is one of the few things we can control."


"Next week we face three very quality opponents next week in Serbia, Italy and Dominican Republic," Kiraly said. "We will certainly be tested there a lot. Unfortunately, we will not be able to take Mikaela Foecke with us. We were certainly excited to do that, but she has bigger and more important things to do as she is getting married a week from Saturday."