LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, February 4, 2019 – Jordan Larson and Kelsey Robinson will have a return engagement to their University of Nebraska roots as the No. 3 U.S. Women’s National Team hosts a four-team round-robin week of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League June 4-6 in Lincoln, Neb.
The U.S. Women, which won the inaugural 16-team event last year and the $1 million top prize, will host No. 9 Korea on June 4, No. 13 Germany on June 5 and No. 4 Brazil on June 6. All matches will be played at the 15,500-seat Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tournament all-session tickets can be purchased by clicking here, while single day tickets will go on sale Feb. 25.
Tuesday, June 4
Brazil vs. Germany, 4:30 p.m. CT
USA vs. Korea, 7:30 p.m. CT
Wednesday, June 5
Korea vs. Brazil, 4:30 p.m. CT
USA vs. Germany, 7:30 p.m. CT
Thursday, June 6
Germany vs. Korea, 4:30 p.m. CT
USA vs. Brazil, 7:30 p.m. CT
The U.S. and Brazil have had a long-standing rivalry with tremendous respect for each other’s program over the last four decades, including facing each other in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games gold-medal match. The two powerhouses have played each other 50 times since 2008 and the U.S. has won 22 of the matches.
The U.S. opened the inaugural Volleyball Nations League last May on the Nebraska campus and went on to win the first-ever VNL title with a 17-2 overall record.
Unlike last year, this year’s Team USA domestic matches shift to the third week in the five-week long preliminary round schedule. Karch Kiraly, head coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team, feels the later dates on the schedule will be an advantage in drawing even larger support from the Lincoln-Omaha area.
“We had a fabulous time beginning our first-ever preliminary week of FIVB Volleyball Nations League in Lincoln last year, so we couldn’t be happier to do it all over again in 2019,” Kiraly said. “The community and fan support were great for our first experience. Since this year’s version will be held after the school year has ended for most students, we look forward to having even more families and young’uns cheering our women on as we battle for another world title.”
Larson and Robinson starred in Husker scarlet and cream uniforms winning all-American honors before joining the U.S. Women’s National Team. Larson is a two-time Olympic medalist as an outside hitter, including silver at the 2012 London Games and bronze at the 2016 Rio Games. Robinson, who was part of the 2016 Olympic bronze-medal team with Larson, transitioned to libero during last year’s VNL from her typical outside hitter role and became one of the top liberos in the world.
Team USA Meet-and-Greet and VIP Tickets
A unique ticket opportunity for the event includes a Team USA Meet-and-Greet for $250 (plus taxes and fees, no refunds) on June 2 from 3-4 p.m. at Pinnacle Bank Arena. In addition to the meet-and-greet, the plan includes a chalk talk with Kiraly, a greeting from Larson, an autograph session with all the U.S. Women in Lincoln for the matches, a chance to watch the U.S. Women practice the afternoon of June 2 immediately after the meet-and-greet, a mini volleyball and an event program.
“We are extremely excited to welcome back the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team for the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League event,” said Derek Bombeck, sales development manager for the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We love the opportunity to showcase Lincoln, its exceptional facilities as well as a very strong volleyball fan base. We appreciate the partnerships with USA Volleyball for allowing us to host another international competition right here in Lincoln. We look forward to the event and invite visitors from near and far to come and support Team USA on their journey to another VNL title.”
The VNL, a 16-country league for both genders, is in its second season after replacing the FIVB World Grand Prix starting in 2018. The VNL, a joint venture between the FIVB and IMG, serves as the premier annual international women’s tournament. The VNL is comprised of 12 core teams and four challenger teams who will compete in a round-robin format. Each country will play 15 pool play matches with each core country hosting at least one round-robin pod. China, hosts of the VNL Final Six July 3-7, will face the top five teams after the preliminary round with the $1 million prize at stake.
The U.S. Women are familiar with the Lincoln community. Along with hosting the 2018 VNL preliminary week in Lincoln, the Americans hosted and won the 2016 NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament, an event also played at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. The U.S. defeated Dominican Republic on the final night of the event with over 10,000 fans in attendance on a frigid, snowy evening in early January 2016.
2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League Schedule (country listed first in each pool is the host)
Week 1: May 21-23
Pool 1: Poland, Italy, Thailand, Germany
Pool 2: Bulgaria, Japan, Belgium, USA
Pool 3: Brazil, Dominican Republic, Russia, China
Pool 4: Serbia, Netherlands, Turkey, Korea
Week 2: May 28-30
Pool 5: Italy, USA, Dominican Republic, Serbia
Pool 6: Turkey, Germany, Russia, Japan
Pool 7: China, Belgium, Thailand, Korea
Pool 8: Netherlands, Brazil, Poland, Bulgaria
Week 3: June 4-6
Pool 9: China, Italy, Japan, Netherlands
Pool 10: USA, Korea, Germany, Brazil
Pool 11: Thailand, Bulgaria, Dominican Republic, Turkey
Pool 12: Belgium, Serbia, Russia, Poland
Week 4: June 11-13
Pool 13: Italy, Korea, Bulgaria, Russia
Pool 14: Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Dominican Republic
Pool 15: Japan, Serbia, Thailand, Brazil
Pool 16: China, USA, Poland, Turkey
Week 5: June 18-20
Pool 17: Turkey, Belgium, Italy, Brazil
Pool 18: China, Germany, Bulgaria, Serbia
Pool 19: Russia, Thailand, Netherlands, USA
Pool 20: Korea, Japan, Poland, Dominican Republic