VNL: Ali Frantti stars as USA dominates Poland

Team USA at VNL Week 2 in Manila.

Team USA at VNL Week 2 in Manila. –CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Defending champions USA made quick work of Poland, 25-12, 25-21, 25-16, in week two of the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Outside striker Ali Frantti wasted 18 points, including three blocks, and had an excellent defensive effort with seven receptions and six digs in her first game in the Quezon City leg, while opposite striker Nia Reed made lively debut at the VNL.

Frantti, a product of American powerhouse Penn State Division I of the NCAA, is having a great time playing with a group made up of a mix of Tokyo Olympic gold medalists and VNL newcomers.

“It was amazing to be in this group of girls. It was an honor and a privilege to be with all these incredible talents,” said Frantti, who plays for Italian club Chieri ’76. collective effort tonight. I’m very happy with it.

Reed, also a Penn State star, came on as a member of Team USA with 12 points and 13 digs for her fifth win in six games at the World Tournament.

The first experience of playing under legendary coach Karch Kiraly was wonderful for Reed.

“This is actually my first competitive game with USA Volleyball. It’s a blessing to be here right now,” she said.

Team captain Micha Hancock, middle tackle Haleigh Washington and Kelsey Robinson rested for the game. But Madi Kingdon Rishel also stepped up with 12 points, along with Olympian Chiaka Ogbogu, who added nine scorers including a pair of blocks.

The United States, the No. 1 volleyball team in the world, will end their stay in the Philippines against two strong Asian teams against China on Saturday and Thailand on Sunday.

Poland relied on outside striker Martyna Czyrnianska’s 12-point effort to slip to a 4-3 record in the No. 8 seed.

The Poles take on Belgium on Saturday to complete their Week 2 stint.

The top seven teams from the three-week preliminary stage will advance to the final with hosts Turkey in Ankara from July 13-17.

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