Volleyball Nations League 2019

Former Nebraska volleyball player Mikaela Foecke (bottom left) and the U.S. women’s national team started the FIVB Volleyball Nations League tournament on Tuesday in Ruse, Bulgaria.

Former Nebraska volleyball player Mikaela Foecke played in a match for the first time with the United States women’s national volleyball team on Tuesday in Ruse, Bulgaria.

It was the first match for the Americans in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, a six-week tournament that will make a stop in Lincoln in two weeks. The U.S. team swept Belgium 25-23, 25-8, 25-22, and never trailed in any set.

Foecke played as a serving sub in the first and third sets. With several of the U.S. players just finishing their professional careers — including former Huskers Jordan Larson and Kelsey Robinson — the U.S. team went with a younger lineup for its 14-player roster for the first week of the tournament, with four players making their national team debuts. Ten of the 14 U.S. players played at Big Ten Conference schools.

Purdue graduate Annie Drews led the U.S. with 14 kills and five ace serves. Middle blocker Dana Rettke, who is still playing at Wisconsin, had six kills and two blocks.

Team USA will play longtime rival Japan on Wednesday.

— Brent C. Wagner

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