Lauren Carlini won’t be with the USA when it opens Volleyball Nations League play next week in Turkey. No, she and many of the veterans will be home in Anaheim.
“We’re thinking long term here,” Carlini said. “It’s a long summer.”
Carlini is now 28, almost 10 years after leading Wisconsin to the 2013 NCAA Tournament title match. After her college career, she won the Sullivan Award, the first volleyball player to be so honored.
In her pro career, Carlini has played with Savino Del Bene Scandicci and then Igor Gorgonzola Novara in Italy before spending a season with Dinamo Moscow, two years with THY in Turkey, and this past season back in Italy with Casalmaggiore.
“I just got back from a two-week break, which was fabulous, which was much needed after a long, intense season in Italy,” Carlini said. “And coming back in the gym, we have a lot of new faces and young girls, especially this first week or two, as we’re transitioning and ramping up.”
Carlini, an alternate, one of the 23 Strong, for the Tokyo Olympics, will be on the move again next pro season and tells us about that, too.
By the way, coach Karch Kiraly has not released the final list, but you can be certain that the 14 USA players for the matches against Serbia, Italy, Korean and Turkey include quite a few VNL newcomers. Click here for the complete USA 30-player roster.
Carlini, the 6-foot-1 setter from Aurora, Illinois, will likely travel with the USA for the second round that starts June 13 in Brasilia, Brazil, and if not, certainly the last leg that starts June 28 in Suwon, Korea. The VNL finals are in Arlington, Texas, July 12-16, and, as Carlini noted, as the host team, the USA is guaranteed a spot in the quarterfinals.