Lake, Team USA Win Volleyball Nations League
NANJING, China – Competing with some of the best players in the world, BYU women’s volleyball libero Mary Lake and the U.S. Women’s National Team won the FIVB Volleyball Nations League title on July 7 with a 3-2 victory over Brazil.
The gold medal capped off a two-month experience for Lake that began in early May when she was named to the team’s preliminary roster. After making the team as one of two liberos for the U.S., Lake competed in Bulgaria, Italy, Nebraska and China in the multi-week VNL in her first international experience.
One of three collegiate players to play on the U.S. squad, Lake will enter her senior season this fall for the Cougars. A two-time All-American, the Palm Springs, California, native is a three-year starter who has helped BYU to three-straight WCC titles and NCAA tourney appearances, including the 2018 Final Four.
Lake made the active roster in week one when the U.S. traveled to Belgium for three matches. After sitting in wins over Belgium and Japan, she competed in her first match on May 23 against Bulgaria. Playing in sets one and three, Lake recorded one reception in a sweep.
The following week, Lake and the U.S. traveled to Italy for another three matches. After a win over Serbia, Lake played in all five sets as a defensive specialist in a tight 3-2 victory over the host country with six receptions. Closing out the week, Lake started a match for the first time, playing in the first three sets of a 3-2 setback against the Dominican Republic and recording a team-high 25 receptions with just one error.
Returning to the United States, the Americans hosted a trio of games in Nebraska. Lake sat in a win over South Korea, then played two sets with six digs and 15 receptions in a sweep of Germany. She also played in the final two sets of a 3-1 defeat to Brazil.
In week four, Lake again made the active roster and started all three matches for the U.S. in competition in China. Against Turkey, Lake had 34 receptions in a 3-0 loss. In a 3-1 defeat of Poland, Lake played every set at libero, recording 27 receptions and eight digs. The team closed the week with a sweep of China, with Lake handling 24 receptions and 12 digs.
Lake was inactive for the last week of qualifying in Russia, then rejoined the team for the Finals Round week in China. Lake provided support as Team USA knocked off Poland, Brazil and China before coming from behind 2-0 to defeat Brazil in five sets and win the gold medal.
In all, Lake played in 24 sets over the course of eight matches in the VNL, totaling 44 digs and 134 total receptions.
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