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Drews takes on bigger role in USA’s VNL title defence


Drews takes on a bigger role in USA's bid to defend their VNL title

Nanjing, China, July 3, 2019 – Andrea 'Annie' Drews has taken on a bigger role in the United States’ 2019 campaign at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League and she is embracing the opportunity to help her team defend the title.

“My role has been very different this year because I played half of the time and had a bit of a support role last year,” Drews said. “Especially in this final week, I had a lot of opportunities to play and stay out there a lot more.

“It’s been an awesome opportunity to grow this much and learn. I definitely do not have this cushion to fall back on anymore when I’m struggling and trying to find ways to get out of it. In the past our depth has kind of helped and someone could come in and help if I was struggling. I still have a lot of that but I think I’m getting more chances to fight my way out of tough situations and stay on the court to contribute to the team.”

Drews has been consistent this year and has led USA to victories heading into the Final Six. Against Poland, she led her team once again with 23 points to win in four sets.

“It’s been good for Team USA, it’s been different,” she said. “Last year we had one line-up the whole time and we got to watch one group grow, and this year we’ve had a lot of moving parts. It’s been a little bit more complex.

“I feel like we have been learning a lot more as we go. This is good because a lot of good teams do that – they learn as they go and make changes. I’m excited for our chances when we’re doing that.”

With the changes in their line-up week after week, including change in setters, her connection with each setter has been remarkably good.

“We have a dedicated setting coach, who is a facilitator and also directs communication to what we want out of every set. They’ve done an excellent job of seeing what differences hitters have and adjusting to that.”

Amid her hectic playing schedule, Drews endeavours to balance work and play.

“A big thing for me has always been balance. I love volleyball but the minute volleyball becomes my life then I’m bad at it. So a huge thing for me is to spend 40 minutes on the phone with my boyfriend or my family. I like to read a lot, I love to put music on or listen to a podcast, or take a walk and kind of step away and remember who I am out of volleyball, so I’m healthier and better when I come back again.”

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