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U.S. Women Edge Host Serbia in Five

By Bill Kauffman | Aug. 11, 2013, 6:14 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman, USA Volleyball Senior Manager of Communications, Phone: 719-228-6800, Email: bill.kauffman@usav.org
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BELGRADE, Serbia (Aug. 11, 2013) – Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) scored six of her match-high 25 points in the deciding fifth set to lead the top-ranked U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team to a 25-14, 22-25, 25-17, 23-25, 15-12 victory over host and previously undefeated Serbia Sunday evening in the FIVB World Grand Prix Pool F being held at Belgrade, Serbia.

The U.S. improves to 5-1 overall with 14 points, while ninth-ranked Serbia falls to 5-1 with 16 points and in third place in World Grand Prix. The Americans, which are in fifth place, travel to Sendai, Japan, on Monday to face Czech Republic (2-4, 6 points) on Aug. 16, host Japan (6-0, 17 points) on Aug. 17 and Bulgaria (4-2, 13 points) on Aug. 18 in Pool M, the third and final preliminary round stage of the World Grand Prix. The top five teams in the 20-team field plus Japan advance to the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 in Sapporo, Japan. Team USA matches can be viewed live online by clicking here.

The U.S. is now 6-2 all-time against Serbia, including three-set wins at the 2012 Olympic Games and during the third weekend of the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix. Seven of the eight matches in the all-time series have been since 2011.

Murphy scored her 25 points with 22 kills on 42 attacks, two blocks and an ace. Christa Harmotto (Hopewell Township, Pa.) chalked up nine kills on 17 attacks to go with a match-high six blocks for 15 points. Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah) tacked on 11 points with eight kills, two blocks and an ace. Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) reached 11 points with nine kills on 30 attacks and two aces. Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) added nine points with seven kills on 15 swings, one block and one ace.

Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) added two points with a kill and block, while Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) and Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) each recorded an ace. Juliann Faucette (San Diego) rounded out the scoring with a kill.

The U.S. turned in a .242 hitting efficiency (57-25-132) and 43.2 kill percent as Glass provided 23 running sets on 94 set attempts and Thompson added three running sets. Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa), Hildebrand and Hill all were credited with 11 excellent receptions. Hill charted a team-high eight digs and Hildebrand added six digs.

Team USA held advantages over Serbia in kills (57-50) and aces (7-4), while Serbia held a slim 13-12 margin in blocks. The Americans benefited from 34 errors by Serbia and limited their miscues to 26. The U.S. charted a 22-19 edge in digs, while Serbia had 52 excellent receptions on 100 attempts to the Americsns’ 33 on 79 attempts.

U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly started Hildebrand and Hill at outside hitter, Gibbemeyer and Harmotto at middle blocker, Murphy at opposite and Glass at setter. Banwarth was the libero for the match. Thompson was sub in all five sets, while Lichtman entered off the bench in the final four sets. Faucette was subbed into the match the first two sets.

Jovana Brakocevic led Serbia with 22 points, while Brankica Mihajlovic added 20 points in the loss.

The U.S. broke a 7-all tie in the opening set with a 5-0 run that included two aces by Hill to take a 12-7 advantage. The Americans stretched the lead to 20-12 with a 4-0 run on Gibbemeyer’s serve that included an ace. The U.S. capped the set at 25-14 as Hill finished with six points.

Team USA jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the second set, but Serbia bounced back to take the lead at 11-10 with a 4-0 run. The hosts pushed their lead to 17-14 and held on for a 25-22 victory after the U.S. closed to 22-21.

In the third set, the U.S. trailed 6-4 before going on a 9-4 run to establish a 13-10 advantage at a Serbia timeout. Serbia battled to within one at 15-14, but the Americans pushed to an 18-14 lead capped by a Lichtman ace. Team USA increased the lead to 23-16 on a 4-0 run with two blocks by Harmotto before closing the set at 25-17.

Team USA recovered from an early 5-2 deficit in the fourth set by going on a 7-1 run to establish a 10-6 advantage. After Serbia cut its deficit to one at 12-11, the U.S. benefited from three straight Serbia errors to extend its margin back to four points at 15-11. Serbia responded with a 8-1 run out of the second technical timeout to regain a three-point lead at 20-17. The U.S. leveled the score at 23-all with a 3-0 run, but Serbia scored the final points of the set for a 25-23 victory.

In the deciding fifth set, Thompson ( came off the bench and immediately served an ace to yield a 4-2 advantage to the U.S. Serbia knotted the score at 7-all with a block and took its first lead of the fifth set at 9-8. Team USA went back in front 10-9 with a Gibbemeyer block after a Serbia service error. The Americans pushed a two-point cushion at 13-10 with two kills from Murphy around a kill by Hildebrand. The U.S. sided out to a 15-12 victory ending on a Serbia service error.

The FIVB World Grand Prix utilizes a grueling format that includes a three-weekend preliminary round schedule with four teams competing in five different cities each weekend from Aug. 2-18. The FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round will take place Aug. 28-Sept. 1 in Sapporo, Japan, with the top five countries from the preliminary round plus Japan as the host country. Japan has hosted the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round four previous times, the most recent being in 2009.

The U.S. has won the last three FIVB World Grand Prix events and has won five titles overall (1995, 2001, 2010, 2011, 2012). The Americans will be attempting to win an unprecedented four straight titles as Brazil won three times from 2004-2006. Since 2010, the U.S. has captured every FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round gold medal and recorded a 40-5 record in the event over the last three years.

U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team World Grand Prix Preliminary Roster
# - Name (Position, Height, Spike Touch, Block Touch, Hometown, College)
1 - #^ Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, 10-0, 9-10, Leland, Mich., Penn State University)
2 - Danielle Scott (MB, 6-2, 10-8, 9-11, Baton Rouge, La., Long Beach State University)
3 - ^ Courtney Thompson (S, 5-8, 9-0, 8-8, Kent, Wash., University of Washington)
4 - Sonja Newcombe (OH, 6-1, 10-0, 9-10, Lake Arrowhead, Calif., University of Oregon)
5 - #^ Tamari Miyashiro (L, 5-7, 9-4, 8-9, Kaneohe, Hawaii, University of Washington)
6 - Nicole Davis (L, 5-4, 9-4, 8-9, Stockton, Calif., University of Southern California)
7 - #^ Cassidy Lichtman (OH, 6-1, 9-10, 9-2, Poway, Calif., Stanford University)
8 - #^ Lauren Gibbemeyer (MB, 6-2, 10-1, 9-7, St. Paul, Minn., University of Minnesota)
9 - Alix Klineman (OH, 6-5, 10-7, 9-8, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Stanford University)
10 - #^ Kristin Hildebrand (OH, 6-1, 9-10, 9-4, Orem, Utah, Stanford University)
11 - Alaina Bergsma (OPP, 6-3, 10-4, 9-10, Chandler, Ariz., University of Oregon)
12 - #^ Kayla Banwarth (L, 5-10, 9-8, 9-3, Dubuque, Iowa, University of Nebraska)
13 - #^ Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, 10-7, 9-10, Hopewell Township, Pa., Penn State University)
14 - # Nicole Fawcett (OPP, 6-4, 10-2, 9-7, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State University)
15 - #^ Kelly Murphy (OPP, 6-2, 10-4, 10-1, Wilmington, Ill., University of Florida)
16 - #^ Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, 10-6, 10-2, Portland, Ore., Pepperdine University)
17 - #^ Lauren Paolini (MB, 6-4, 10-5, 9-10, Ann Arbor, Mich., University of Texas)
18 - #^ Regan Hood (OH, 6-2, 10-3, 10-0, Dallas, Texas, LSU)
19 - ^ Juliann Faucette (OPP, 6-2, 10-6. 10-1, San Diego, Calif., University of Texas)
20 - # Jenna Hagglund (S, 5-10, 9-7, 9-6, West Chester, Ohio, University of Washington)
21 - Cursty Jackson (MB, 6-2, 10-6, 10-2, Los Angeles, Calif., University of Arizona)
22 - #^ Rachael Adams (MB, 6-2, 10-5, 10-1, Cincinnati, Ohio, University of Texas)
# - Selected for Week 1 Roster
^ - Selected for Week 2 Roster

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Reed Sunahara, Tom Black (Weeks 1/2), Cecile Reynaud (Week 3, Final Round)
Technical Coordinator: Joe Trinsey
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek Team Leader: Cecile Reynaud (Weeks 1/2), Kenny Sullivan (Week 3, Final Round)

CLICK HERE for current standings

2013 FIVB World Grand Prix Schedule (all match times local)

Pool A – Campinas, Brazil
Aug. 2: United States def. Russia 25-20, 17-25, 25-21, 25-12
Aug. 2: Brazil def. Poland 21-25, 25-17, 25-15, 25-20
Aug. 3: Brazil def. Russia 26-28, 26-24, 25-19, 22-25, 15-8
Aug. 3: United States def. Poland 25-22, 25-23, 25-16
Aug. 4: Brazil def. United States 17-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-20
Aug. 4: Russia def. Poland 25-21, 22-25, 29-27, 28-30, 15-13

Pool B – San Domingo, Dominican Republic
Aug. 2: Czech Republic vs. Puerto Rico 25-14, 25-20, 25-18
Aug. 2: Serbia def. Dominican Republic 25-13, 25-20, 25-16
Aug. 3: Serbia def. Czech Republic 28-26, 25-18, 25-23
Aug. 3: Dominican Republic def. Puerto Rico 25-14, 26-24, 25-21
Aug. 4: Serbia def. Puerto Rico 25-22, 22-25, 25-17, 25-17
Aug. 4: Dominican Republic def. Czech Republic 25-22, 25-20, 23-25, 25-18

Pool C – Ankara, Turkey
Aug. 2: Turkey def. Algeria 25-13, 25-18, 25-15
Aug. 2: Japan def. Thailand 25-19, 25-17, 25-21
Aug. 3: Japan def. Algeria 25-10, 25-8, 25-8
Aug. 3: Turkey def. Thailand 25-23, 26-24, 25-22
Aug. 4: Thailand def. Algeria 25-7, 25-14, 25-13
Aug. 4: Japan def. Turkey 25-21, 30-28, 18-25, 25-18

Pool D – Macau, China
Aug. 2: Netherlands def. Cuba 25-20, 25-14, 25-11
Aug. 2: China def. Bulgaria 25-13, 26-24, 25-23
Aug. 3: Bulgaria def. Netherlands 20-25, 25-15, 25-20, 25-23
Aug. 3: China def. Cuba 25-13, 25-20, 25-15
Aug. 4: Bulgaria def. Cuba 25-8, 25-15, 25-16
Aug. 4: China def. Netherlands 26-24, 19-25, 25-17, 25-17

Pool E – Montichiari, Italy
Aug. 2: Germany def. Kazakhstan 25-23, 23-25, 25-19, 25-17
Aug. 2: Italy def. Argentina 25-21, 25-20, 25-17
Aug. 3: Argentina def. Germany 25-23, 13-25, 18-25, 25-21, 15-12
Aug. 3: Italy def. Kazakhstan, 28-26, 25-17, 25-13
Aug. 4: Argentina def. Kazakhstan 15-25, 25-15, 23-25, 25-20, 15-9
Aug. 4: Italy def. Germany 25-23, 25-20, 24-26, 25-20

Pool F – Belgrade, Serbia
Aug. 9: Serbia def. Netherlands 25-18, 25-16, 25-21
Aug. 9: United States def. Algeria 25-12, 25-15, 25-11
Aug. 10: Serbia def. Algeria 25-11, 25-12, 25-11
Aug. 10: United States def. Netherlands 25-20, 25-16, 25-12
Aug. 11: Netherlands def. Algeria 25-15, 25-7, 25-6
Aug. 11: United States def. Serbia 25-14, 22-25, 25-17, 23-25, 15-12

Pool G – Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Aug. 9: Brazil def. Dominican Republic 20-25, 25-22, 25-12, 25-18
Aug. 9: Bulgaria def. Puerto Rico 25-21, 25-20, 25-10
Aug. 10: Bulgaria def. Brazil 25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 25-21
Aug. 10: Dominican Republic def. Puerto Rico 25-22, 25-23, 25-20
Aug. 11: Dominican Republic def. Bulgaria 25-22, 18-25, 25-23, 28-30, 16-14
Aug. 11: Brazil def. Puerto Rico 25-14, 25-15, 25-17

Pool H – Plock, Poland
Aug. 9: Japan def. Germany 18-25, 20-25, 25-20, 25-22, 15-12
Aug. 9: Poland def. Kazakhstan 25-17, 25-17, 25-11
Aug. 10: Japan def. Kazakhstan 23-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-20
Aug. 10: Germany def. Poland 25-17, 25-17, 26-24
Aug. 11: Germany def. Kazakhstan 25-14, 25-11, 20-25, 25-19
Aug. 11: Japan def. Poland 25-19, 26-24, 25-15

Pool I – Hong Kong, China
Aug. 9: Turkey def. Argentina 25-17, 25-14, 34-36, 25-18
Aug. 9: China def. Czech Republic 25-14, 25-17, 25-13
Aug. 10: Turkey def. Czech Republic 25-23, 25-18, 25-15
Aug. 10: China def. Argentina 25-17, 26-24, 25-22
Aug. 11: Czech Republic def. Argentina 25-20, 21-25, 25-22, 25-20
Aug. 11: China def. Turkey 19-25, 25-17, 25-20, 15-25, 15-10

Pool J – Ekaterinburg, Russia
Aug. 9: Russia def. Italy 25-13, 18-25, 25-18, 26-24
Aug. 9: Thailand def. Cuba 25-21, 25-17, 21-25, 25-19
Aug. 10: Russia def. Thailand 25-20, 25-23, 25-22
Aug. 10: Italy def. Cuba 25-16, 25-16, 25-20
Aug. 11: Russia def. Cuba 25-17, 25-14, 16-25, 25-17
Aug. 11: Italy def. Thailand 25-18, 25-14, 29-27

Pool K – Almaty, Kazakhstan
Aug. 16: Cuba vs. Brazil, 3 p.m.
Aug. 16: Kazakhstan vs. Netherlands, 6 p.m.
Aug. 17: Brazil vs. Netherlands, 3 p.m.
Aug. 17: Kazakhstan vs. Cuba, 6 p.m.
Aug. 18: Cuba vs. Netherlands, 3 p.m.
Aug. 18: Kazakhstan vs. Brazil, 6 p.m.

Pool L – Bangkok, Thailand
Aug. 16: Thailand vs. Puerto Rico, 4 p.m.
Aug. 16: Germany vs. Russia, 6:30 p.m.
Aug. 17: Russia vs. Puerto Rico, 2 p.m.
Aug. 17: Thailand vs. Germany, 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 18: Puerto Rico vs. Germany, 2 p.m.
Aug. 18: Russia vs. Thailand, 4:30 p.m.

Pool M – Sendai, Japan
Aug. 16: United States vs. Czech Republic, 3:30 p.m.
Aug. 16: Japan vs. Bulgaria, 6:15 p.m.
Aug. 17: Japan vs. United States, 12:30 p.m.
Aug. 17: Czech Republic vs. Bulgaria, 3:30 p.m.
Aug. 18: Japan vs. Czech Republic, 12:30 p.m.
Aug. 18: United States vs. Bulgaria, 3:30 p.m.

Pool N – Wuhan, China
Aug. 16: Serbia vs. Poland, 4 p.m.
Aug. 16: China vs. Argentina, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 17: Argentina vs. Serbia, 4 p.m.
Aug. 17: China vs. Poland, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 18: Poland vs. Argentina, 4 p.m.
Aug. 18: China vs. Serbia, 7:30 p.m.

Pool O – Kaohsiung City, Chinese Taipei
Aug. 16: Italy vs. Algeria, 3 p.m.
Aug. 16: Turkey vs. Dominican Republic, 6 p.m.
Aug. 17: Algeria vs. Turkey, 3 p.m.
Aug. 17: Italy vs. Dominican Republic, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 18: Dominican Republic vs. Algeria, 3 p.m.
Aug. 18: Italy vs. Turkey, 5:30 p.m.

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