SENDAI, Japan (Aug. 15, 2013) - The U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team had its first training session on the competition court of Sendai City Gymnasium in Sendai, Japan, as it prepares for Pool M of the FIVB World Grand Prix. View the photo gallery above for a peek inside the facility, along with images of the training session.
The Americans, ranked first in the world by the FIVB, hold a 5-1 record with 14 points for fifth place after the second of three preliminary round weekends. The U.S. will face Czech Republic (2-4, 6 points) on Aug. 16 (11:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 15), host Japan (6-0, 17 points) on Aug. 17 (8:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 16) and Bulgaria (4-2, 13 points) on Aug. 18 (11:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 17). Pool M is the strongest group in the final weekend with three of the four teams ranked in the top eight of the 20-team field.
After the preliminary round, the top five teams plus Japan advance to the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 in Sapporo, Japan. The U.S. is attempting to win the premier annual international women’s volleyball tournament for a record fourth consecutive year.