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U.S. Women Hold Joint Training Session with Japan in Prep for Final Round

By Bill Kauffman | Aug. 22, 2013, 12 a.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman, USA Volleyball Senior Manager of Communications, Phone: 719-228-6800, Email: bill.kauffman@usav.org
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U.S. Women's Event Page for FIVB World Grand Prix

SENDAI, Japan (Aug. 22, 2013) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team held a joint training session Thursday morning at Shokei Gakuin University outside of Sendai, Japan. Both teams will be playing in the six-team FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round, which runs Aug. 28 to Sept. 1 at the Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center in Sapporo, Japan.

Team USA, ranked No. 1 in the world, has won the premier annual international women’s volleyball tournament the past three years and is seeking to become the only team to win the event four times in a row. In this year’s edition, the U.S. finished the nine-match, three weekend preliminary World Grand Prix on a six-match win streak with an 8-1 overall record and 22 points.

China, which played all nine matches at home, was the only undefeated team in the preliminary stage as it was 9-0 with 25 points. Brazil finished second with an 8-1 record and 23 points, earning the tiebreaker over Serbia as it also had 23 points but with a 7-2 record. After the United States, Italy finished fifth with a 7-2 record and 21 points. Japan, which would have qualified as the host country for the Final Round, rounded out the top six with a 7-2 record and 19 points.

Team USA’s opening contest in the Final Round on Aug. 28 at 3:30 p.m. local time (11:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 27) will have an Olympic Games feel to it as a rematch to the 2012 gold-medal match with Brazil. In the opening weekend at Campinas, Brazil, the host South Americans snapped the Americans’ 18-match World Grand Prix win streak dating back to 2011 with a four-set victory on Aug. 4. Brazil, winners of the last two Olympic Games, is the only team to defeat the U.S. in this year’s World Grand Prix. While the U.S. has won the last three World Grand Prix titles, Brazil has finished second in the last three events after having won the event five out of six years in a row (2004-2006, 2008-2009) for its record eight titles.

On the second day of the round-robin Final Round format, the U.S. meets Serbia at 1:30 p.m. PT local time (9:30 p.m. on Aug. 28). Team USA defeated host Serbia in five sets on Aug. 11.

The Americans continue the Final Round schedule with the first match of Aug. 30 (9:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 29) and meeting up with a familiar face leading the Chinese team, former U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach “Jenny” Lang Ping. Under Lang Ping’s direction, she led the U.S. to the silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in her home country. She took over as head coach of the Chinese team earlier this year.

Team USA challenges Italy at 1:30 p.m. local time on Aug. 31 (9:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 30), the fourth day of the Final Round.

The Americans conclude the Final Round on Sept. 1 at 7:10 p.m. (3:10 a.m. PT) against Japan, which has the most storied rivalry with the U.S. The two teams have met 225 times since 1983 with Japan holding a slim 113-102 series advantage. However, the U.S. is 4-0 versus Japan in 2013 as the Americans won all three matches in Southern California as part of the USA Volleyball Cup as well as the 3-0 victory on Aug. 18 in Sendai during the final World Grand Prix preliminary round weekend.

The U.S. and Japan have had a recent habit of playing each other on the final day of FIVB events with Japan winning the last 2011 FIVB World Cup match and the 2010 FIVB World Championship. However, the U.S. did top Japan in the last 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round match to win its first of three straight titles.

Team USA is the only country to have played more than two of its Final Round opponents. The U.S. defeated Serbia and Japan on its opponents’ home court, while losing to Brazil in Brazil. Serbia also was edged by China in five sets during the preliminary round as there are no other head-to-head results of the six finalists. Italy did not face any of the other five finalists during the preliminary round.

Since 2010, the Americans are 47-5 in FIVB World Grand Prix matches. Brazil holds two of those victories, including a 2012 Final Round pool play win. Serbia also handed the U.S. a loss in the 2011 preliminary round.

Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah) and Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) finished the preliminary round ranked 18th in scoring with 96 points each, while Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) added 80 points for 31st place. Murphy ranked second in Best Spiker with a 45.00 kill percent, just 0.19 behind leader Risa Shinnabe of Japan. Hildebrand ranked fourth in Best Spiker with a 44.44 kill percent.

Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) contributed 5.79 running sets average for sixth-best in Best Setter during the preliminary round. Christa Harmotto (Hopewell Township, Pa.) ranked as the Americans’ top blocker with a 0.65 block average for 11th place in Best Blocker. Hill produced a 0.35 ace average for eighth-best in Best Server during the preliminary round. Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii), who played six of the nine preliminary matches, ranked 27th in Best Digger with a 1.50 dig average, while Hill followed in 30th position with a 1.41 dig average.

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
$ - Selected for Week 3 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), Craig Thompson (Final Round)

2013 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round Schedule
Aug. 28: Serbia vs. China, 1:30 p.m. local time (9:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 27)
Aug. 28: United States vs. Brazil, 3:30 p.m. local time (11:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 27)
Aug. 28: Japan vs. Italy, 7:10 p.m. local time (3:10 a.m. PT)
Aug. 29: United States vs. Serbia, 1:30 p.m. local time (9:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 28)
Aug. 29: Italy vs. China, 3:30 p.m. local time (11:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 28)
Aug. 29: Japan vs. Brazil, 7:10 p.m. local time (3:10 a.m. PT)
Aug. 30: United States vs. China, 1:30 p.m. local time (9:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 29)
Aug. 30: Brazil vs. Italy, 3:30 p.m. local time (11:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 29)
Aug. 30: Serbia vs. Japan, 7:10 p.m. local time (3:10 a.m. PT)
Aug. 31: United States vs. Italy, 1:30 p.m. local time (9:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 30)
Aug. 31: Brazil vs. Serbia, 3:30 p.m. local time (11:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 30)
Aug. 31: Japan vs. China, 7:10 p.m. local time (3:10 a.m. PT)
Sept. 1: Serbia vs. Italy, 1:30 p.m. local time (9:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 31)
Sept. 1: China vs. Brazil, 3:30 p.m. local time (11:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 31)
Sept. 1: United States vs. Japan, 7:10 p.m. local time (3:10 a.m. PT)

2013 FIVB World Grand Prix Preliminary Round Results

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: Brazil def. Cuba 25-16, 25-11, 25-20
Aug. 16: Netherlands def. Kazakhstan 25-23, 25-14, 25-16
Aug. 17: Brazil def. Netherlands 25-15, 25-20, 25-15
Aug. 17: Kazakhstan def. Cuba 25-20, 17-25, 30-28, 25-20
Aug. 18: Netherlands def. Cuba 25-13, 25-23, 25-22
Aug. 18: Brazil def. Kazakhstan 25-17, 25-16, 25-10

Pool L – Bangkok, Thailand
Aug. 16: Thailand def. Puerto Rico 18-25, 25-7, 25-22, 25-11
Aug. 16: Russia def. Germany 22-25, 17-25, 25-18, 25-19, 15-11
Aug. 17: Russia def. Puerto Rico 25-8, 25-16, 25-19
Aug. 17: Germany def. Thailand 25-16, 25-14, 27-25
Aug. 18: Puerto Rico def. Germany 25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 13-25, 15-13
Aug. 18: Russia def. Thailand 24-26, 25-18, 25-22, 20-25, 15-11

Pool M – Sendai, Japan
Aug. 16: United States def. Czech Republic 25-20, 25-20, 25-23
Aug. 16: Bulgaria def. Japan 25-23, 25-23, 31-29
Aug. 17: United States def. Japan 25-17, 25-19, 21-25, 25-18
Aug. 17: Bulgaria def. Czech Republic 20-25, 25-18, 25-17, 22-25, 15-8
Aug. 18: Japan def. Czech Republic 25-18, 22-25, 28-26, 23-25, 15-13
Aug. 18: United States def. Bulgaria 16-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-15, 15-8

Pool N – Wuhan, China
Aug. 16: Serbia def. Poland 25-14, 25-20, 22-25, 25-21
Aug. 16: China def. Argentina 25-18, 25-17, 25-16
Aug. 17: Serbia def. Argentina 25-12, 25-20, 25-14
Aug. 17: China def. Poland 25-18, 25-21, 16-25, 25-23
Aug. 18: Poland def. Argentina 25-21, 21-25, 25-12, 23-25, 15-11
Aug. 18: China def. Serbia 25-17, 25-27, 25-20, 23-25, 15-5

Pool O – Kaohsiung City, Chinese Taipei
Aug. 16: Italy def. Algeria 25-13, 25-19, 25-10
Aug. 16: Turkey def. Dominican Republic 25-27, 22-25, 25-22, 26-24, 15-13
Aug. 17: Turkey def. Algeria 25-12, 25-12, 25-12
Aug. 17: Dominican Republic def. Italy 21-25, 19-25, 32-30, 26-24, 15-11
Aug. 18: Dominican Republic def. Algeria 25-11, 25-9, 25-8
Aug. 18: Italy def. Turkey 25-17, 25-18, 17-25, 15-25, 15-12

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