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U.S. Women Fall to Brazil in Grand Prix Final Round Opener

By Bill Kauffman | Aug. 28, 2013, 6:03 a.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman, USA Volleyball Senior Manager of Communications, Phone: 719-228-6800, Email: bill.kauffman@usav.org
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SAPPORO, Japan (Aug. 28, 2013) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team lost to Brazil 25-19, 25-12, 25-10 in the opening FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round match Wednesday afternoon at the Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center in Sapporo, Japan.

Team USA, which is seeking to become the first squad to win the premier annual women’s international volleyball tournament for a fourth consecutive year, continues the round-robin Final Round format versus Serbia (0-1) on Aug. 29 (9:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 28). The Americans topped Serbia in five sets on Aug. 11 to end the second preliminary weekend held in Belgrade. All U.S. matches will be broadcast with same-day coverage on Universal Sports with live video streaming at www.universalsports.com. For the video schedule, click here.

Earlier today, China defeated Serbia 25-21, 22-25, 25-17, 25-20 to open the Final Round in a rematch of the final preliminary round match for both teams. Later this evening, Japan hosts Italy at 7:10 p.m. local time (3:10 a.m. PT).

The U.S. qualified for the Final Round with an 8-1 record in finishing the preliminary phase on a six-match win streak 10 days ago.

Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) led the U.S. in scoring with seven kills, two blocks and an ace for 10 points. Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah) added four kills and a block for five points, Christa Harmotto (Hopewell Township, Pa.) chipped in three kills and an ace for four points. Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) tallied two kills, a block and an ace for four points. Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.), Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) and Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) each totaled three points.

Glass was credited with 23 running sets on 72 set attempts. Hildebrand tallied a team-high eight digs while Tama Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) added five digs. Hill secured a team-high 18 excellent receptions on 39 total 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. Miyashiro was the libero for the match. Fawcett subbed into the first set and started the final two sets in place of Murphy. Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) was a sub in the first and third sets, while Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Regan Hood (Dallas) were reserves in the second set. Jenna Hagglund (West Chester, Ohio) was a sub in the final set.

Brazil held advantages in each of the three scoring phases of the game with a 42-22 margin in kills, 13-7 advantage in blocks and 4-3 edge in aces. Further, Brazil held its errors to nine for the match and took advantage of 16 Team USA miscues. The Americans held a 20-15 advantage in digs.

Brazil’s Thaisa Menezes and Fernanda Rodrigues each tallied 13 points in the victory, while Gabriela Guimaraes added 11 points.

After Thursday’s match with Serbia, Team USA will battle China on Aug. 30 (9:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 29), followed by Italy on Aug. 31 (9:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 30) and host Japan on Sept. 1 (3:10 a.m. PT).

For the second year in a row, the U.S. and Brazil met on the first day of the Final Round. Team USA captured that contest en route to finishing 14-0 in the tournament. Earlier this year Brazil handed the U.S. its only other loss of the season in a four-set match at Campinas, Brazil, in the opening weekend of the FIVB World Grand Prix. The match snapped Team USA’s 18-match win streak in World Grand Prix contests dating back to 2011.

While the U.S. has won three straight FIVB World Grand Prix titles and five overall, Brazil has finished runner-up to the Americans in each of the last three seasons after winning three the previous four tournaments in 2006, 2008 and 2009. Brazil has won a tournament-record eight titles.

Brazil took a 4-2 lead in the opening set, but Hildebrand followed with a kill and Harmotto served an ace to quickly knot the score at 4-all. Brazil answered with two straight points to regain a two-point cushion at 6-4. Team USA went into the first technical timeout leading 8-7 with consecutive kills from Murphy Gibbemeyer and Glass. Brazil used a 7-0 run to push in front 16-10, capped by an ace heading into the second technical timeout. Out of the break, Brazil scored three additional points to extend its lead to 19-10. Team USA turned a 3-0 run with a Gibbemeyer block and Fawcett kill after a Brazil service error to slice the gap to 21-14. Fawcett collected a kill and ace to close the deficit to 22-16. Gibbemeyer slammed a kill and Brazil hit wide to narrow the deficit to 23-18. Brazil finished the set with a 25-19.

Team USA grabbed a 4-2 advantage with a Gibbemeyer block after a Hildebrand kill. However, Brazil pocketed nine unanswered points to take a 12-5 lead. Fawcett stopped the run with a kill, and it was followed with a Brazil attack error leading to a yellow card and a Hill block to close the gap to 12-9. Brazil scored the next four points to regain a seven-point advantage at 16-9. Brazil extended its lead to 23-10 with seven straight points including its second successful challenge. Brazil ended the set at 25-11 with back-to-back points.

Brazil took a 5-1 advantage early in the third set with four unanswered points. Harmotto ended the string with a block and Fawcett followed with a block closing the deficit to 5-3. Team USA narrowed the deficit to 6-5 with a Hildebrand kill and Brazil attack error. Brazil served an ace and added a kill out of the first technical timeout to push its margin to 10-6. Brazil used a 7-1 run to double the score at 14-7 and pushed out to a 25-10 victory with nine of the final 10 points.

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
* - Selected for Final Round 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)

2013 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round Schedule
Aug. 28: China def. Serbia 25-21, 22-25, 25-17, 25-20
Aug. 28: Brazil def. United States 25-19, 25-12, 25-10
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 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: 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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