NAGOYA, Japan (Nov. 10, 2013) – The U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team arrived in Nagoya on Sunday ready to compete in the six-team 2013 FIVB Women's World Grand Champions Cup set for Nov. 12-17. The first two days of the round-robin competition will take place in Nagoya Nov. 12-13, while the tournament concludes Nov. 15-17 in Tokyo.
The FIVB Grand Champions Cup features continental winners United States (NORCECA), Thailand (Asia), Russia (Europe), Brazil (South America), along with wildcard Dominican Republic and host Japan. The tournament uses a round-robin format with each team playing five matches over the course of six days. The first stage will be held Nov. 12-13 at the Nagoya Nippongaishi Hall, which seats 10,000 fans. After a travel day on Nov. 14, the teams resume action Nov. 15-17 at the 5,000-seat Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, which was used during the 1964 Olympic Games and completely remodeled in the early 1990s.
The U.S. opens the season-ending tournament on Nov. 12 versus No. 1 Brazil. The two teams also met on opening day of the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round in Sapporo, Japan, in August. Team USA will face Japan on Nov. 13 and will try to improve to 6-0 against its Asian rival this year. After the travel day, the Americans challenge Russia on Nov. 15. Team USA defeated Russia 3-1 on the opening day of the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix. The U.S. plays Thailand on Nov. 16 in the first meeting of the two teams in 2013. The Americans conclude the World Grand Champions Cup on Nov. 17 against Dominican Republic. The U.S. is 2-0 against Dominican Republic in 2013, with both victories coming in gold-medal matches (Pan American Cup and NORCECA Continental Championship).
Team USA is ranked second in the world as of the latest rankings released by the FIVB on Oct. 7. Brazil overtook the Americans as the top-ranked team in the world after the conclusion of the FIVB World Grand Prix and continues as the No. 1 team. Japan is ranked No. 3, followed by Russia at No. 6, Dominican Republic at No. 8, Thailand at No. 12.
The FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Grand Champions Cup has had a different winner for each of its five previous editions with Cuba (1993), Russia (1997), China (2001), Brazil (2005) and Italy (2009) all claiming the title. The U.S. captured the silver medal in the 2005 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup in its only podium finish in the five previous editions. The Americans finished fifth in the inaugural event in 1993 and fifth in the 2001 edition. Team USA did not qualify for the event in 1997 or 2009.
The U.S. Women qualified for the World Grand Champions Cup by winning the Visit Omaha NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship, which was held Sept. 16-21. Team USA defeated Mexico and Cuba in pool play, Canada in the semifinal round and No. 8 Dominican Republic in the championship match. For tournament details, click here.
U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team for FIVB Volleyball Grand Champions Cup
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Spike, Block, Hometown, College)
1 - Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, 10-0, 9-10, Leland, Mich., Penn State University)
4 - Cursty Jackson (MB, 6-2, 10-6, 10-2, Los Angeles, Calif., University of Arizona)
5 - Tamari Miyashiro (L, 5-7, 9-4, 8-9, Kaneohe, Hawaii, University of Washington)
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 - Kristin Hildebrand – Captain (OH, 6-1, 9-10, 9-4, Orem, Utah, Stanford University)
10 - Jordan Larson-Burbach (OH, 6-2, 9-11, 9-8, Hooper, Neb., University of Nebraska)
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)
20 - Jenna Hagglund (S, 5-10, 9-7, 9-6, West Chester, Ohio, University of Washington)
FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Grand Champions Cup Schedule
Nov. 12 - at Nagoya, Japan
Thailand vs. Dominican Republic, 12:10 p.m.
United States vs. Brazil, 3:40 p.m.
Japan vs. Russia, 7:10 p.m.
Nov. 13 - at Nagoya, Japan
Brazil vs. Thailand, 12:10 p.m.
Russia vs. Dominican Republic, 4:10 p.m.
United States vs. Japan, 7:10 p.m.
Travel Day to Tokyo
Nov. 15 - at Tokyo, Japan
Dominican Republic vs. Brazil, 12:10 p.m.
United States vs. Russia, 4:10 p.m.
Japan vs. Thailand, 7:10 p.m.
Nov. 16 - at Tokyo, Japan
United States vs. Thailand, 12:10 p.m.
Russia vs. Brazil, 4:10 p.m.
Japan vs. Dominican Republic, 7:10 p.m.
Nov. 17 - at Tokyo, Japan
United States vs. Dominican Republic, 12:10 p.m.
Thailand vs. Russia, 3:10 p.m.
Japan vs. Brazil, 6:10 p.m.