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USA Volleyball

U.S. Women Win Grand Champions Silver

By Bill Kauffman | Nov. 17, 2013, 1:15 a.m. (ET)

TOKYO, Japan (Nov. 17, 2013) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team closed out the FIVB Women’s World Grand Champions Cup by defeating Dominican Republic 25-14, 25-16, 21-25, 25-18 on Sunday afternoon in Tokyo and finished with the silver medal.

Already assured of at least the bronze medal heading into today’s final match, the U.S. (4-1, 10 points) ended the tournament with four consecutive wins over No. 3 Japan, No. 6 Russia, No. 12 Thailand and No. 8 Dominican Republic. Team USA started the tournament with a tough 26-24, 26-24, 25-20 loss to gold-medalist and No. 1 Brazil (5-0).

The U.S. concludes the 2013 season with a 25-6 overall record.

The U.S. used three blocks and three aces in a 13-2 run in the first set to overcome an early 3-0 deficit to win 25-14. The Americans out-blocked Dominican 7-2 in the set. Team USA built an early 5-1 in the second set and reached a 17-9 advantage in cruising to a 25-16 victory. Dominican Republic rallied from a 9-4 deficit in the third set to come back and win 25-21. The U.S. scored 10 of the final 14 points of the fourth set to win 25-18.

"First, congratulations to the Dominican Republic," U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. "We’ve had many battles. We get to play each other a number of times each year and it’s always difficult. For our team, we have a lot to be proud of. We played against the world’s best in 2013 and got four wins out of five. All 14 of our athletes here made a real contribution to this team effort."

Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) led the Americans with 19 points on 13 kills via 25 attacks, four blocks and two aces. Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) contributed 16 points with 13 kills on 32 attacks, one block and two aces. Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.) added 16 points on 12 kills via 38 swings, three blocks and an ace. Cursty Jackson (Los Angeles) tacked on 10 points with five kills, three blocks and two aces. Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah) pocketed eight points with seven kills on 19 attacks and a block. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) added four blocks and an ace, Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) rounded out the scoring with an ace.

Glass was credited with 22 running sets leading to a 37.2 kill percent and .263 hitting efficiency (51-15-137). Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) chipped in seven digs and a team-leading 17 excellent receptions on 25 attempts. Larson-Burbach added 14 excellent receptions on 18 errorless attempts.

Kiraly started Larson-Burbach and Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah) at outside hitter, Jackson and Paolini at middle blocker, Murphy at opposite and Glass at setter. Banwarth was the libero for the match. Lichtman started the second and third sets and subbed in the other two sets for Hildebrand. Hill was a sub in all four sets.

The U.S. held a dominating block advantage 16-8, in addition to an 8-2 ace margin. As a team, the U.S. converted 63.5 percent of its reception attempts into excellent passes, while Dominican Republic was held to a 40.0 percent.

"Congratulations to the Dominican team," Hildebrand said. "We’ve had a lot of chances to play them and they are a great team and we always battle back and forth. In the third set, they started to play very well and I’m happy with the way we came back in the fourth and battled to win the match. I’m happy with our result here – 4-1 for USA. We played some great matches and great teams and we look forward to an even stronger 2014".

The U.S. has now ended three tournaments in 2013 versus Dominican Republic. The Americans defeated the Dominicans in straight sets in the Pan American Cup gold-medal match in June, then captured the NORCECA Continental Championship with a four-set win over Dominican in the title match.

Gina Mambru led Dominican Republic with 17 points, while Elizabeth Martinez came off the bench to score 10 points.

Dominican Republic scored the first three points of the opening set, but the Americans pushed back with kills from Jackson and Murphy to close to 5-4. The U.S. went on a 4-0 run with a Larson-Burbach ace, Jackson block and kill from Murphy to take an 8-6 lead into the first technical timeout. Hildebrand pounded three consecutive kills to extend the lead to 11-7. Out of a Dominican timeout, Jackson served two aces and Larson-Burbach put up a block to increase the advantage to 14-7. Team USA reached the second technical timeout leading 16-8 with a Hildebrand kill and Paolini block. Paolini added another block out of the break to push the American lead to 17-8. Paolini slammed a kill and Dominican Republic hit long to create a 19-9 double-digit lead for the Americans. Dominican Republic sliced three points off the deficit at 19-12. Paolini answered with a block and Larson-Burbach followed with a kill to prompt Dominican Republic to call timeout down 21-12. The U.S. increased its lead to 22-12 with a Dominican Republic error. Dominican Republic scored consecutive points to whittle the gap to 22-14. Larson-Burbach two kills around a Jackson block to give the Americans a 25-14 victory.

The U.S. bolted to a 5-1 lead in the second set with two blocks and kill from Glass and a Paolini and kill. Team USA stretched its advantage to 8-2 at the first technical timeout with a Larson-Burbach block after two Dominican Republic errors. Dominican Republic chopped three points off the deficit at 9-6 with a 4-1 run. Hildebrand and Murphy answered with kills to rebuild the lead to 11-6. Team USA reached the second technical timeout leading 16-9 with a Hill ace capping a 3-0 run that included a Murphy kill. Out of the break Jackson put up a block to extend the American lead to 17-9. Dominican Republic cut the gap to 18-12 with back-to-back points. Jackson upped the American lead to 20-12 with a kill, while consecutive Dominican Republic errors pushed the U.S. lead to 22-13. Murphy and Paolini tallied consecutive kills to extend the lead to 24-14. After Dominican Republic saved two set points, Paolini ended the frame with a kill at 25-16.

Paolini scored two kills around a Dominican Republic error to create a 3-0 advantage for the U.S. to start the third set. Paolini and Larson-Burbach extended the advantage to 5-1 with back-to-back kills. Dominican Republic battled back to knot the score at 9-all. Larson-Burbach slammed two kills around a Murphy attack to yield a 13-10 American lead at a Dominican Republic timeout. Dominican Republic rallied to take a 16-15 advantage into the second technical timeout, but Murphy scored back-to-back points to lift the Americans back in front 17-16. Dominican Republic reversed the momentum to its side with a 4-0 run to take a 20-17 advantage. Murphy downed a kill and ace to close the deficit to 20-19.

Team USA gained the first two-point cushion of the fourth set at 6-4 with a kill and block by Murphy. The U.S. increased its lead to 10-7 with a Paolini kill and Glass block. Dominican Republic chipped two points off the deficit at 11-10. Team USA increased its advantage to 15-12 with a Murphy kill and Paolini block heading into a Dominican Republic timeout. Dominican Republic fought back with two quick points to close to 15-14. After a Dominican Republic service error, Paolini hit a kill off the block and Murphy served an ace off the net to rebuild the American lead to 18-14. Paolini and Larson-Burbach each collected kills to extend the U.S. lead to 20-15 at a Dominican Republic timeout. Dominican Republic clipped three points off the deficit at 20-18. Larson-Burbach ended the run with a kill and block, followed by a Paolini ace at 23-18. Team USA reached set point at 24-18 on a Dominican Republic error, then Glass pounded an overpass for a kill and 25-18 victory.

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)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Reed Sunahara, Mike Hebert
Technical Coordinator: Joe Trinsey
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek
Team Leader: Kenny Sullivan

FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Grand Champions Cup Schedule

Nov. 12 - Nagoya, Japan
Dominican Republic def. Thailand 25-23, 25-21, 25-23
Brazil def. USA 26-24, 26-24, 25-20
Japan def. Russia 25-20, 26-28, 25-16, 26-24

Nov. 13 - Nagoya, Japan
Brazil def. Thailand 25-18, 25-17, 25-17
Russia def. Dominican Republic 25-14, 22-25, 25-23, 25-15
United States def. Japan 25-19, 25-19, 19-25, 25-21

Nov. 15 - Tokyo, Japan
Brazil def. Dominican Republic 25-20, 25-15, 22-25, 25-19
United States def. Russia 16-25, 25-22, 25-19, 24-26, 15-13
Japan def. Thailand 25-20, 29-27, 25-22

Nov. 16 - Tokyo, Japan
United States def. Thailand 13-25, 27-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-13
Brazil def. Russia 18-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-19
Japan def. Dominican Republic 25-17, 25-19, 29-27

Nov. 17 - Tokyo, Japan
United States def. Dominican Republic 25-14, 25-16, 21-25, 25-18
Thailand def. Russia 18-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-23
Brazil def. Japan 29-27, 25-14, 25-18

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