U.S. Women Rally Past Thailand

By Bill Kauffman | Aug. 16, 2014, 8:52 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 16, 2014) – Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) scored 25 points, including nine blocks, in rallying the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team to a 25-19, 19-25, 20-25, 25-12, 15-10 victory over Thailand in the second to last FIVB World Grand Prix preliminary round match in Bangkok, Thailand.

World Grand Prix Group 1 Standings
BRA (8-0/23 points) - vs THA (8/17)
CHN (5-3/18 points) - vs JPN (8/17)
TUR (5-3/13 points) - vs ITA (8/17)
SRB (4-4/13 points) - vs KOR (8/17)
RUS (4-4/13 points) - vs. GER (8/17)
ITA (5-3/12 points) - vs. TUR (8/17)
GER (4-4/12 points) - vs. RUS (8/17)
USA (4-4/12 points) - vs DOM (8/17)
JPN (3-5/10 point) - vs CHN (8/17)
KOR (3-5/10 points) - vs SRB (8/17)
THA (2-6/6 points) - vs. BRA (8/17)
DOM (1-7/3 points) - vs USA (8/17)

Team USA, now 4-4 with 12 points, concludes the preliminary round against NORCECA rival Dominican Republic on Aug. 17 at midnight PT. The Americans have now played five-set matches in four of the eight World Grand Prix matches in 2014, winning two and losing two.

The U.S. remains in the hunt for one of four spots into the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round that Group 1 will send to Tokyo along with host Japan and Group 2 winner. However, it must leap-frog four teams from eighth place to fourth place to earn a spot in the Final Round as six teams are vying for positions three and four from Group 1 to qualify for the Final Round. Key matches on Sunday include Turkey (5-3, 13 points) versus Italy (5-3, 12 points), Russia (4-4, 13 points) versus Germany (4-4, 12 points) and Serbia (4-4, 13 points) versus Korea (3-5, 10 points).

Scenarios on how the U.S. can advance:

  • USA vs. Dominican Republic: USA needs to win 3-0 or 3-1 to get full 3 standings points
  • Turkey vs. Italy: Turkey win or Italy wins 3-2
  • Serbia vs. Korea: Serbia must lose or win no better than 3-2 (then settled on point ratio if USA wins 3-0, Serbia wins tiebreaker if USA def. DOM 3-1)
  • Germany vs. Russia: Match needs to go 5 with either team winning (otherwise settled on tiebreakers)

The U.S. scored the first four points of the opening set, but used a 3-0 run to break a 14-all tie after Thailand rallied to move on to a 25-19 victory in the opening set. Thailand started the second set with a 12-4 lead with a 10-2 spurt and closed out the set at 25-19 after the U.S. saved four set points. Like the second set, Thailand started the third set strong with an 11-4 advantage, then withstood a U.S. challenge that closed the gap to 19-17 before winning 25-20. Team USA pushed out to an 11-5 advantage in the fourth set, and after Thailand closed to 12-9, used a 13-3 run to close the set with a 25-12 victory. The Americans used a 3-0 run in the deciding fifth set to take a 7-5 advantage and cemented the set with a 5-1 spurt at 13-8 to win the set 15-10.

Akinradewo turned in 14 kills on 27 attacks and two aces to go with her match-high nine blocks. Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.) churned out 17 points with 13 kills on 35 attacks and four blocks. Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn.) contributed nine kills on 20 swings, five blocks and an ace for 15 points. Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) charted 14 kills on 33 attacks and a block for 15 points.

Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Ill.) came off the bench in the third set to provide the U.S. with seven kills, while Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) added three kills from her setter position in the first three sets. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) served two aces and Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) rounded out the scoring with two kills.

Both Thompson and Glass were credited with 15 running sets apiece as Team USA converted 41.3 percent of its attacks with a .333 hitting efficiency (62-12-150). Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) led the U.S. defense with five digs, while Larson-Burbach handled 41 of the team’s 85 reception chances. Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) tallied 13 reception chances, while Robinson was credited with 17 chances in just the final three sets.

The U.S. dominated the net with a 19-9 block advantage and a 62-52 margin kills. However, the Thailand serve produced a 7-5 advantage in aces. Thailand held its errors to 18 for the match and took advantage of 23 Team USA miscues. The American defense limited Thailand to a 32.7 kill percent and .258 hitting efficiency (52-11-159).

The U.S. started Hill and Larson-Burbach at outside hitter, Dixon and Akinradewo at middle blocker, Murphy at opposite and Glass at setter. Banwarth and Davis shared the libero role. Robinson subbed into the match in the third set and started the final two sets in place of Hill. Thompson was a sub in the first three sets and started the final two sets for Glass. Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) was a sub in all but the third set, while Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) was a sub in the third set.

Thailand’s Onuma Sittirak led her country with 20 points, while Wilavan Apinyapong added 14 points.

Larson-Burbach scored the first two points of the match and Dixon followed with a block and Murphy added a kill to give the U.S. an early 4-0 lead in the first set. Thailand cut the gap in half at 6-4 following an ace. Team USA upped its lead to 11-6 with an Akinradewo kill and ace followed by a Glass kill on an overpass. Thailand answered with four straight points capped by an ace to slice the deficit to 11-10. The Americans increased their lead to 14-11 with a Dixon kill and Thailand error. However, Thailand came back to level the score at 14-all with three straight points of its own including a third ace of the set. Team USA responded with an Akinradewo block after a Thailand service error to lift the U.S. to a 16-14 lead at the second technical timeout. The Americans scored a third straight point out of the break to extend their lead to 17-14. Team USA increased its lead to 21-16 with two kills from Akinradewo around a kill from Glass. Larson-Burbach scored a kill and block to put the U.S. at match point 24-18. Murphy ended the set with a kill at 25-19. Akinradewo and Larson-Burbach each collected five points in the set.

Thailand scored four straight to open up a 6-2 lead in the second set. Thailand reached the first technical timeout up 8-3 following an ace, then extended the advantage to 12-4 with four unanswered points. The U.S. closed the gap to 12-7 with a Dixon block and Akinradewo ace. Thailand came back with consecutive points to raise its lead to 14-7. Akinradewo put up a block after a Thailand error to trim the gap to 17-12, but Thailand notched three straight points to raise the lead to 20-12. The U.S. saved four set points with two Dixon blocks, a Dixon kill and Hill kill to slice the deficit to 24-19, but Thailand won 25-19.

Thailand grabbed an 8-3 advantage in the third set with a 6-1 scoring run going into the first technical timeout. Thailand advanced its lead to 10-4 prompting a USA timeout, then scored a third straight point out of the break at 11-4. Akinradewo put up a block and downed a kill after a Thailand service error to trim the gap to 11-7. The U.S. closed to 16-13 with a Robinson kill and Akinradewo block. Thailand returned to a five-point cushion at 18-13 following a U.S. attack error. Larson-Burbach scored two kills after Akinradewo pounded a kill to move the U.S. within two at 19-17. Thailand responded with three quick points to return the lead back to five points. Glass and Murphy scored two kills to cut the deficit to 22-19. Thailand reached set points at 24-19 on back-to-back points, then closed out the frame at 25-20.

Team USA earned a 5-3 lead in the fourth set with a Robinson kill followed by a block and kill by Akinradewo. Akinradewo lifted the American lead to 7-4 with a kill after a Thailand service error. Team USA stretched its advantage to 10-5 with two Akinradewo blocks and Larson-Burbach kill on a 3-0 run going into a Thailand timeout. Out of the break, Thailand hit into the net for a fourth straight USA point at 11-5. Thailand cut the deficit to three points at 12-9 with three straight points. Murphy ended a long rally with a cross-court winner, then Larson-Burbach and Dixon followed with blocks and Thailand hit wide to cap a U.S. 4-0 run going into the second technical timeout leading 16-9. The U.S. stretched its lead to 18-10 with a Murphy kill and Thailand net violation at 18-10. The U.S. extended its lead to 22-11 with two kills from Robinson, a Murphy kill and Dixon ace on a 4-0 run. Team USA closed out the set 25-12 with two Robinson kills and an Akinradewo block, her ninth of the match.

Team USA took the first two-point lead of the deciding set at 7-5 with an Akinradewo kill between two Thailand errors. The Americans extended their lead to 10-7 with a Larson-Burbach kill and Thompson ace, her second of the match. The U.S. forged to a 13-8 lead with blocks from Larson-Burbach and Dixon around a Murphy kill. Akinradewo ended the set at 15-10 with a kill.

The U.S. won the FIVB World Grand Prix title three consecutive years from 2010 to 2012, but are looking to bounce back from a disappointing sixth-place finish last year in Japan. The Americans have won the tournament five times, including 1995 and 2001. Ironically, all five Team USA titles have been earned in China.

For additional information on the FIVB World Grand Prix, click here.

U.S. Women’s National Team Preliminary Roster for FIVB World Grand Prix
(see legend for corresponding World Grand Prix Weekend Final rosters)

# - Name (Position, Ht, Hometown, College)
1 – Alisha Glass ^#* (S, 6-0, Leland, Mich., Penn State)
2 – Kayla Banwarth ^#* (L, 5-10, Dubuque, Iowa, University of Nebraska)
3 – Courtney Thompson ^#* (S, 5-8, Kent, Wash., University of Washington)
4 – Lauren Paolini (MB, 6-4, Ann Arbor, Mich., University of Texas)
5 – Tama Miyashiro (L, 5-7, Kaneohe, Hawaii, University of Washington)
6 – Nicole Davis ^#* (L, 5-4, Stockton, Calif., University of Southern California)
7 – Cassidy Lichtman ^#* (OH, 6-1, Poway, Calif., Stanford University)
8 – Lauren Gibbemeyer ^#* (MB, 6-2, St. Paul, Minn., University of Minnesota)
9 – Kristin Hildebrand ^ (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford University)
10 – Jordan Larson-Burbach #* (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., University of Nebraska)
11 – Carli Lloyd (S, 5-11, Bonsall, Calif., University of California-Berkeley)
12 – Kelly Murphy ^#* (OPP, 6-2, Wilmington, Ill., University of Florida)
13 – Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, Hopewell Township, Pa., Penn State)
14 – Nicole Fawcett (OPP, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State)
15 – Kim Hill ^#*  (OH, 6-4, Portland, Ore., Pepperdine University)
16 – Foluke Akinradewo ^#* (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford University)
17 – Alix Klineman ^#* (OPP, 6-5, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Stanford University)
18 – Bailey Webster (OPP, 6-3, Baltimore, Md., University of Texas)
19 – Kelsey Robinson ^#* (OH, 6-2, Bartlett, Ill., University of Nebraska)
20 – Jenna Hagglund (S, 5-10, West Chester, Ohio, University of Washington)
21 – Tori Dixon ^#* (MB, 6-3, Burnsville, Minn., University of Minnesota)
22 – Rachael Adams ^#* (MB, 6-2, Cincinnati, Ohio, University of Texas)
^ = Weekend 1 (at Turkey); # = Weekend 2 (at Brazil); * = Weekend 3 (at Thailand); @ = Final Round (at Japan)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Jamie Morrison, Tom Black
Technical Coordinator: Joe Trinsey
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek
Team Manager: John Xie/Jamison Van Niel

2014 FIVB World Grand Prix Schedule (1st Group)

Pool A (at Ankara, Turkey)
Aug. 1: Russia def. USA 22-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-20
Aug. 1: Turkey def. Japan 29-27, 25-19, 25-21
Aug. 2: Russia def. Japan 25-23, 25-13, 24-26, 25-18
Aug. 2: Turkey def. USA 25-21, 27-29, 25-21, 20-25, 15-12
Aug. 3: USA def. Japan 25-27, 25-17, 25-22, 24-26, 15-11
Aug. 3: Turkey def. Russia 25-23, 29-27, 14-25, 18-25, 15-10

Pool B (at Ansan, Korea)
Aug. 1: Serbia def. Germany 26-24, 25-20, 25-15
Aug. 1: Korea def. Thailand 23-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-20
Aug. 2: Korea def. Germany 21-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-21
Aug. 2: Thailand def. Serbia 25-19, 18-25, 20-25, 25-19, 15-13
Aug. 3: Serbia def. Korea 25-22, 26-24, 21-25, 25-9
Aug. 3: Germany def. Thailand 25-21, 25-22, 25-21

Pool C (at Sassari, Italy)
Aug. 1: Brazil def. China 25-21, 23-25, 25-17, 25-16
Aug. 1: Italy def. Dominican Republic 25-18, 25-23, 25-15
Aug. 2: China def. Dominican Republic 25-18, 25-21, 25-23
Aug. 2: Brazil def. Italy 25-21, 25-16, 25-15
Aug. 3: Brazil def. Dominican Republic 26-24, 25-19, 25-18
Aug. 3: Italy def. China 25-18, 18-25, 25-22, 18-25, 15-10

Pool D (at Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Aug. 8: USA def. Russia 22-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-17
Aug. 8: Brazil def. Korea 25-16, 25-12, 25-15
Aug. 9: Brazil def. Russia 25-15, 25-21, 25-17
Aug. 9: USA def. Korea 25-15, 25-17, 25-16
Aug. 10: Brazil def. USA 25-20, 25-22, 29-27
Aug. 10: Korea def. Russia 21-25, 25-21, 27-25, 25-22

Pool E (at Ankara, Turkey)
Aug. 8: Germany def. Serbia 25-21, 30-28, 25-18
Aug. 8: Dominican Republic def. Turkey 23-25, 19-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-9
Aug. 9: Germany def. Dominican Republic 25-19, 19-25, 22-25, 25-16, 16-14
Aug. 9: Turkey def. Serbia 18-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-20, 17-15
Aug. 10: Serbia def. Dominican Republic 25-21, 25-22, 27-25
Aug. 10: Turkey def. Germany 25-15, 25-19, 21-25, 25-20

Pool F (at Hong Kong)
Aug. 8: Italy def. Japan 25-20, 25-17, 21-25, 20-25, 15-11
Aug. 8: China def. Thailand 29-27, 25-18, 20-25, 25-15
Aug. 9: Italy def. Thailand 25-19, 25-21, 25-23
Aug. 9: China def. Japan 25-16, 25-14, 25-22
Aug. 10: Japan def. Thailand 25-18, 25-18, 19-25, 25-20
Aug. 10: China def. Italy 25-20, 25-18, 22-25, 25-16

Pool G (at Bangkok, Thailand)
Aug. 15: Thailand def. Dominican Republic 25-17, 25-23, 20-25, 25-19
Aug. 15: Brazil def. USA 29-31, 22-25, 25-22, 25-19, 15-9
Aug. 16: Brazil def. Dominican Republic 25-19, 25-11, 29-27
Aug. 16: USA def. Thailand 25-19, 19-25, 20-25, 25-12, 15-10
Aug. 17: USA vs. Dominican Republic, midnight PT
Aug. 17: Thailand vs. Brazil, 2:30 a.m. PT

Pool H (at Kaliningrad, Russia)
Aug. 15: Germany def. Turkey 20-25, 36-34, 25-20, 25-22
Aug. 15: Russia def. Italy 25-27, 25-19, 25-19, 25-18
Aug. 16: Italy def. Germany 22-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-14, 15-12
Aug. 16: Russia def. Turkey 28-26, 19-25, 25-21, 25-15
Aug. 17: Italy vs. Turkey, 6:40 a.m. PT
Aug. 17: Germany vs. Russia, 10:10 a.m. PT

Pool I (at Macau, China)
Aug. 15: Japan def. Serbia 25-17, 10-25, 25-17, 25-19
Aug. 15: China def. Korea 24-26, 25-18, 25-22, 25-19
Aug. 16: Japan def. Korea 22-25, 25-21, 20-25, 27-25, 15-13
Aug. 16: Serbia def. China 24-26, 28-26, 21-25, 25-20, 17-15
Aug. 17: Korea vs. Serbia, 10 p.m. PT on Aug. 16
Aug. 17: China vs. Japan, 12:30 a.m. PT

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