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USA Volleyball

U.S. Women Edge Dominicans in Grand Prix

Aug. 17, 2014, 6:02 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 17, 2014) – Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) scored 19 points to pace the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team to a 25-21, 15-25, 25-19, 29-27 victory over Dominican Republic Sunday morning to close out the FIVB World Grand Prix Group 1 preliminary round in Bangkok, Thailand.

Team USA, which started the day in eighth place in the 12-team Group 1 field, finished the nine-match preliminary round with a 5-4 record and 15 points and in fifth place. However, the U.S. needed to leap-frog four teams to earn a qualifying spot into the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round as only the top four teams from Group 1 advance.

Team USA overcame an 18-14 deficit to Dominican Republic in the opening set by scoring eight straight points on Cassidy Lichtman’s (Poway, Calif.) serve to take a 22-18 advantage and went on to win 25-21. Dominican Republic built a 17-10 lead in the second set, then withstood the Team USA challenge by scoring eight of the final nine points for a 25-15 victory. The U.S. used a 7-2 run to come back from an 11-10 deficit in the third set and went on to win 25-19. Team USA built a 21-14 lead in the fourth set, but Dominican Republic charged back on a 9-2 run to tie the set at 23-all and took a set point chance at 25-24 before the Americans closed the set at 29-27 on its fourth match point opportunity.

Murphy tallied 17 kills on 44 attacks, one block and one ace for her 19 points. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) secured 18 points for the U.S. with 13 kills on 24 errorless attacks and a team-high five blocks. Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn.) totaled five kills on 14 swings and three blocks for eight points, which was matched by Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.) as she has seven kills and one block.

Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Ill.) and Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) each scored seven points in splitting time at one outside hitter position. Lichtman scored two aces and a kill for three points in her reserve role, while Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) rounded out the scoring with an ace.

Thompson handled 97 sets with 34 running sets credited to her, while Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) turned in six running sets on 22 set attempts. Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) was credited with a team-high three digs and five excellent receptions on 14 attempts for the match. Robinson collected six excellent receptions on 20 attempts, while Larson-Burbach handled 25 receptions with five excellent passes.

Team USA held a 54-48 advantage in kills that led to a 36.7 kill percent and .238 hitting efficiency (54-19-147). The American defense held Dominican Republic to a 34.8 kill percent and .260 hitting efficiency (48-12-138). The U.S. held a 7-5 ace advantage, while Dominican Republic managed a 12-10 margin in blocks.

The U.S. started Hill and Larson-Burbach at outside hitter, Dixon and Akinradewo at middle blocker, Murphy at opposite and Glass at setter. Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) and Davis shared the libero role in the first two sets before Davis handled the role by herself the final two sets. Robinson came off the bench in the second set and started the third and fourth sets in place of Hill. Thompson started the final three sets after being a sub in the first set. Lichtman was a sub in all but the second set.

Bethania De La Cruz sparked Dominican Republic with a match-high 22 points.

Dominican Republic scored three straight to take a 3-1 advantage early in the opening set. Team USA responded with a Dixon kill followed by two Murphy attacks to put the Americans in front 4-3. Dominican Republic reversed the lead at 5-4 with back-to-back points and extended its lead to 8-5 with three unanswered points heading into the first technical timeout. Hill stopped the run with a kill and Akinradewo followed with a block at 8-7. Team USA grabbed a 10-9 lead with a Hill ace after an Akinradewo kill and Dominican Republic error. Dominican Republic answered with a 3-0 scoring run of its own to take the lead back at 12-10. Dominican Republic extended its lead to 15-12 with an overpass kill. Team USA called a timeout after falling behind 18-14. Out of the break, Akinradewo pounded a kill, Lichtman served an ace and Dominican Republic hit wide and Akinradewo put up a block to level the score at 18-all. Hill gave the U.S. a 19-18 advantage with a kill as Dominican Republic called timeout after giving up a fifth straight point. Dominican Republic was called for an attack error and Akinradewo put up a third block of the set and Lichtman served a second ace of the run to push the American lead to 22-18 on an 8-0 run. Dominican Republic clipped two points off its deficit at 22-20. Team USA won the set 25-21 with a Dixon block after a Larson-Burbach kill.

The U.S. took an early 3-0 lead in the second set with a Larson-Burbach kill, Thompson ace and Dixon block. Dominican Republic immediately chipped off two points from the deficit. Dominican Republic scored four straight points to swing the lead to its side at 6-4. Murphy scored consecutive kills to square the set at 6-all. Dominican Republic built a three-point cushion at 12-9 with a 3-0 run capped by an ace, then extended the advantage to 16-10 on a 5-0 run going into the second technical timeout. Out of the break Dominican Republic blocked a U.S. attack to go up 17-10 on a sixth straight point. Dixon stopped the run with a kill, Dominican Republic followed with an error and Murphy put up a block to trim the deficit to 17-13. Out of a Dominican Republic timeout, Hill hit a kill of the block to close the gap to 17-14. Dominican Republic tallied four quick points to return to a six-point advantage at 21-14. Dominican Republic ended the set with a 25-15 victory, scoring eight of the final nine points.

Dixon started the third set with a kill and block around a Dominican Republic error to give the U.S. a 3-0 lead. Dominican Republic scored five straight to take a 6-4 advantage. The U.S. tied the set at 8-all with an Akinradewo kill and Dominican Republic error. Team USA took the lead back at 12-11 with a Robinson ace after a Dominican Republic service error. The Americans raised their lead to 14-11 as Robinson served a second ace of the run after a Dominican Republic attack error. The U.S. raised its lead to 18-13 with an Akinradewo kill and Larson-Burbach followed with a block and kill. Dominican Republic chipped off two points from the deficit at 19-16. Robinson and Murphy slammed back-to-back kills to raise the U.S. lead to 21-16. The U.S. finished set benefiting from two straight Dominican Republic errors to win 25-19.

Team USA grabbed an early 3-1 lead with a Murphy kill after a Dominican Republic service error. Akinradewo put up a block and Murphy slammed a kill after Dominican’s second service error of the set for a 6-2 American lead. After a Dominican Republic timeout, the U.S. raised the lead to 7-2 on a Dominican Republic error. However, Dominican Republic sliced the deficit to 7-4 with a block. Murphy served an ace after an Akinradewo kill to push the American lead to 9-4. Murphy and Hill collected consecutive kills to prompt Dominican Republic to call timeout own 14-8. Murphy slammed a kill for a third straight U.S. point at 15-8. Dominican Republic closed to 15-12 with an ace and overpass kill between two American errors. The U.S. extended its lead to 20-14 with an Akinradewo kill and block around two Dominican Republic errors. Dominican Republic put together a 9-2 run to tie the set at 23-all. Dominican Republic saved a match point and took its first set point at 25-24. Murphy scored consecutive kills to reverse the lead to the U.S. at 26-25. Team USA finished the set at 29-27 with kills from Larson-Burbach and Akinradewo.

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.

World Grand Prix Group 1 Standings
Brazil (8-0/23 points) - vs THA (8/17)
China (5-4/18 points)
USA (5-4/15 points)
Turkey (5-3/13 points) - vs ITA (8/17)
Russia (4-4/13 points) - vs. GER (8/17)
Serbia (4-5/13 points)
Korea (4-5/13 points)
Italy (5-3/12 points) - vs. TUR (8/17)
Germany (4-4/12 points) - vs. RUS (8/17)
Japan (4-5/13 point)
Thailand (2-6/6 points) - vs. BRA (8/17)
Dominican Republic (1-8/3 points)

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 def. Dominican Republic 25-21, 15-25, 25-19, 29-27
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 def. Serbia 20-25, 25-23, 25-19, 26-24
Aug. 17: Japan def. China 25-20, 25-22, 18-25, 28-26

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