Kiraly Expects Brazil's Best in Hawaii

By Bill Kauffman | July 08, 2014, 7:02 p.m. (ET)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 8, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team earned two huge, confidence-building wins over Brazil in the opening two matches of the USA Volleyball Cup, but they are fully aware the two-time defending champions will come out strong in the final two matches in Honolulu on July 11-12.

Team USA, ranked second in the world behind Brazil, took down the South Americans 25-22, 25-27, 25-19, 25-19 on July 5 in the opening match of the USA Volleyball Cup at Irvine, Calif. One date later, the U.S. swept Brazil 25-21, 25-23, 25-20 in Los Angeles.

Despite the two early victories, U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said his team’s focus will not change with the change in venue locations.

“We are not going to change our mindset for the matches in Hawaii,” Kiraly said. “We are going to go out hard. We know Brazil is disappointed in itself and their performance because its staff has told us.”

The two matches will take place at the Stan Sheriff Center on the University of Hawaii campus with 7 p.m. HT match starts.

The USA Volleyball Cup, which began in 2013, is an initiative to draw elite international teams to the United States to compete in an annual tour series with the U.S. Women’s and Men’s National Volleyball Teams. Such events help foster local community ties to the two National Team programs and the City of Anaheim where the teams train, as well as other communities around the United States to promote the team.

“These matches are going to be epic,” continued Kiraly. “And we’re bringing them to epic volleyball country – we are honored to bring this special rivalry edition of the USA Volleyball Cup to of one of the most fervent, knowledgeable volleyball audiences in the country: Honolulu, where volleyball is part of the fabric of life. We’d love your support Hawaii - we need you pulling for us and making us better.”

The Hawaiian support will be needed as Kiraly is well aware how good the Brazilian squad is. In three head-to-head meetings last year with both squads using senior level athletes, Brazil was 3-0 on the heels of a four-set win in the 2012 Olympic Games gold-medal match. Up until the 2012 Olympic Games title match, it was the U.S. that had Brazil’s number with consecutive victories.

“I know (Brazil) is going to come out strong against us on Friday. They definitely don’t want to lose 3-0 to any team in the world. They certainly don’t want that to happen against the U.S. again this year.”

Team USA won six of seven sets against the Brazilians, but Kiraly would like more than anything to have his team play under stressful conditions.

“I hope Brazil comes out really strong,” Kiraly said. “I want the outcome to be in doubt, seriously in doubt. That is the best way we are going to get better when both teams are battling hard and nobody has an idea who is going to win.”

Since the conclusion of the 2008 Olympic Games, the U.S. and Brazil have occupied the top two spots in the world ranking. Team USA overtook Brazil in the rankings following the 2011 FIVB World Cup. However, Brazil regained the top spot in September 2013 on the heels of its second straight Olympic Games gold medal victory over the Americans in 2012 and ending Team USA’s three-year run on the FIVB World Grand Prix titles late last summer.

The Brazilians last touring series with the United States was part of a three-match U.S. Olympic Team Exhibition series in Colorado Springs prior to the 2008 Olympic Games. All three contests went five sets with Brazil winning two of three. Since 2010, the U.S. has made three separate trips to face Brazil in front of standing-room only crowds including a 2010 four-match tour and preliminary round pools in the 2012 and 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix.

Following the conclusion of the USA Volleyball Cup this weekend, Team USA will play Brazil twice in August as part during the FIVB World Grand Prix, as well as possibly in the FIVB World Championship later this fall.

For ticket and additional information on the USA Volleyball Cup, visit Beverage producer KonaRed is an official supplier for the USA Volleyball Cup.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for USA Volleyball Cup (see legend for corresponding matches)
# - Name (Position, Ht, World Championship App, Olympic App, Hometown, College)
1 – *^# Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, 11, 0, Leland, Mich., Penn State)
2 – *^# Kayla Banwarth (L, 5-10, 0, 0, Dubuque, Iowa, University of Nebraska)
3 – *^# Courtney Thompson (S, 5-8, 0, 8, Kent, Wash., University of Washington)
4 – *^ Lauren Paolini (MB, 6-4, 0, 0, Ann Arbor, Mich., University of Texas)
6 – *^# Nicole Davis (L, 5-4, 11, 16, Stockton, Calif., University of Southern California)
7 – *^# Cassidy Lichtman (OH, 6-1, 0, 0, Poway, Calif., Stanford University)
8 – *^# Lauren Gibbemeyer (MB, 6-2, 0, 0, St. Paul, Minn., University of Minnesota)
9 – *^ Kristin Hildebrand (OH, 6-1, 0, 0, Orem, Utah, Stanford University)
10 – *^# Jordan Larson-Burbach (OH, 6-2, 11, 8, Hooper, Neb., University of Nebraska)
12 - *^# Kelly Murphy (OPP, 6-2, 0, 0, Wilmington, Ill., University of Florida)
14 - # Nicole Fawcett (OPP, 6-4, 0, 0, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State)
15 - *# Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, 0, 0, Portland, Ore., Pepperdine University)
16 - *# Foluke Akinradewo (MB, 6-3, 11, 8, Plantation, Fla., Stanford University)
17 - *^ Alix Klineman (OPP, 6-5, 0, 0, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Stanford University)
22 - *^# Rachael Adams (MB, 6-2, 0, 0, Cincinnati, Ohio, University of Texas)
26 - ^# Kelsey Robinson (OH, 6-2, 0, 0, Bartlett, Ill., University of Nebraska)
28 - ^# Tori Dixon (MB, 6-3, 0, 0, Burnsville, Minn., University of Minnesota)
Legend: * = July 5 at UCI; ^ = July 6 at USC; # = July 11-12 at Hawaii

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Jamie Morrison, Tom Black
Technical Coordinator: Joe Trinsey
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek

Brazil Roster for Women’s USA Volleyball Cup
# - Name (Position, Ht, World Championship App, Olympic App, Club)
1 – Fabiana Claudino (MB, 6-4, 14, 13, SESI-SP)
3 – Danielle Lins (S, 5-11, 13, 7, Osasco/Molico)
4 – Ana Carolina Da Silva (MB, 6-0, 0, 0, Unilever)
5 – Adenizia Silva (MB, 6-1, 6, 7, Molico/Nestle)
6 – Thaisa Menezes (MB, 6-5, 14, 14, Molico/Nestle)
7 – Andreia Sforzin Laurence (OH, 6-0, 7, 0, Unilever)
8 – Jaqueline Pereira de Carvalho Endres (OH, 6-1, 13, 14, NA)
10 – Gabriela Braga Guimaraes (OH, 5-9, 0, 0, Unilever)
11 – Tandara Caixeta (OH, 6-0, 0, 7, Banana Boat/Praia Clube)
12 – Natalia Pereira (OH, 6-0, 14, 8, Unilever)
13 – Sheilla Castro (OPP, 6-1, 16, 14, VakifBank)
14 – Ana Tiemi (S, 6-2, 7, 0, Bursa B.B. SK)
15 – Monique Marinho Pavao (OPP, 5-10, 0, 0, SESI-SP)
16 – Fernanda Rodrigues (OH, 5-10, 0, 7, Dinamo Krasnodar)
17 – Josefa Fabiola Almeida De Sousa Alves (S, 6-0, 8, 0, Dinamo Krasnodar)
18 – Camila Brait (L, 5-7, 9, 0, Molico/Nestle)

Head Coach: Jose Roberto Lages Guimaraes
Assistant Coaches: Paulo do Rego Barros Junior, Claudio Lopes Pinheiro
Trainer: Fabio Correia
Statistician: Marco Antonio Di Bonifacio
Team Manager: Leonardo Gomes Pereira Cupertino Moraes