Brazil Hands Team USA Loss in Grand Prix

By Bill Kauffman | Aug. 10, 2014, 11:59 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 10, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team were handed a 25-20, 25-22, 29-27 loss to top-ranked Brazil Sunday morning in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as part of FIVB World Grand Prix Pool D.

Team USA, now 3-3 with nine points, plays its third and final preliminary round pool next weekend in Bangkok, Thailand. The U.S. and Brazil, the only undefeated team in the World Grand Prix at 6-0 and 18 points, will meet again on Aug. 15 at 4:30 a.m. PT. The Americans will face host Thailand on Aug. 16 at 2:30 a.m. PT before concluding the preliminary round against NORCECA rival Dominican Republic on Aug. 17 at midnight PT.

After the U.S. closed to 17-16 in the opening set, Brazil scored three quick points and scored the final three points of the set for a 25-20 victory. The U.S. rallied from a 10-6 deficit to take a 20-19 lead in the second set, but Brazil scored five of the final six points to win 25-22. Team USA opened the fourth set with a 5-1 lead, but Brazil battled back to take the lead at 11-10 and increased the advantage to three at 16-13. The U.S. regained the lead back at 22-21, but Brazil reversed the score to 23-22 and held three match points before the Americans grabbed a set point of its own at 27-26. However, Brazil would score the final three points of the match for a 29-27 victory.

The U.S. dropped to sixth place in the 12-team Group 1 World Grand Prix standings with two teams. Team USA can still reach the Final Round with three wins and the full nine points next weekend, along with at least one loss to both Serbia (3-3, 11 points) and Italy (4-2, 10 points). Only the top four teams from the 12-team Group 1 advance to the World Grand Prix Final Round Aug. 20-24 in Tokyo.

Team USA’s Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) led all scorers with 17 points on 16 kills on 47 attacks and a block. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) contributed eight kills on 26 attacks and a match-high five blocks for 13 points. Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.) recorded 12 kills on 32 attacks in the loss.

Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Ill.) came off the bench in the third set to score five kills on 13 swings, while Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) tallied four kills and a block. Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio) tacked on four kills in the first two sets and Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn.) added three points in starting just the third set. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) rounded out the scoring with a block.

Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) was credited with 23 digs and 10 excellent receptions on 16 chances. Glass added 41 running sets and 14 digs.

Brazil took advantage of 22 Team USA errors – 10 on the serve – and limited its own miscues to nine for the match. The two-time defending Olympic Games champions also held advantages in aces (4-0) and blocks (11-9). The Americans produced a 51-42 kill margin. The U.S. converted 34.0 percent of its attacks into points with a .213 hitting efficiency. Meanwhile, Brazil converted 33.1 percent of its attacks into points with a .228 hitting efficiency. The U.S. held an 82-67 margin in digs. Brazil handled its 60 service receptions with a 63.3 excellent percent, while Team USA was 47.3 percent excellent on 74 chances.

The U.S. started Hill and Larson-Burbach at outside hitter, Adams and Akinradewo at middle blocker, Murphy at opposite and Glass at setter. Banwarth was the starting libero.

Thaisa Menezes led Brazil with 12 pionts, while Fabiana Claudino and Sheilla Castro each racked up 10 points in the victory.

Brazil scored four straight including two U.S. errors to take a 4-1 lead in the first set. Akinradewo downed a kill to win a long rally and Hill followed with a block to close the gap to 6-5. Brazil built a four-point cushion at 12-8 with three unanswered points. Akinradewo put up a block and Larson-Burbach followed with a kill to close the deficit to 13-11. However, Brazil blocked the next two U.S. attacks to increase its advantage to 15-11. Akinradewo and Hill answered with consecutive kills and Akinradewo followed by a block to close to 15-14. Brazil increased its lead to 20-16 with three consecutive points. Team USA cut the gap in half with a Murphy kill and Brazil attack error at 22-20. Brazil scored the final three points for a 25-20 victory.

Brazil went into the second set’s first technical timeout leading 8-5 after a block and ace as part of a 3-0 run breaking a 5-all tie. Brazil extended the advantage to 10-6 going into a Team USA timeout. Hill, Murphy and Larson-Burbach collected kills out of the break to cut the deficit to 10-9. Brazil returned to a three-point cushion at 13-10 following a block. Murphy collected a kill and block to narrow the gap to 13-12. The teams traded points until Brazil scored two consecutive points at 18-15. Hill downed a kill and Brazil hit wide followed by a Dixon block to level the set at 18-all. The U.S. took the lead at 20-19 with a Larson-Burbach kill after a Brazil service error. Brazil regained the lead at 22-21 with a block. Brazil scored the final three points of the set to win 25-22.

Larson-Burbach slammed two kills around a Murphy kill followed by an Akinradewo block to give the U.S. an early 5-1 lead in the third set. Brazil chipped two points on the deficit to close to 5-3, then moved to within one at 7-6 on a block. Brazil tied the set at 9-all and went in front 11-10 on an ace. Brazil went into the second technical timeout up 16-13 on a 4-1 scoring run. Dixon scored a kill after a Brazil error to trim the deficit to 17-16. Team USA tied the set at 21-all with kills from Akinradewo and Robinson, then went ahead at 22-21 on a Brazil error. Brazil answered with two points out of a timeout to go up 23-22. The U.S. saved three match points and took its lead at 27-26 on kills from Murphy and Robinson. Brazil saved the set point and reversed the lead at 28-27 and finished the set on its fourth opportunity at 29-27.

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 Preliminary Round Roster)

# - 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 Standings
1. Brazil (6-0, 18 points) - vs. USA (8/15), vs. Dominican Republic (8/16) vs. Thailand (8/17)
2. Turkey (5-1, 13 points) - vs. Germany (8/15), vs. Russia (8/16), vs. Italy (8/17)
3. China (4-2, 13 points) - vs. Korea (8/15), vs. Serbia (8/16), vs. Japan (8/17)
4. Serbia (3-3, 11 points) - vs. Japan (8/15), vs. China (8/16), vs. Korea (8/17)
5. Italy (4-2, 10 points) - vs. Russia (8/15), vs. Germany (8/16), vs. Turkey (8/17)
6. USA (3-3, 9 points) - vs. Brazil (8/15), vs. Thailand (8/16), vs. Dominican Republic (8/17)
7. Korea (3-3, 9 points) - vs. China (8/15), vs. Japan (8/16), vs. Serbia (8/17)
8. Germany (3-3, 8 points) - vs. Turkey (8/15), vs. Italy (8/16), vs. Russia (8/17)
9. Russia (2-4, 7 points) - vs. Italy (8/15), vs. Turkey (8/16), vs. Germany (8/17)
10. Japan (1-5, 5 point) - vs. Serbia (8/15), vs. Korea (8/16), vs. China (8/17)
11. Dominican Republic (1-5, 3 points) - vs. Thailand (8/15), vs. Brazil (8/16), vs. USA (8/17)
12. Thailand (1-5, 2 points) - vs. Dominican Republic (8/15), vs. USA (8/16), vs. Brazil (8/17)

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 vs. Dominican Republic, 2 a.m. PT
Aug. 15: USA vs. Brazil, 4:30 a.m. PT
Aug. 16: Brazil vs. Dominican Republic, midnight PT
Aug. 16: USA vs. Thailand, 2:30 a.m. PT
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: Turkey vs. Germany, 6:40 a.m. PT
Aug. 15: Russia vs. Italy, 10:10 a.m. PT
Aug. 16: Italy vs. Germany, 6:40 a.m. PT
Aug. 16: Russia vs. Turkey, 10:10 a.m. PT
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 vs. Serbia, 2 a.m. PT
Aug. 15: China vs. Korea, 5:30 a.m. PT
Aug. 16: Japan vs. Korea, 11:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 15
Aug. 16: China vs. Serbia, 2 a.m. PT
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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