U.S. Women Hold Off Brazil in Five

By Bill Kauffman | July 11, 2014, 11:58 p.m. (ET)

The U.S. Women and Brazil, while rivals on the court as the top two teams in the world, have mutual respect for one another and many of the players are friends off the court. The teams shared a moment prior to Friday's match to take a photo together.

HONOLULU, Hawaii (July 11, 2014) – As the USA Volleyball Cup shifted to Hawaii from Southern California, the results did not change as the No.2 U.S. Women’s National Team defeated top-ranked Brazil 25-19, 22-25, 27-25, 25-27, 15-11 at the Stan Sheriff Center on the University of Hawaii campus. Team USA has now won the first three matches of the four-match USA Volleyball Cup.

The U.S. was sparked by Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Ill.) and Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.), who each contributed 21 points. Robinson collected 16 kills, four blocks and an ace, while Murphy charted 20 kills on 42 attacks and an ace. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) totaled 18 points with 16 kills on 25 attacks, one block and one ace.

Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn.), playing her first match against Brazil, added five kills and a match-high six blocks for 11 points. Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.) chipped in 11 points before leaving late in the fourth set with an injury. Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) added seven points and Alisha Glass (Leland, Ohio) rounded out the scoring with a block.

Thaisa led Brazil with 21 points with 13 kills on 18 attacks to go with five blocks. Fe Garay posted 18 kill son 43 attacks with just two errors. Fabiana added 14 points, followed by Sheilla with 12 points and Natalia with 10 points.

Team USA out-blocked Brazil 15-10 in the match, while Brazil held a 5-4 edge in aces. The U.S. converted 46 percent of its attacks with a .310 hitting efficiency with Glass doing most of the setting and Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) subbing in all five sets as part of the double-switch.

Robinson was credited with a 50 positive reception percent on 58 of the team’s 98 chances to go with eight digs, while Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) was 56 percent positive on her 16 chances and added seven digs. Glass added a team-high 12 digs for the U.S.

The two teams close out the four-match USA Volleyball Cup series on Saturday in Honolulu at 7 p.m. Hawaii Time. The U.S. defeated Brazil in the first two matches of the USA Volleyball Cup held in Southern California. The Americans topped Brazil 25-22, 25-27, 25-19, 25-19 on July 5 at Irvine, followed by a 25-21, 25-23, 25-20 victory the following night in Los Angeles.

Both teams are in their final preparations for the FIVB World Grand Prix that starts Aug. 1 and goes through Aug. 24. Team USA and Brazil will meet in the second preliminary round weekend in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Aug. 10. The two teams have qualified for the FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Championship taking place Sept. 23 to Oct. 12 in various Italian cities.

The U.S. Women have lost to Brazil in the last two Olympics Games gold-medal matches in 2008 (Beijing) and 2012 (London).

In the opening set, the Americans wowed the home fans and jumped out to a 16-10 advantage by the second technical timeout. Team USA continued to win the long rallies and finished out the set with a 25-19 victory.

The U.S. used three blocks to pick up an 8-6 lead at the second technical timeout of Set 2, but Brazil used a 10-3 run to gain a 16-11 advantage. The U.S. closed to within 19-16 following a Glass ace, then inched to within two at 22-20 on a Murphy ace. However, Brazil closed out the set 25-22.

Team USA built an 8-5 lead at the first technical timeout in the third set. After Brazil closed to 9-8, the U.S. extended the lead back to three at 11-8 on a Robinson block. Natalia put up a block for Brazil narrowing the gap to 12-11, then went in front 16-14 on another Natalia block and Thaisa kill. Team USA answered with two quick points out of the second technical timeout to square the set at 16-all. The U.S. called timeout as Brazil earned a two-point cushion at 19-17 and proceeded to knot the score at 20-all with kills from Larson-Burbach and Fawcett. Out of a Brazil timeout, Akinradewo found open space for a third straight USA point to reverse the lead to the Americans at 21-20. Team USA earned set points at 24-22 on a Fawcett kill and triple block prompting Brazil to call timeout. Brazil answered with a Monique kill and a USA error to save two set points and level the score at 24-all. On its fourth set point chance, Larson-Burbach downed the winning point at 27-25.

The U.S. earned a 13-8 lead in the fourth set with kills from Dixon and Murphy around a Larson-Burbach block capping a 4-0 run. Trailing 20-16, Brazil closed the gap to two points at 20-18 leading to a Team USA timeout, then tied the set at 21-all with a triple block and Sheilla kill. All concern with to Larson-Burbach who went down with an injury as Brazil tied the set at 22-all. After saving two match points, Fe Garay served an ace to give Brazil set point at 26-25 and USA hit wide to give the Brazilians a 27-25 victory.

Team USA started the tiebreaker with a 4-1 advantage, then increased it to 6-2 with a Dixon block. Fabiana nailed an ace to close the gap to 6-4. Thaisa ended a long rally with a block to close the USA advantage to 8-7. Murphy hammered a kill and Dixon put up a monster block to lift the Americans to a 13-10 advantage. Hill slammed a cross-court winner to yield match points at 14-11. Murphy put up the final point with a block at 15-11.

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