With a loss on Tuesday night, the U.S. women’s indoor volleyball team and Brazil split a pair of matches at the USA Volleyball Cup in Anaheim, California.
Four Olympians, all a part of the U.S. team that won bronze at Olympic Games Rio 2016, made their 2017 debuts on Sunday night in the first match. Foluke Akinradewo, Rachael Adams, Kim Hill and Jordan Larson returned to play for the first time this season and the U.S. swept the first match, 25-21, 25-14, 29-27, before losing in a bonus fourth set. Larson totaled 15 points with 12 kills on 24 attacks and Adams contributed 11 points in the official three sets with nine kills on 12 swings and two blocks.
But it was rookie Annie Drews who led the way for the U.S. with 18 points with 14 kills on 26 attacks, three blocks and an ace during the official three sets of the match. She added another three points in the bonus set.
Then in Tuesday’s rematch, the U.S. fell, 26-24, 25-18, 19-25 and 25-15. Drews came off the bench and started the last two sets, scoring a team-best 15 points with 12 kills on 21 attacks and three blocks. Akinradewo had nine kills on 20 attacks, three blocks and an ace for 13 points and Larson totaled 10 kills and 12 points.
“I think we learned that it is an inconsistent process,” coach Karch Kiraly, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, told USA Volleyball. “We probably looked a little better on Sunday than (Tuesday). Our offense wasn’t clicking particularly well, and we will have to clean that up a bit starting with better passing and we only have a few training sessions to do that before we start World Grand Champions Cup on Tuesday against China.”
The six-team, round-robin FIVB World Grand Champions Cup will be held Sept. 5-10 in Japan and will be the final event for the U.S. this year.