The dream of claiming a second consecutive world title is over for Team USA after losing to the Netherlands in the third round of the FIVB Women’s World Championship in Nagoya, Japan, on Monday.
With the tournament’s field down to the final six teams, the Americans were in a must-win situation following a 3-2 loss to China on Sunday.
The U.S. (7-4) took a 2-0 lead to open the match. But the Netherlands, driven by Lonneka Sloetjes’ match-high 38 points, won the next three sets to end Team USA’s title chances, 30-32, 15-25, 25-22, 25-15, 15-9.
It was Team USA’s fourth loss in a row. The Americans will now play in the fifth/sixth place match on Friday.
Michelle Bartsch-Hackley came off the bench and led Team USA in scoring with 17 points. Karsta Lowe, Rachael Adams, Foluke Akinradewo and Jordan Larson each added at least 11 points for the U.S.
It was clear from the beginning that the Netherlands, the top seed out of Pool E with an 8-1 record coming into the match, was going to be a tough opponent. The Netherlands led 18-11 in the first set. Team USA did come back to win that set, it showed the Netherlands’ ability to push the Americans.
The Netherlands caught fire in the third set as a number of runs helped propel them win three consecutive sets.
This was the second consecutive day that Team USA lost a five-set match. The U.S. lost to China after leading the match 2-1. China came back to force a fifth set and eventually won the match.
Kim Hill led the team in scoring in that match with 24 points, Akinradewo scored 18 points and Larson added 17 points.