By Karen Price | Oct. 19, 2018, 10 a.m. (ET)
Members of the U.S. women's team celebrate taking fifth place at the FIVB World Championship on Oct. 19, 2018 in Yokohama, Japan.


The U.S. was unable to defend its gold medal at the FIVB Women’s World Championship, but ended the tournament on a positive note with a victory, beating host Japan to finish in fifth place on Friday, 25-23, 25-16, 23-25, 25-23. 

Kim Hill led the team in scoring with 24 points as the U.S. snapped a four-game losing streak. Karsta Lowe had 17 points and Jordan Larson added 12 for the 2014 world and 2018 Volleyball Nations League champions. 

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Team USA dominated the first two sets, jumping out to significant leads that put Japan in the position of having to fight from behind. Although Japan tied the score and then got within two points late in the first set, Team USA powered through for the win then dominated the second set. 

The U.S. nearly closed the match out with a sweep, leading 16-15 in the third set then tying it 20-20, but Japan pushed through for the victory and forced the fourth set. A strong blocking game by the U.S. left them with a 10-1 match advantage.

Italy and Serbia will play for the world title on Saturday. 

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.