Young Players Lead U.S. Women Past Poland

Aug. 03, 2013, 2:45 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman, USA Volleyball Senior Manager of Communications, Phone: 719-228-6800, Email:
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CAMPINAS, Brazil (Aug. 3, 2013) – The top-ranked U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team defeated No. 15 Poland 25-22, 25-23, 25-16 behind a trio of players competing in their first FIVB event on Saturday afternoon on the second day of FIVB World Grand Prix Pool A in Campinas, Brazil.

The U.S., the three-time defending champion of the FIVB World Grand Prix, is now 2-0 in the pool with six points. Team USA also extended its World Grand Prix win streak to 19 matches dating back to the 2011 Final Round. The Americans conclude Pool A against two-time defending Olympic Games champion Brazil on Sunday at 10 a.m. local time (6 a.m. PT). Brazil, which defeated Russia in five sets on Saturday to improve to 2-0 with five points, has finished runner-up to the U.S. in each of the last three World Grand Prix matches.

Team USA won the opening set 25-22 after breaking an 18-all tie with a 6-1 scoring run and holding on to the victory. Similarly, the U.S. broke a 21-all tie late in the second set with a 3-0 run and held on for a 25-23 victory. The Americans rallied from an 11-9 deficit in the third set and closed out the match with a 16-7 run to win 25-16.

Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) paced the Americans with a match-high 16 points via 12 kills, two blocks and two aces. Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) added 14 points off the bench with 11 kills, two aces and a block. Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) tacked on six kills, a match-high four blocks and an ace for 11 points. Hill and Murphy are rookies on the U.S. Women’s National Team, while Gibbemeyer is seeing her first action in FIVB competition.

Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) tallied three blocks , one ace and one kill for five points. Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah) downed five kills in the victory, while Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) record four kills and a block for five points. Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) totaled three points in the victory and Christa Harmotto (Hopewell Township, Pa.) rounded out the scoring with two kills in the final set.

"Poland is a strong team, and played well today - we were just able to execute our game plan better than they were," said Hildebrand, who is serving as team captain. "I thought our block and defense did a great job... And our setters did a great job running our offense with speed, which was difficult for Poland to keep up with. I am proud of Team USA and looking forward to one more win tomorrow against a tough Brazil team."

Glass turned in 18 running sets on 66 set attempts while Jenna Hagglund (West Chester, Ohio) added three running sets. Team USA converted 38.7 percent of its attacks into kills with a .234 hitting efficiency. Glass also added a team-high 16 digs, while Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) added 11 digs. Hill tallied a team-best eight excellent receptions on 23 attempts.

The FIVB World Grand Prix is the premier annual international women’s volleyball tournament. Team USA is seeking to become the first team to win four consecutive FIVB World Grand Prix titles. Since 2010, the Americans are 41-4 in FIVB World Grand Prix matches with losses only to Brazil (2012 Final Round pool play), Serbia (2011 pool play), Poland (2010 pool play) and Germany (2010 pool play).

Kiraly started Hildebrand and Hill at outside hitter, Gibbemeyer and Paolini at middle blocker, Fawcett at opposite and Glass at setter. Miyashiro was the designated libero for the match. Murphy was a sub in the first set and started the next two sets. Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) played in all three sets as a reserve, while Jenna Hagglund was part of a double switch in the first two sets.

The Americans held a 12-5 advantage in blocks to go with a 43-33 margin in kills. Team USA out-scored Poland at the service line 6-4.

Katarzyna Skowronska-Dolata led Poland with 11 points, while Zuzanna Efimienko added 10 points.

Team USA has had a storied rivalry with Brazil with the two teams occupying the top two spots in the FIVB world ranking for the last six years. In all competitions, the U.S. has won six of its last seven meetings against Brazil with the one loss being the 2012 Olympic Games gold-medal match. However, Brazil holds a 59-40 advantage in the series dating back to 1983. In FIVB World Grand Prix competition, the U.S. has won the last three matches against Brazil, which has never lost more than three matches in a row to any opponent in the World Grand Prix (three straight losses to Russia in 1999-2000, China in 2001-2002 and Germany (2002). Overall, the U.S. and Brazil have face each other 17 times in World Grand Prix action with Brazil holding a slim 9-8 advantage in the event series.

Brazil, with a record 191 victories in FIVB World Grand Prix play, has won the event eight times including three consecutive gold medals from 2007 to 2009 before the Americans rolled off three straight titles. Overall, Brazil has reached the medal podium in 15 of 19 World Grand Prix editions in which they have taken part in. Brazil's last four defeats in the World Grand Prix have been at the hands of the United States. The last team from another country to defeat Brazil in the premier annual international volleyball tournament was Japan in the 2010 World Grand Prix Final Round.

The U.S. opened a 3-0 advantage in the first set with kills from Fawcett and Hill followed by a Gibbemeyer block. However, Poland answered with three straight to tie the score at 3-all. Consecutive Poland errors lifted the Americans in front 7-5. Gibbemeyer downed consecutive kills to increase the American margin to 10-7, only to have Poland cut the gap to 10-9. Hill followed a Poland service error with a kill to push the Americans in front 12-9. However, Poland responded with three unanswered to level the score at 13-all. Poland took its first lead of the set at 17-16 with consecutive points out of the second technical timeout. However, Murphy sliced a kill through the block, then added an ace to flip the advantage to the U.S. at 18-17 leading to a Poland timeout. Team USA rattled off three unanswered with Gibbemeyer and Hill downing kills around a Fawcett block for a 21-18 American lead. Hill tacked on a block and kill and Paolini connected on a quick kill to extend the U.S. advantage to 24-19. Poland saved three set points leading the U.S. to call timeout with its advantage trimmed to 24-22. Paolini ended the set with a kill at 25-22.

Team USA gained a 4-3 lead in the second set with kills by Murphy and Glass around a Hill block, but Poland responded with five unanswered points to take and 8-4 advantage into the first technical timeout. The Americans leveled the score at 10-all with kills by Gibbemeyer and Hill around a Glass ace. Poland answered with two quick points to go up 12-10. Gibbemeyer followed a Polish service error with a block to square the set at 12-all. Team USA gained the lead back at 14-13 with kills from Murphy and Hill, then Murphy extended the gap to 15-13 with a deep cross-court winner. Murphy and Glass put up consecutive blocks to increase the lead to 17-14. Poland sliced two points off its deficit to close to 17-16, then put up a block to tie the score at 18-all. The U.S. broke a 21-all tie with a Murphy kill and Poland error to create a 23-21 advantage. Out of a Poland timeout, Gibbemeyer served an ace to yield U.S. set points at 24-21. Murphy ended the set with a kill down the line at 25-23.

The U.S. grabbed a 4-2 lead in the third set on a 3-0 run highlighted by a Gibbemeyer block and Murphy kill. The Americans extended the lead to 7-3 with a Murphy ace and Hill kill following a Poland service error. Poland scored three consecutive points to close to 7-6. Poland squared the set at 8-all. Poland pushed to an 11-9 lead, but the USA came fired out of its timeout. Harmotto and Hildebrand scored kills around three Poland errors to flip the advantage to the Americans at 14-11. Hildebrand and Hill tallied consecutive kills to yield a 16-12 American lead at the second technical timeout. Murphy and Hill downed consecutive kills to push the gap to 19-14. Poland narrowed its deficit to 19-16 with back-to-back points. However, that was Poland’s last points of the match as the U.S. rolled off seven unanswered with Hill serving two aces along with Gibbemeyer adding a block and kill.

U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team FIVB World Grand Prix Roster
# - Name (Position, Height, Spike Touch, Block Touch, Hometown, College)
1 - # Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, 10-0, 9-10, Leland, Mich., Penn State University)
2 - Danielle Scott (MB, 6-2, 10-8, 9-11, Baton Rouge, La., Long Beach State University)
3 - Courtney Thompson (S, 5-8, 9-0, 8-8, Kent, Wash., University of Washington)
4 - Sonja Newcombe (OH, 6-1, 10-0, 9-10, Lake Arrowhead, Calif., University of Oregon)
5 - # Tamari Miyashiro (L, 5-7, 9-4, 8-9, Kaneohe, Hawaii, University of Washington)
6 - Nicole Davis (L, 5-4, 9-4, 8-9, Stockton, Calif., University of Southern California)
7 - # Cassidy Lichtman (OH, 6-1, 9-10, 9-2, Poway, Calif., Stanford University)
8 - # Lauren Gibbemeyer (MB, 6-2, 10-1, 9-7, St. Paul, Minn., University of Minnesota)
9 - Alix Klineman (OH, 6-5, 10-7, 9-8, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Stanford University)
10 - # Kristin Hildebrand (OH, 6-1, 9-10, 9-4, Orem, Utah, Stanford University)
11 - Alaina Bergsma (OPP, 6-3, 10-4, 9-10, Chandler, Ariz., University of Oregon)
12 - # Kayla Banwarth (L, 5-10, 9-8, 9-3, Dubuque, Iowa, University of Nebraska)
13 - # Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, 10-7, 9-10, Hopewell Township, Pa., Penn State University)
14 - # Nicole Fawcett (OPP, 6-4, 10-2, 9-7, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State University)
15 - # Kelly Murphy (OPP, 6-2, 10-4, 10-1, Wilmington, Ill., University of Florida)
16 - # Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, 10-6, 10-2, Portland, Ore., Pepperdine University)
17 - # Lauren Paolini (MB, 6-4, 10-5, 9-10, Ann Arbor, Mich., University of Texas)
18 - # Regan Hood (OH, 6-2, 10-3, 10-0, Dallas, Texas, LSU)
19 - Juliann Faucette (OPP, 6-2, 10-6. 10-1, San Diego, Calif., University of Texas)
20 - # Jenna Hagglund (S, 5-10, 9-7, 9-6, West Chester, Ohio, University of Washington)
21 - Cursty Jackson (MB, 6-2, 10-6, 10-2, Los Angeles, Calif., University of Arizona)
22 - # Rachael Adams (MB, 6-2, 10-5, 10-1, Cincinnati, Ohio, University of Texas)
# - Selected for Week 1 Roster

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Reed Sunahara, Tom Black
Technical Coordinator: Joe Trinsey
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek

2013 FIVB World Grand Prix Schedule (all match times local)

Pool A – Campinas, Brazil
Aug. 2: United States def. Russia 25-20, 17-25, 25-21, 25-12
Aug. 2: Brazil def. Poland 21-25, 25-17, 25-15, 25-20
Aug. 3: Brazil def. Russia 26-28, 26-24, 25-19, 22-25, 15-8
Aug. 3: United States def. Poland 25-22, 25-23, 25-16
Aug. 4: Brazil vs. United States, 10 a.m.
Aug. 4: Russia vs. Poland, 12:30 p.m.

Pool B – San Domingo, Dominican Republic
Aug. 2: Czech Republic vs. Puerto Rico 25-14, 25-20, 25-18
Aug. 2: Serbia def. Dominican Republic 25-13, 25-20, 25-16
Aug. 3: Serbia def. Czech Republic 28-26, 25-18, 25-23
Aug. 3: Dominican Republic def. Puerto Rico 25-14, 26-24, 25-21
Aug. 4: Serbia vs. Puerto Rico, 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 4: Dominican Republic vs. Czech Republic, 5 p.m.

Pool C – Ankara, Turkey
Aug. 2: Turkey def. Algeria 25-13, 25-18, 25-15
Aug. 2: Japan def. Thailand 25-19, 25-17, 25-21
Aug. 3: Japan def. Algeria 25-10, 25-8, 25-8
Aug. 3: Turkey def. Thailand 25-23, 26-24, 25-22
Aug. 4: Thailand vs. Algeria, 2 p.m.
Aug. 4: Turkey vs. Japan, 5 p.m.

Pool D – Macau, China
Aug. 2: Netherlands def. Cuba 25-20, 25-14, 25-11
Aug. 2: China def. Bulgaria 25-13, 26-24, 25-23
Aug. 3: Bulgaria def. Netherlands 20-25, 25-15, 25-20, 25-23
Aug. 3: China def. Cuba 25-13, 25-20, 25-15
Aug. 4: Bulgaria vs. Cuba, 1 p.m.
Aug. 4: China vs. Netherlands, 3:30 p.m.

Pool E – Montichiari, Italy
Aug. 2: Germany def. Kazakhstan 25-23, 23-25, 25-19, 25-17
Aug. 2: Italy def. Argentina 25-21, 25-20, 25-17
Aug. 3: Argentina def. Germany 25-23, 13-25, 18-25, 25-21, 15-12
Aug. 3: Italy def. Kazakhstan, 28-26, 25-17, 25-13
Aug. 4: Argentina vs. Kazakhstan, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 4: Italy vs. Germany, 8:45 p.m.

Pool F – Belgrade, Serbia
Aug. 9: Serbia vs. Netherlands, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 9: United States vs. Algeria, 8:15 p.m.
Aug. 10: Algeria vs. Serbia, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 10: United States vs. Netherlands, 8:15 p.m.
Aug. 11: Netherlands vs. Algeria, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 11: United States vs. Serbia, 8:15 p.m.

Pool G – Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Aug. 9: Dominican Republic vs. Brazil, 5 p.m.
Aug. 9: Puerto Rico vs. Bulgaria, 8 p.m.
Aug. 10: Brazil vs. Bulgaria, 5 p.m.
Aug. 10: Dominican Republic vs. Puerto Rico, 8 p.m.
Aug. 11: Bulgaria vs. Dominican Republic, 2 p.m.
Aug. 11: Puerto Rico vs. Brazil, 5 p.m.

Pool H – Plock, Poland
Aug. 9: Germany vs. Japan, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 9: Poland vs. Kazakhstan, 8 p.m.
Aug. 10: Japan vs. Kazakhstan, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 10: Poland vs. Germany, 8 p.m.
Aug. 11: Kazakhstan vs. Germany, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 11: Poland vs. Japan, 8 p.m.

Pool I – Hong Kong, China
Aug. 9: Turkey vs. Argentina, 6 p.m.
Aug. 9: China vs. Czech Republic, 8:30 p.m.
Aug. 10: Turkey vs. Czech Republic, 1:15 p.m.
Aug. 10: China vs. Argentina, 3:45 p.m.
Aug. 11: Argentina vs. Czech Republic, 1:15 p.m.
Aug. 11: China vs. Turkey, 3:45 p.m.

Pool J – Ekaterinburg, Russia
Aug. 9: Italy vs. Russia, 5 p.m.
Aug. 9: Cuba vs. Thailand, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 10: Thailand vs. Russia, 5 p.m.
Aug. 10: Cuba vs. Italy, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 11: Russia vs. Cuba, 5 p.m.
Aug. 11: Italy vs. Thailand, 7:30 p.m.

Pool K – Almaty, Kazakhstan
Aug. 16: Cuba vs. Brazil, 3 p.m.
Aug. 16: Kazakhstan vs. Netherlands, 6 p.m.
Aug. 17: Brazil vs. Netherlands, 3 p.m.
Aug. 17: Kazakhstan vs. Cuba, 6 p.m.
Aug. 18: Cuba vs. Netherlands, 3 p.m.
Aug. 18: Kazakhstan vs. Brazil, 6 p.m.

Pool L – Bangkok, Thailand
Aug. 16: Thailand vs. Puerto Rico, 4 p.m.
Aug. 16: Germany vs. Russia, 6:30 p.m.
Aug. 17: Russia vs. Puerto Rico, 2 p.m.
Aug. 17: Thailand vs. Germany, 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 18: Puerto Rico vs. Germany, 2 p.m.
Aug. 18: Russia vs. Thailand, 4:30 p.m.

Pool M – Sendai, Japan
Aug. 16: United States vs. Czech Republic, 3:30 p.m.
Aug. 16: Japan vs. Bulgaria, 6:15 p.m.
Aug. 17: Japan vs. United States, 12:30 p.m.
Aug. 17: Czech Republic vs. Bulgaria, 3:30 p.m.
Aug. 18: Japan vs. Czech Republic, 12:30 p.m.
Aug. 18: United States vs. Bulgaria, 3:30 p.m.

Pool N – Wuhan, China
Aug. 16: Serbia vs. Poland, 4 p.m.
Aug. 16: China vs. Argentina, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 17: Argentina vs. Serbia, 4 p.m.
Aug. 17: China vs. Poland, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 18: Poland vs. Argentina, 4 p.m.
Aug. 18: China vs. Serbia, 7:30 p.m.

Pool O – Kaohsiung City, Chinese Taipei
Aug. 16: Italy vs. Algeria, 3 p.m.
Aug. 16: Turkey vs. Dominican Republic, 6 p.m.
Aug. 17: Algeria vs. Turkey, 3 p.m.
Aug. 17: Italy vs. Dominican Republic, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 18: Dominican Republic vs. Algeria, 3 p.m.
Aug. 18: Italy vs. Turkey, 5:30 p.m.