US Women Fall to Russia to Open Grand Prix

By Bill Kauffman | Aug. 01, 2014, 12:07 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 1, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team lost to Russia 22-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-20 in its 2014 FIVB World Grand Prix debut match at Ankara, Turkey.

The Americans return to action on Saturday against No. 11 Turkey at 9 a.m. PT before concluding the first preliminary round weekend versus No. 3 Japan on Sunday at 6 a.m. PT. Universal Sports will stream all three matches, in addition to several other matches of the World Grand Prix. For details, click here.

After Russia scored four straight points to close a first set deficit to 18-17, the U.S. rebuilt its advantage to 24-20 and went on to win 25-22. Team USA by as many as four points in the second set at 12-8, but Russia charged back on a 7-0 run to establish a 22-16 lead and went on to win 25-18. Russia maintained the momentum the rest of the match, taking a 13-8 lead in the third set en route to winning 25-20. After the U.S. scored three straight to tie the fourth set at 13-all, Russia responded with four unanswered points for a 17-13 advantage and cruised into a 25-20 victory.

Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) and Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) led the U.S. with 17 points apiece. Hill scored 14 kills on 29 attacks, two blocks and an ace. Akinradewo totaled 13 kills on 24 attacks and four blocks for 16 points. Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) added 10 kills on 30 attacks and a match-high four aces for 14 points.

Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio) provided five kills and four blocks for nine points. Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Ill.) totaled eight kills in the loss, followed by Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) with four points. Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah) and Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) tallied one point each.

Glass tallied 28 running sets on 83 set attempts. Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) provided a team-high eight digs. Hill recorded 17 excellent receptions on 28 attempts, while Robinson added 16 excellent receptions on 25 chances.

Russia held advantages in kills (57-52) and aces (10-7). Russia took advantage of 24 U.S. errors and limited its own to errors to 12 for the match. Team USA, which converted 43.0 percent of its attacks with a .273 hitting efficiency, held a 12-6 block margin. Russia converted attacks at a 49.6 percent clip with a .330 hitting efficiency.

The U.S. started Robinson and Hill at outside hitter, Adams and Akinradewo at middle blocker, Murphy at opposite and Glass at setter. Banwarth was the starting libero. Hildebrand started the fourth set in place of Robinson. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) was a sub in all four sets, while Klineman was a sub in all but the second set. Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) was a reserve in the first three sets.

Russia’s Tatiana Kosheleva led all scorers with 24 points and Natalia Malykh came off the bench in the first set to contribute 16 points.

For tomorrow’s opponent, the U.S. is 8-2 all-time against Turkey, which includes a three-set win to conclude the 2012 Olympic Games pool play. In the last FIVB World Grand Prix meeting between the two countries, Team USA stopped Turkey 3-1 during the 2012 Final Round in China en route to winning the gold weeks before the 2012 Olympic Games.

The U.S. won the FIVB World Grand Prix title three consecutive years from 2010 to 2012, but are looking to bounce back from a disappointing sixth-place finish last year in Japan. The Americans have won the tournament five times, including 1995 and 2001. Ironically, all five Team USA titles have been earned in China.

For additional information on the FIVB World Grand Prix, click here.

U.S. Women’s National Team Preliminary Roster for FIVB World Grand Prix
(see legend for corresponding World Grand Prix Preliminary Round Roster)

# - Name (Position, Ht, Hometown, College)
1 – Alisha Glass ^ (S, 6-0, Leland, Mich., Penn State)
2 – Kayla Banwarth ^ (L, 5-10, Dubuque, Iowa, University of Nebraska)
3 – Courtney Thompson ^ (S, 5-8, Kent, Wash., University of Washington)
4 – Lauren Paolini (MB, 6-4, Ann Arbor, Mich., University of Texas)
5 – Tama Miyashiro (L, 5-7, Kaneohe, Hawaii, University of Washington)
6 – Nicole Davis ^ (L, 5-4, Stockton, Calif., University of Southern California)
7 – Cassidy Lichtman ^ (OH, 6-1, Poway, Calif., Stanford University)
8 – Lauren Gibbemeyer ^ (MB, 6-2, St. Paul, Minn., University of Minnesota)
9 – Kristin Hildebrand ^ (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford University)
10 – Jordan Larson-Burbach (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., University of Nebraska)
11 – Carli Lloyd (S, 5-11, Bonsall, Calif., University of California-Berkeley)
12 – Kelly Murphy ^ (OPP, 6-2, Wilmington, Ill., University of Florida)
13 – Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, Hopewell Township, Pa., Penn State)
14 – Nicole Fawcett (OPP, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State)
15 – Kim Hill ^  (OH, 6-4, Portland, Ore., Pepperdine University)
16 – Foluke Akinradewo ^ (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford University)
17 – Alix Klineman ^ (OPP, 6-5, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Stanford University)
18 – Bailey Webster (OPP, 6-3, Baltimore, Md., University of Texas)
19 – Kelsey Robinson ^ (OH, 6-2, Bartlett, Ill., University of Nebraska)
20 – Jenna Hagglund (S, 5-10, West Chester, Ohio, University of Washington)
21 – Tori Dixon ^ (MB, 6-3, Burnsville, Minn., University of Minnesota)
22 – Rachael Adams ^ (MB, 6-2, Cincinnati, Ohio, University of Texas)
^ = Weekend 1 (at Turkey); # = Weekend 2 (at Brazil); * = Weekend 3 (at Thailand); @ = Final Round (at Japan)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Jamie Morrison, Tom Black
Technical Coordinator: Joe Trinsey
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek
Team Manager: John Xie/Jamison Van Niel

2014 FIVB World Grand Prix Schedule (1st Group)

Pool A (at Ankara, Turkey)
Aug. 1: Russia def. USA 22-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-20
Aug. 1: Turkey def. Japan 29-27, 25-19, 25-21
Aug. 2: Russia vs. Japan, 6 a.m. PT
Aug. 2: USA vs. Turkey, 9 a.m. PT
Aug. 3: USA vs. Japan, 6 a.m. PT
Aug. 3: Russia vs. Turkey, 9 a.m. PT

Pool B (at Ansan, Korea)
Aug. 1: Serbia def. Germany 26-24, 25-20, 25-15
Aug. 1: Korea def. Thailand 23-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-20
Aug. 2: Korea vs. Germany, 10:10 p.m. PT on Aug. 1
Aug. 2: Serbia vs. Thailand, 1:40 a.m. PT
Aug. 3: Korea vs. Serbia, 10:10 p.m. PT on Aug. 2
Aug. 3: Thailand vs. Germany, 1:40 a.m. PT

Pool C (at Sassari, Italy)
Aug. 1: Brazil def. China 25-21, 23-25, 25-17, 25-16
Aug. 1: Italy def. Dominican Republic 25-18, 25-23, 25-15
Aug. 2: China vs. Dominican Republic, 8:30 a.m. PT
Aug. 2: Brazil vs. Italy, 11 a.m. PT
Aug. 3: Brazil vs. Dominican Republic, 8:30 a.m. PT
Aug. 3: Italy vs. China, 11 a.m. PT

Pool D (at Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Aug. 8: USA vs. Russia, 8 a.m. PT
Aug. 8: Brazil vs. Korea, 11:45 a.m. PT
Aug. 9: Brazil vs. Russia, 7 a.m. PT
Aug. 9: USA vs. Korea, 9:30 a.m. PT
Aug. 10: USA vs. Brazil, 7 a.m. PT
Aug. 10: Russia vs. Korea, 9:30 a.m. PT

Pool E (at Ankara, Turkey)
Aug. 8: Serbia vs. Germany, 6 a.m. PT
Aug. 8: Turkey vs. Dominican Republic, 9 a.m. PT
Aug. 9: Germany vs. Dominican Republic, 6 a.m. PT
Aug. 9: Turkey vs. Serbia, 9 a.m. PT
Aug. 10: Dominican Republic vs. Serbia, 6 a.m. PT
Aug. 10: Turkey vs. Germany, 9 a.m. PT

Pool F (at Hong Kong)
Aug. 8: Japan vs. Italy, 3:30 a.m. PT
Aug. 8: China vs. Thailand, 5:30 a.m. PT
Aug. 9: Italy vs. Thailand, 10:15 p.m. PT on Aug. 8
Aug. 9: China vs. Japan, 12:45 a.m. PT
Aug. 10: Japan vs. Thailand, 10:15 p.m. PT on Aug. 9
Aug. 10: China vs. Italy, 12:45 a.m. PT

Pool G (at Bangkok, Thailand)
Aug. 15: Thailand vs. Dominican Republic, 2 a.m. PT
Aug. 15: USA vs. Brazil, 4:30 a.m. PT
Aug. 16: Brazil vs. Dominican Republic, midnight PT
Aug. 16: USA vs. Thailand, 2:30 a.m. PT
Aug. 17: USA vs. Dominican Republic, midnight PT
Aug. 17: Thailand vs. Brazil, 2:30 a.m. PT

Pool H (at Kaliningrad, Russia)
Aug. 15: Turkey vs. Germany, 6:40 a.m. PT
Aug. 15: Russia vs. Italy, 10:10 a.m. PT
Aug. 16: Italy vs. Germany, 6:40 a.m. PT
Aug. 16: Russia vs. Turkey, 10:10 a.m. PT
Aug. 17: Italy vs. Turkey, 6:40 a.m. PT
Aug. 17: Germany vs. Russia, 10:10 a.m. PT

Pool I (at Macau, China)
Aug. 15: Japan vs. Serbia, 2 a.m. PT
Aug. 15: China vs. Korea, 5:30 a.m. PT
Aug. 16: Japan vs. Korea, 11:30 p.m. PT on Aug. 15
Aug. 16: China vs. Serbia, 2 a.m. PT
Aug. 17: Korea vs. Serbia, 10 p.m. PT on Aug. 16
Aug. 17: China vs. Japan, 12:30 a.m. PT