U.S. Women Top Russia in Grand Prix Rematch

By Bill Kauffman | Aug. 08, 2014, 1:10 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 8, 2014) – Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) scored a match-high 20 points as the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball team used a balanced attack to defeat Russia 22-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-17 on Friday morning in FIVB World Grand Prix Pool D in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Team USA, now 2-2 with six points, continues Pool D in Sao Paulo against Korea (2-2, 6 points) on Aug. 9 at 8:30 a.m. PT and top-ranked Brazil (4-0, 12 points) on Aug. 10 at 7 a.m. PT. Universal Sports will stream both matches. For details, click here.

Russia built a 14-8 advantage early in the opening set, but the U.S. battled back to tie the set at 18-all. Russia scored five of the final seven points to win 25-22. The U.S. jumped to an 18-10 advantage in the second set and cruised to a 25-19 victory. Team USA gained a 13-6 advantage in the third set and never looked back in a winning 25-18 with 18 kills in the set. After the U.S. opened to a quick 8-3 lead in the fourth set, Russia charged back to tie the set at 16-all. However, the U.S. scored nine of the final 10 points of the set for a 25-17 victory.

-->> Watch the Replay Online

The U.S. is now one of six teams in the 12-team top-tier group with two victories, chasing one of four slots into the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round. Brazil, Turkey and Italy already have three wins leading the pack. Last week Russia defeated the U.S. in four sets to open the FIVB World Grand Prix.

“Our team improved in some phases of the game from a week ago," U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. "We are happy, we made some adjustments. We always expect hard games. All the matches are going to be tough."

Murphy totaled 18 kills via 35 swings, and two blocks for 20 points, nine of her points coming in the final set. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) added 14 kills on 23 attacks and two blocks for 16 points. Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio) turned in 10 kills on 16 swings, two blocks and two aces for 14 points.

"We made a lot of upgrades from the last match against Russia and played good volleyball," Akinradewo said.

Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.), who did not play the opening set, contributed 11 kills on 25 attacks and two blocks for 13 points. Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.), who did not play the opening World Grand Prix Weekend, chalked up 11 kills on 31 attacks and an ace for 12 points. Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) scored two blocks and a kill as a double-sub in the first two sets. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) rounded out the scoring with a block from her setter position.

Glass provided 34 running sets on 98 chances in running the offense the majority of the time. Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) paced the American back-row defense with 22 digs on 26 attempts to go with 11 excellent receptions on 14 errorless chances. Hill totaled 19 excellent receptions on 30 errorless chances. Larson-Burbach contributed 11 digs and nine excellent receptions on 12 errorless chances. As a team, the U.S. held a 74-49 advantage in digs.

“I am really happy with the way we played," said Glass, who is serving as team captain. "Our middle blockers are really good. The passers were amazing and gave me the ability to set quickly and we had so many options to score. Russia’s service is always tough, but our receivers responded during the match, so I am really proud of them."

While Russia held a 13-11 edge in blocks and took advantage of 27 U.S. errors, the U.S. offense out-played Russia with a 65-38 kill advantage. The Americans converted 44.8 percent of their attacks into points with a .297 hitting efficiency (65-22-145). Russia was held to 30.4 kill percent and .128 hitting efficiency (38-22-125). Team USA also held a 3-1 margin in aces, but 14 of its 27 errors were at the service line.

The U.S. started Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Ill.) and Larson-Burbach at outside hitter, Adams and Akinradewo at middle blocker, Murphy at opposite and Glass at setter. Banwarth was the starting libero. Hill started the final three sets in place of Robinson. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) was part of a double-switch in all four sets, while Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn.) was part of the double-sub in the final two sets. Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) subbed in all four sets.

Nataliya Goncharova paced Russia with 16 points, while Tatiana Kosheleva added 12 points.

Russia took an 8-3 advantage in the opening set with five unanswered points as Pasynkova scored four early points and Russia had three blocks by the first technical timeout. Team USA scored five straight points on two kills from Akinradewo, a kill by Larson-Burbach, a Klineman block and a Russia error to close to 14-13. The U.S. knotted the set at 18-all with an Adams kill and block. Russia went up 22-20 after winning a long rally on a U.S. attack error. Russia scored the final two points of the set to win 25-22. Akinradewo scored seven points and Adams added five points as the middles combined for 12 points. The U.S. committed nine errors in the set.

The U.S. scored the first three points of the second set with a Hill kill followed by two Russia errors. Russia put up a block to chip the deficit to 3-2. Adams notched a kill and ace to lift the Americans to a 6-3 advantage. Adams hammered back-to-back kills to increase the U.S. lead to 12-8. The U.S. built the lead to 16-9 with consecutive kills from Adams and Akinradewo, a Russia attack into the net and another Akinradewo kill to head into the second technical timeout on a 4-0 run. Team USA stretched the lead to 18-10 with a Larson-Burbach kill and Akinradewo block. Russia scored three straight points on USA errors to close to 19-14. Klineman slammed an overpass after a Russia service error to push the American lead to 21-14. Consecutive Russia blocks closed the gap back to four points, 21-17. The U.S. finished the set at 25-19 with a Larson-Burbach kill and Akinradewo block. Akinradewo and Adams each scored five points in the set victory.

Hill and Larson-Burbach scored kills on the first two points of the third set. Adams served an ace after a Murphy kill to increase the U.S. lead to 4-1, but Russia scored the next two points to move to within one. Team USA reached the first technical timeout up 8-4 with an Akinradewo kill and Larson-Burbach ace sandwiched around a Russia error. Russia committed an attack error out of the timeout for a fourth straight USA point at 9-4. Murphy collected a kill and block to lift the American margin to 12-6 at a Russia timeout. Hill added a kill out of the break to move the advantage to 13-7. Russia chipped two points off its deficit at 14-9 and moved to within four at 17-13 following a block. The U.S. rebuilt a six-point cushion at 21-16 with a Murphy kill and Russia error. Larson-Burbach scored consecutive kills to push the American lead to 23-16. Team USA closed out the set at 25-18 on kills from Akinradewo and Larson-Burbach.

Murphy scored three quick points in the fourth set to give the Americans a 3-1 advantage. The U.S. inched the lead to 6-2 with an Adams kill and two Russia attack errors. Larson-Burbach hammered back-to-back kills to lift the U.S. to an 8-3 advantage at the first technical timeout. Russia whittled the deficit to 9-7 on a 3-0 run. Russia leveled the score at 12-all with three straight points. Murphy and Larson-Burbach downed back-to-back kills to give the U.S. a two-point cushion at 15-13. Russia scored consecutive points out of the second technical timeout to tie the score at 16-all. Hill scored a kill and block to yield an 18-16 American lead. Team USA extended the gap to 21-17 with an Adams block and two Russia attack errors. Out of a Russia timeout Hill slammed a kill and Murphy put up a soft block for a 23-17 advantage. Out of a second Russia timeout, Murphy scored a kill and Hill blocked the match winner at 25-17.

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 Standings
Brazil (4-0, 12 points)
Turkey (3-1, 8 points)
Italy (3-1, 7 points)
Serbia (2-2, 7 points)
Russia (2-2, 7 points)
China (2-2, 7 points)
USA (2-2, 6 points)
Germany (2-2, 6 points)
Korea (2-2, 6 points)
Thailand (1-3, 2 points)
Dominican Republic (1-3, 2 points)
Japan (0-4, 2 point)

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 def. Japan 25-23, 25-13, 24-26, 25-18
Aug. 2: Turkey def. USA 25-21, 27-29, 25-21, 20-25, 15-12
Aug. 3: USA def. Japan 25-27, 25-17, 25-22, 24-26, 15-11
Aug. 3: Turkey def. Russia 25-23, 29-27, 14-25, 18-25, 15-10

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 def. Germany 21-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-21
Aug. 2: Thailand def. Serbia 25-19, 18-25, 20-25, 25-19, 15-13
Aug. 3: Serbia def. Korea 25-22, 26-24, 21-25, 25-9
Aug. 3: Germany def. Thailand 25-21, 25-22, 25-21

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 def. Dominican Republic 25-18, 25-21, 25-23
Aug. 2: Brazil def. Italy 25-21, 25-16, 25-15
Aug. 3: Brazil def. Dominican Republic 26-24, 25-19, 25-18
Aug. 3: Italy def. China 25-18, 18-25, 25-22, 18-25, 15-10

Pool D (at Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Aug. 8: USA def. Russia 22-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-17
Aug. 8: Brazil vs. Korea, 10:45 a.m. PT
Aug. 9: Brazil vs. Russia, 6 a.m. PT
Aug. 9: USA vs. Korea, 8:30 a.m. PT
Aug. 10: USA vs. Brazil, 6 a.m. PT
Aug. 10: Russia vs. Korea, 8:30 a.m. PT

Pool E (at Ankara, Turkey)
Aug. 8: Germany def. Serbia 25-21, 30-28, 25-18
Aug. 8: Dominican Republic def. Turkey 23-25, 19-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-9
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: Italy def. Japan 25-20, 25-17, 21-25, 20-25, 15-11
Aug. 8: China def/ Thailand 29-27, 25-18, 20-25, 25-15
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