U.S. Women Open Grand Prix in Turkey

By Bill Kauffman | July 30, 2014, 12:52 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 30, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team will be in search of its sixth FIVB World Grand Prix title as Team USA opens the tournament’s first of three preliminary round weekends Aug. 1-3 in Ankara, Turkey.

The Americans begin the 2014 edition on Aug. 1 versus No. 6 Russia at 6 a.m. PT, followed by No. 11 Turkey on Aug. 2 at 9 a.m. PT and No. 3 Japan on Aug. 3 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.

U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly and his staff have selected the 14-player roster for the opening weekend in Turkey.

Team USA’s opening match of the 2014 World Grand Prix is the same as the first opponent in the 2013 edition – Russia. Murphy came off the bench to produce 16 points in the match, which was matched by Hill. Both were playing in their first-ever FIVB event. The Americans also defeated Russia in last year’s FIVB World Grand Champions Cup held in November. Russia leads the all-time series since 1983 with a 68-33 record, including an 11-9 record in World Grand Prix matches.

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 Americans and Japanese have played 217 times since 1983 – by far the most of any opponent for the U.S. While Japan holds the upper hand 113-104 in the series, Team USA won all six meetings in 2013 including three during the USA Volleyball Cup, twice in the FIVB World Grand Prix in Japan and once in the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup also in Japan. In World Grand Prix matches over the past 21 editions, the U.S. leads the series 17-6.

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.

Team USA’s nine-match schedule in the 2014 FIVB World Grand Prix preliminary round has a 6.44 average world ranking, highlighted by two matches against top-ranked Brazil, a single match against No. 3 Japan and two matches against No. 6 Russia.

In the second preliminary weekend, Team USA travels to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to face Russia on Aug. 8, Korea on Aug. 9 and Brazil on Aug. 10 (Match of the Week on www.laola1.tv). The Americans conclude the preliminary phase in Bangkok, Thailand, with a second straight match against Brazil on Aug. 15, followed by host Thailand on Aug. 16 and NORCECA rival Dominican Republic on Aug. 17.

Teams can alter their World Grand Prix roster each week, provided the players were on the preliminary roster.

Other first-week pools for the top World Grand Prix group will take place in Ansan, Korea (Pool B) and Sassari, Italy (Pool C). Pool B has Korea hosting Serbia, Germany and Thailand. In Pool C, Italy hosts Brazil, China and Dominican Republic.

With a new format and a record 28 teams participating in the FIVB World Grand Prix in 2014, a three-tier formula is in place for access into the Final Round. The top tier has 12 teams including Team USA, and the top four teams following the three preliminary round weekends advance to the Final Round along with Japan as the host country. The second-tier winner will also advance to the six-team Final Round, which takes place in Tokyo.

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: USA vs. Russia, 6 a.m. PT
Aug. 1: Turkey vs. Japan, 9 a.m. PT
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 vs. Germany, 9:40 p.m. PT on July 31
Aug. 1: Korea vs. Thailand, 12:10 a.m. PT
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 vs. China, 8:30 a.m. PT
Aug. 1: Italy vs. Dominican Republic, 11 a.m. PT
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