Brazil Wins Battle of Unbeaten at Worlds

Oct. 05, 2014, 4:06 p.m. (ET)

VERONA, Italy (Oct. 5, 2014) – Brazil (9-0) defeated Team USA (8-1) in a battle of unbeaten teams, 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-21) to win Pool F at the FIVB Women’s World Championship on Sunday at the PalaOlimpia in Verona, Italy.

Both teams advance to the Final Round in Milan, which begins on Wednesday.

Brazil has won 30 of its last 32 World Championship matches; its only two defeats occurred in the finals in 2006 and 2010 against Russia.

The Final Round will feature China, Italy and the Dominican Republic from Pool E and Brazil, U.S. and Russia from Pool F. The Final Round schedule will be determined and announced Monday (2 p.m. local) at the team briefing in Milan with the drawing of lots.

All final-round matches will be streamed live on at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Oct. 8-12. Television broadcasts begin on Oct. 8. Universal Sports will show 10 matches with special taped 90-minute editions on the same day of the match. The two matches will be shown back-to-back for three hours of volleyball coverage beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

USAV World Site | FIVB World Site | FIVB Match Page | Official FIVB Stats | DataVolley Stats

Tonight’s Starting Line-up

Setter: Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.)

Opposite: Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio)

Middle Blocker: Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn.), Rachael Adams (Cincinnati)

Outside Hitter: Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah), Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Ill.)

Libero: Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.)

Tonight’s Stat Leaders

Points: Nicole Fawcett, 13; Kristin Hildebrand, 12

Kills: Nicole Fawcett, 12 on 28 attempts; Kristin Hildebrand, 11 of 22

Blocks: Tori Dixon, 2; Kelsey Robinson, Alicia Glass, 1

Aces: Kristin Hildebrand, Nicole Fawcett, Tori Dixon, 1

Digs: Nicole Fawcett, 14; Nicole Davis, 12; Kristin Hildebrand, 9

Sets: Alisha Glass, 14 ‘running’ sets on 76 attempts

Excellent Receptions: Kristin Hildebrand, 16 of 25 att.; Nicole Davis, 16 of 27 att.

With the Final Round already assured for both teams, both coaches used the opportunity to rest certain players. Brazil didn’t play their top four scorers. The U.S. rested top scorer Kelly Murphy, blockers Christa Dietzen, Foluke Akinradewo and libero Kayla Banwarth.

“You ask anyone on that court and they want to win,” opposite Nicole Fawcett said. “That’s what makes this team great is everyone is competitive. It’s going to bother us because we care.”

But on the other hand the team goal wasn’t to go undefeated.

“We came up short,” U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “We didn’t quite take care of some of our assignments, but it is part of our drive to push to the final six, we’ve done that and now we travel tomorrow and we learn what’s in store for us late this week.”

Each set was close. The first set was tied at 22. But Brazil shifted momentum with a huge stuff block on the very next point and quickly got to two set points before ending it 25-23. In the first set, Brazil dominated the net, five blocks to one.

“I think our blocking wasn’t where it needed to be, me specifically; I needed to do a better job than what I did,” Fawcett said. “That’s tough to play defense around. I mean they had some really good serves, so it’s hard to run an offense when they’re serving you to where we’re going to have to be out-of-system a lot.”

That tough serving was evident in the second set when Brazil served up four aces. It controlled the second set with leads of three and four throughout, but the Americans narrowed it to one at 22-23 on a Kristin Hildebrand kill. However, Brazil took the next two points and the set, 25-22.

After two sets Hildebrand had 10 points on nine of 11 attempts.

The third set was tied at 15, and then the Brazilians went on a 6-2 run. The U.S. mounted a brief comeback, but it wasn’t sustained. Brazil took set three 25-21.

And now it’s on to the Final Round. Tomorrow Team USA travels to Milan; Tuesday is a rest day.

“It’s going to be fun,” said Fawcett. “The team didn’t end on the note that they wanted to at the Grand Prix (earlier this summer), so when they came back, everyone worked very hard to get to where we are now. We know that we are still striving to get better; it’s working well for us right now.”

The U.S. will use the next two days to work on improvement.

Said Kiraly, “Things are big when we do them well, take care of a play here and a play there … some fundamentals …  and bigger when we don’t, so we’ve got a nice opportunity in these next couple of days to make the makeable big play a little better than we did tonight.”

A bright note for the U.S. is that a big-time play maker Jordan Larson-Burbach saw spot duty on the court Sunday; her first action since the match against Turkey four days ago.

The World Championship, held every four years, is the largest FIVB major championship with 24 teams competing in four groups. In the first round, the Americans played in Pool C with two-time defending champions Russia, along with Thailand, Netherlands, Kazakhstan and Mexico. In the second round the U.S. will compete in Pool F against Brazil, Serbia, Turkey and Bulgaria with two matches in Modena (Oct. 1-2) and Verona (Oct. 4-5). The U.S. has qualified for the Final Round (Oct. 8-12); opponents and schedule to be determined on Monday.

Second-Round Matches (All times local)

Full Event Schedule | Current Pool Rankings

Oct. 1 … Turkey … USA wins 27-29, 25-19, 25-23, 25-15 | USAV Story | FIVB Match Page

Oct. 2 … Bulgaria … USA wins 25-17, 25-19, 25-16 | USAV Story | FIVB Match Page

Oct. 4 … Serbia … USA wins 25-22, 25-20, 25-22 | USAV Story | FIVB Match Page

Oct. 5 … Brazil … Brazil wins 25-23, 25-22, 25-21 | USAV Story | FIVB Match Page

First-Round Results

Sept. 23 … Mexico … USA wins 19-25, 25-11, 25-20, 25-14 | USAV Story | FIVB Match Page

Sept. 24 … Kazakhstan … USA wins 25-15, 25-20, 25-22 | USAV Story | FIVB Match Page

Sept. 25 … Netherlands … USA wins 29-27, 25-21, 25-18 | USAV Story | FIVB Match Page

Sept. 27 … Thailand … USA wins 25-15, 25-23, 25-20 | USAV Story | FIVB Match Page

Sept. 28 … Russia … USA wins 34-32, 25-19, 29-31, 26-24 | USAV Story | FIVB Match Page

TEAM USA | 2014 FIVB World Championships

# - Name … Position … Height … Hometown … College                

1 – Alisha Glass … Setter … 6-0 … Leland, Mich. … Penn State       

2 – Kayla Banwarth … Libero … 5-10 … Dubuque, Iowa … Nebraska

3 – Courtney Thompson … Setter … 5-8 … Kent, Wash. … Washington

6 – Nicole Davis … Libero … 5-4 … Stockton, Calif. … USC

9 – Kristin Hildebrand … Outside Hitter … 6-1 … Orem, Utah … Stanford

10 – Jordan Larson-Burbach … Outside Hitter … 6-2 … Hooper, Neb. … Nebraska            

12 – Kelly Murphy … Opposite … 6-2 … Wilmington, Ill. … Florida

13 – Christa Dietzen … Middle Blocker … 6-2 … Hopewell Township, Pa. … Penn State  

14 – Nicole Fawcett … Opposite … 6-4 … Zanesfield, Ohio … Penn State                              

15 – Kim Hill … Outside Hitter … 6-4 … Portland, Ore. … Pepperdine                                      

16 – Foluke Akinradewo … Middle Blocker … 6-3 … Plantation, Fla. … Stanford                 

19 – Kelsey Robinson … Outside Hitter … 6-2 … Bartlett, Ill. … Nebraska                              

21 – Tori Dixon … Middle Blocker … 6-3 … Burnsville, Minn. … Minnesota                           

22 – Rachael Adams … Middle Blocker … 6-2 … Cincinnati, Ohio … Texas                              

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly                                                                             

Assistant Coaches: Jamie Morrison, Marv Dunphy
Technical Coordinator: Joe Trinsey                                                         

Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek
Doctors: Dr. Andrew Gregory and Dr. William Stetson                    

Medical Support: Dustin Glass
Consultant Coaches: David Hunt, Jamison Van Niel                         

Team Manager: Denise Sheldon