Team USA Defeats Russia 3-1

Oct. 09, 2014, 5 p.m. (ET)

MILAN, Italy (Oct. 9, 2014) - The U.S. needed a win on Thursday to have a chance of advancing to the semifinals of the FIVB Women’s World Championship. Team USA (9-2) delivered, beating Russia (6-4) in four, 25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 25-23, at the Mediolanum Forum in Milan.

The Americans will now await the results of Friday's Italy-Russia match. The FIVB announced that Brazil and Italy have advanced to the semifinals. If Russia beats Italy 3-0 or 3-1, Russia advances; any other result and the U.S. advance, according to the FIVB.

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Thursday’s Starting Line-up
Setter: Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.)
Opposite: Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.)
Middle Blocker: Christa Dietzen (Hopewell Township, Pa.), Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.)
Outside Hitter: Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.), Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.)
Libero: Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa)

Thursday’s Stat Leaders
Points: Kim Hill, 18; Kelly Murphy, 14; Foluke Akinradewo, 12
Kills: Kim Hill, 16 kills, 5 faults, 39 att.; Kelly Murphy, 15 kills, 6 faults, 32 att.
Blocks: Foluke Akinradewo, 3
Aces: Jordan Larson-Burbach, 2
Digs: Kayla Banwarth, 21; Kim Hill, 15; Alisha Glass, 10
Sets: Alisha Glass, 26 ‘running’ sets on 78 attempts
Excellent Receptions: Kayla Banwarth, 21 of 30 att.; Kim Hill, 18 of 27 att.

“I think all of us had a little fire under our butts this time because it was our last chance,” outside hitter Kim Hill said. “We had to come out and win this game. I think just the fire got us going.”

At 13-13, Courtney Thompson served and helped get the U.S. off on an 8-1 run, which was extended by two huge Foluke Akinradewo kills on short sets, which took the set to 21-14. The Russians attempted a run, but the U.S., led by Kim Hill’s six kills and a block, shut it down. U.S. wins set one 25-19.

  Kelly Murphy keeps her eye on the ball.

The second set was much tighter, tied at 18 and again at 22. The U.S. forced Russia into making a lot of errors, eight for the set, including five on attacks. The U.S. ran their system and relied on their tough serving, closing out the second 25-23.

“I think we came out of the gate; we pushed hard,” opposite Nicole Fawcett said. “We came out with a vengeance. I wish I could tell you what happened in set three; I don’t have an answer unfortunately.”

The third set started with a sideout kill from Christa Dietzen, then two straight aces from Jordan Larson-Burbach, who has begun employing a very effective jump-float serve. The U.S. built the lead to 13-6 and then the Russians took over; kill, kill, block, kill, block, block, kill, and block, before a Kelly Murphy attack ended the run at 14-14. But the Russians were done; the U.S. started making uncharacteristic errors. Finally a serve flew out with Russia leading 21-15. Russia scored the next four points. A 19-2 run. A 10-0 Russian advantage in blocking.

“I think more than anything people were pissed off,” Fawcett said. “We’re not happy losing that third set. You get frustrated and disappointed. Those of us in the box were just ready to go and I could tell in the eyes of the starters that they were just ready to get after it. We were fired up. We knew it was going to be a fight, but we were ready to take up the challenge.”

The Russians began the fourth set up 7-3, but the U.S. fought back from the middle. Akinradewo got a kill followed by an ace, and then Dietzen had back-to-back kills. Russia did not lie down either. It got great production from their back row attacks, strong serving and relentless outside hitters. The set was tied at 13 when the U.S. created a little separation.

Foluke blocked Tatiana Kosheleva, Russia's top scorer. Fawcett had two kills and a block, followed by an Akinradewo kill. A 5-0 run that provided the cushion that took the U.S. to the set win 25-23. The final two points scored by Akinradewo, back-to-back slide kills.

“We executed when we needed to … we were able to reset much quicker and side out when we needed to and make good plays.”

And so now they wait.

“It’s a waiting game,” Hill said. “I’ll probably be biting my fingernails off tomorrow evening for the next match, so we’ll see. It’s out of our hands now.”

Coach Kiraly: “I have to give our team a tremendous amount of credit. We were able to adjust some things, but, most importantly, we were able to come back from the disappointment of losing last night.

“Tomorrow we’ll watch and we’ll see what happens. That’s all that we can do.”

Final-Round Matches (All times local)
Full Event Schedule

Oct. 8
Brazil vs. China … Brazil wins 25-19, 25-16, 25-15 | FIVB Match Page
USA vs. Italy … Italy wins 25-23, 25-22, 25-20 | USAV Story | FIVB Match Page

Oct. 9
China vs. Dominican Republic … China wins 22-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-12 | FIVB Match Page
USA vs. Russia … USA wins 25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 25-23 | USAV Story | FIVB Match Page

Oct. 10
Brazil vs. Dominican Republic, 5:30p | FIVB Match Page
Italy vs. Russia, 8p | FIVB Match Page

Second-Round Results
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