Gold Medal Match Tonight

Oct. 12, 2014, 8:54 a.m. (ET)

MILAN, ITALY (Oct. 12, 2014) – The U.S. will play China today (Sunday, Oct. 12) for the title at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in Milan.

The U.S. Women are seeking their first gold medal in any of the three volleyball majors – the Olympic Games, World Cup and World Championship.

“We’re really excited for this opportunity,” U.S. Team Captain Christa Dietzen said. “They’re a good team and they have a couple outside hitters who do a nice job for them, but we’re ready and we’re excited.

Today also happens to be the captain’s birthday.

“It’s a special day,” she said. “I don’t think we have to do anything extra. I think we play USA volleyball, play our system and trust in all the work we’ve been doing the past two years.”

Both teams have 10-2 records at this Championship, both losing to Italy and Brazil. Both teams play for head coaches, who won Olympic gold medals as players in 1984; Karch Kiraly for the U.S. men and Lang Ping for the Chinese women. And both teams were nearly eliminated in the third round, needing help to get into the semifinals. The U.S. is ranked second in the world, China fifth.

The U.S. has finished second at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and at the 1967 and 2002 World Championship. 

China has won two Olympic (1984, 2004), three World Cup (1981, 1985, 2003) and two World titles (1982, 1986). Coach Ping played on four of those title-winning teams and she served as the U.S. women’s head coach at the 2008 Olympic Games. 

“The Chinese women's program has a great history of success,” said Kiraly. “We respect them a lot, they are a great team and it will be a fun battle tonight.”

Gold-Medal Match
USA vs. CHN
8 p.m. local (2 p.m. ET)
Streamed live on UniversalSports.com
On TV at 5:30 p.m. ET on the Universal Sports Network

Bronze-Medal Match
ITA vs. BRA
5:30 p.m. local (11:30a ET)
Streamed live on UniversalSports.com
On TV at 4 p.m. ET on the Universal Sports Network

USAV World Site | FIVB World Site | USAV Schedule | Full Event Schedule

The U.S. Women defeated Brazil on Saturday, 3-0, to advance to the gold-medal match. Brazil, the world’s #1 team, has won the last two Olympic gold medals, beating the U.S., both in Beijing and London.

The U.S. team (10-2) was well-prepared against an opponent it has faced many times. The team was in the right places, making plays, all night. It took the first set rather easily, 25-18, and did not get rattled when Brazil roared back, taking a 4-11 lead in the second. The U.S. withstood three set points to win the second 29-27. The Americans held a comfortable lead throughout the third, and closed it out 25-20.

Jordan Larson-Burbach was the leading scorer in the match with 15. Kelly Murphy and Kim Hill, both in just their second season with the national team, scored 13.

Follow along with @USAVolleyball and #FIVBWomensWCH on Twitter and Instagram

The Americans are 10-2 in the three-week long championship that began Sept. 23, beating two-time defending World champions, Russia, twice, and the two-time Olympic champions, Brazil, on their way to the title match against China.

Third-Round Matches
Oct. 8 … USA vs. Italy … Italy wins 25-23, 25-22, 25-20 | USAV Story | FIVB Match Page
Oct. 9 … USA vs. Russia … USA wins 25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 25-23 | USAV Story | FIVB Match Page
Oct. 11 … USA vs. Brazil … USA wins 28-18, 29-27, 25-20 | USAV Story | 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