Team USA Downs Kazakhstan 3-0 at Worlds

Sept. 24, 2014, 9:05 a.m. (ET)

VERONA, Italy (Sept. 24, 2014) - The U.S. National Team defeated Kazakhstan 25-20, 25-15, 25-22 at the FIVB Women’s World Championship at the Palaolimpia in Verona, Italy on Wednesday.  

  Kelly Murphy attacks against Kazakhstan

The Americans are now 2-0 in Pool C play and will face Netherlands at 8 p.m. local time on Thursday.

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Head Coach Karch Kiraly started a completely different lineup from the first match with Olympian Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.), Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.), Alicia Glass (Leland, Mich.), Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.), Olympian Christa Dietzen (Hopewell Township, Pa.), Olympian Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation Fla.), and Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa). 

The team got off to a strong start in the first set against a Kazakhstan team that runs an unorthodox system. They have players, who receive serve in one place of the court, maybe in the back left corner, who then run all the way across and attack in the right front corner.

“We faced a very unconventional opponent today,” said Kiraly. “I thought we did a pretty good job in terms of adjusting to something we don’t see very often. It is a little more complicated system, but if we’re doing our job, it should actually be easier in some ways to defend that system. We were just okay on that today.”

Murphy was a big part of that fast start scoring eight points on seven of 11 kill attempts. Murphy was the overall scoring leader of the match with 13 points.

“I was excited to play,” she said, after not playing in the first match. “We’ve been training for a long time, so to finally get out there and play in a real match, it almost felt like a relief.

“I think our speed was a really big advantage for us against the block. Alisha gave me some good looks and I was able to get some good kills early.”

With the U.S. up 13-11 in the first set, Akinradewo left the court with an apparent leg injury. She was replaced by Tori Dixon and did not return.

“Foluke got going well and then we had a bit of a scare,” said Kiraly. “It’s too early to tell. We’ll have to see how things are going with Foluke, but it is better to be safe at this point.”

The second set saw the U.S. exert its will on the Kazakhstan squad with a dominate 25-15 results. Adams saw time in the middle blocker position and scored the sets final three points. Adams ended the day a perfect seven-for-seven.

The Americans let up on the gas in the final set up 18-12 and watched the Kazakhstan team battle back to a 20-20 tie. Late aces by Glass and Larson-Burbach help seal the set and the match in three.

Banwarth had a team-high 12 digs. Murphy and Larson-Burback added eight each. Hill had 11 excellent receptions to go with her nine points. Glass was credited with 28 ‘running’ sets from 72 attempts.

“We talked a lot about just doing your job; you don’t have to do anything extra or anything special,” Murphy said. “I think we did a really good job of that as a whole. Everybody just took care of their business and it ended up making the game go pretty well for us.“

Murphy played with a familiar face in the audience, her finance, Olympic triple jump gold medalist, Christian Taylor.

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 are in Pool C two-time defending World champions from Russia, along with Thailand, Netherlands, Kazakhstan and Mexico. The top four teams advance to the second round on Oct. 1-5.

First-Round Schedule (All times local)

Sept. 23 … Mexico … USA wins 19-25, 25-11, 25-20, 25-14
Sept. 24 … Kazakhstan … USA wins 25-15, 25-20, 25-22
Sept. 25 … Netherlands at 8 p.m.
Sept. 27 … Thailand at 8 p.m.
Sept. 28 … Russia at 8 p.m.

All first-round matches will be streamed live on UniversalSports.com. Streaming plans for second round matches Oct. 1-5 will be announced.

Universal Sports will begin televising matches in the Final Round, Oct. 8-10, the semifinals (Oct. 11) and the medal matches (Oct. 12). These matches will be played in Milan at the Mediolanum Forum.

You can find the full event schedule here.


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