USA Volleyball Features U.S. Women Upset by ...

U.S. Women Upset by Serbia in World Cup

By Bill Kauffman | Aug. 23, 2015, 7:17 a.m. (ET)

MATSUMOTO, Japan (Aug. 23, 2015) – The U.S. Women’s National Team, ranked No. 1 in the world by the FIVB, was upset by Serbia on day two of the FIVB World Cup 25-20, 22-25, 18-25, 25-19, 15-6 on Sunday evening in Matsumoto, Japan.

Team USA (1-1) returns to action on Monday evening against No. 3 China (2-0) at 6:40 p.m. local time (5:40 a.m. ET) in an early key contest. The World Cup presents tickets to the 2016 Olympic Games to only the top two teams in the final standings, so each match has a lot riding on it. The two squads faced other in the 2014 FIVB World Championship gold-medal match.

Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) led the U.S. with 12 points as she scored seven kills on 12 attacks, three blocks and two aces. Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.), Christa Dietzen (Hopewell Township, Pa.) and Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Ill.) all collected 11 points in the loss. Dietzen tallied six kills on 17 attacks and a team-high five blocks. Robinson, who started just the final three sets totaled 10 kills on 24 attacks and an ace. Lowe chipped in nine kills and two blocks.

"First of all, congratulations to Serbia on a great match," Dietzen said. "They’re always a fun team to play with their height and power, and we learned a lot from this match. It’s a long tournament and now it’s time to concentrate on China, so we’ll go home tonight and think about what we could have done better, but it’s on to what we have to do to defeat China tomorrow."

Stats: Unofficial DataVolley Stats | Official FIVB Stats

Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.) totaled eight kills and an ace for nine points, while Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) scored seven points with six kills and an ace while starting the first two sets. Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) scored four kills on nine attacks in subbing in all five sets.

Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) and Larson-Burbach were credited with 15 digs each, while Akinradewo added seven. Banwarth was excellent on 11 of 15 receptions. Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) who came in to start the final three sets after subbing the first two sets, had 34 running sets on 84 set attempts. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) had 14 running sets on 36 chances.

Past 2015 World Cup Recaps: Aug. 22 vs. KOR

Robinson had a team-leading 20 excellent receptions on 30 chances, while Larson-Burbach had 16 excellent receptions on 26 chances.

Serbia was dominant at the net with a 22-10 block advantage to go with a 10-5 service ace margin. The Serbians edged the Americans 56-50 in kills to offset their 30 errors in the match to Team USA’s 17. Serbia converted 42.8 percent of its attacks with a .260 hitting efficiency (56-22-131). The Americans were held to a 37.3 kill percent with a .149 hitting efficiency (50-30-134).

Related: U.S. Women's National Team Home Page | Watch on TV/Online

Serbia’s Tijana Boskovic led all scorers with 23 points while Brankica Mihajlovic added 21 points. Both Maja Ognjenovic and Milena Rasic each totaled six blocks in the victory.

The lead changed hands three times in the opening stages of the first set as the U.S. took an 8-7 lead into the first technical timeout that included two Dietzen blocks and two Hill kills. Serbia gained the first two-point cushion at 11-9 with a Jovana Stevanovic ace and Milena Rasic block. Serbia inched the lead to 14-11 with a block from Tijana Boskovic. Akinradewo put up a block after a Serbia service error to cut the deficit to 14-13. Serbia extended the lead to 17-13 with a Rasic ace and Boskovic block. Team USA cut the gap to one at 17-16 with two Fawcett kills around a Serbia attack error. Serbia rebuilt a four-point cushion at 20-16 with back-to-back blocks and an ace by Boskovic. Maja Ognjenovic increased Serbia lead with a block at 22-17. Serbia, with a 7-1 block and 4-0 ace advantage in the opener, closed out the set at 25-20.

Hill served an ace and Serbia hit wide as Team USA opened the second set up 2-0. Serbia took the lead at 5-4 on three consecutive American errors, then went up 8-5 with an ace off the net by Rasic and a Team USA attack into the antenna. Hill hit a cross-court winner after a Serbia service error, then Dietzen put up a block to level the score at 8-all. Dietzen hit a slide after a long rally to give Team USA the lead and Hill hit a kill off the block to give the Americans a 10-8 lead. Akinradewo served an ace to cap 5-0 run and extending the American lead to 11-8. Serbia answered with back-to-back points to close to one at 11-10. Team USA took a 13-10 lead after a Serbia attack error, but the Europeans knotted score at 14-all with a Stevanovic ace off the net. Serbia took the lead back at 17-16. Stevanovic added a point to the cushion at 19-17 with a block. Team USA tied the set at 20-all with a Dietzen kill and Serbia attack error. The Americans went in front 21-20 with a Serbia attack error. Robinson pounded a kill for a fourth straight American point to yield a 22-20 Team USA lead. The U.S. grabbed set points at 24-22 as Larson-Burbach put away her third attack of the rally, then Serbia hit into the net to close out the set 25-22.

"Serbia played very well," U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. "We love to compete against them. They’re always a fierce team and one that presents challenges. We lost and this is a long tournament. This is only the second match with nine more to go so we will focus our efforts on the next opponent tomorrow. We played certain phases of our game well, but I was particularly impressed with Serbia’s blocking and we didn’t make some very smart choices when they were putting up a block. I think we can make better ones tomorrow for sure."

The U.S. took a 3-0 lead to start the third set with consecutive blocks by Lowe after a Serbia service error. Serbia answered with three unanswered points to even the score at 3-all. The U.S. reclaimed a two-point cushion at 6-4 with a Lowe kill and Akinradewo block. Serbia followed with back-to-back points to square the set at 6-all. Serbia earned its first lead of the set 8-7 after a Team USA hitting error, then built the lead to 9-7 with a second straight U.S. error. The American tied the set at 10-all with a Robinson kill and Serbia error. Team USA retook the lead at 12-11 with a Serbia attack error. Dietzen took a quick set for a kill prompting Serbia to call timeout down 14-12. Rasic tied the set again at 14-all with a block, then Brankica Mihajlovic hammered a cross-court winner to give Serbia a 15-14 advantage. Team USA reversed the lead to its side with a Larson-Burbach kill and Serbia error for a 16-15 lead at the second technical timeout. Out of the break Larson-Burbach tip a shot over the block to extend the American lead to 17-15. Akinradewo and Robinson scored consecutive points to push the Americans in front 20-17. Larson-Burbach served an ace and Robinson hammered a cross-court winner to extend Team USA’s lead to 22-17 with four unanswered points. Team USA scored the final three points on Serbia attack errors to win 25-18.

Serbia charged out to a 7-3 advantage in the fourth set. Team USA closed to 8-7 on an Akinradewo ace and Dietzen block. Serbia answered with five straight points to produce a 13-7 advantage. Serbia reached the second technical timeout with a 16-8 lead. Team USA chipped off three points with a Serbia service error, Dietzen block and Larson-Burbach kill at 16-11. Out of a Serbia timeout, Robinson served an ace to close the deficit to 16-12. Akinradewo blocked Serbia at 18-15. Serbia pushed to a six-point lead with a Boskovic ace and Ognjenovic block at 22-16. Serbia ended the set at 25-19.

Serbia won the first two points of the deciding fifth set, then went up 4-1 with a Ognjenovic block. Out of a USA timeout Stevanovic served an ace off the net and Rasic put up a block at 6-1. Serbia went up 12-5 on consecutive aces by Boskovic. Serbia finished the upset at 15-6.

After an off day following the USA-China match on Monday, Team USA faces Peru on Aug. 26 and Algeria on Aug. 27. After two off days, the Americans resume play in Okayama against Kenya on Aug. 30, Argentina on Aug. 31 and Cuba on Sept. 1. Team USA concludes the World Cup in Nagoya with matches against Russia on Sept. 4, Japan on Sept. 5 and Dominican Republic on Sept. 6.

U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Roster for FIVB World Cup
# - Name (Position, Ht, Hometown, College)
1 – Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, Leland, Mich., Penn State University)
2 – Kayla Banwarth (L, 5-10, Dubuque, Iowa, University of Nebraska)
8 – Lauren Gibbemeyer (MB, 6-2, St. Paul, Minn., University of Minnesota)
10 – Jordan Larson-Burbach (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., University of Nebraska)
11 – Megan Easy (OH, 6-3, Durham, N.C., Penn State University)
13 – Christa Dietzen (MB, 6-2, Hopewell Township, Pa., Penn State University)
14 – Nicole Fawcett (OPP, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State University)
15 – Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, Portland, Ore., Pepperdine University)
16 – Foluke Akinradewo (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford University)
17 – Natalie Hagglund (L, 5-9, Encinitas, Calif., University of Southern California)
18 – Molly Kreklow (S, 5-9, Delano, Minn., University of Missouri)
21 – Tori Dixon (MB, 6-3, Burnsville, Minn., University of Minnesota)
23 – Kelsey Robinson (OH, 6-2, Bartlett, Ill., University of Nebraska)
25 – Karsta Lowe (OPP, 6-4, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., UCLA)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Jamie Morrison and Tom Black
Technical Coordinator: Joe Trinsey
Team Manager: Denise Sheldon
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek
Team Doctors: Dr. William Briner, Jr. and Dr. Andrew Gregory
Consultant Coaches: Marv Dunphy and David Hunt

2015 FIVB World Cup Schedule (Local Time/ET Time – Television Time on Universal)
Aug. 22: USA def. Korea 25-15, 25-22, 25-15
Aug. 23: Serbia def. USA 25-20, 22-25, 18-25, 25-19, 15-6
Aug. 24: USA vs. China (6:40 p.m./5:40 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) (at Matsumoto)
Aug. 26: USA vs. Peru (12:10 p.m./11:10 p.m. on Aug. 25 – 2 p.m.) (at Matsumoto)
Aug. 27: USA vs. Algeria (12:10 p.m./11:10 p.m. on Aug. 26 – 2 p.m.) (at Matsumoto)
Aug. 30: USA vs. Kenya (3:10 p.m./2:10 a.m. – 6 a.m.) (at Okayama)
Aug. 31: USA vs. Argentina (3:10 p.m./2:10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) (at Okayama)
Sept. 1: USA vs. Cuba (6:40 p.m./5:40 a.m. – 5 p.m.) (at Okayama)
Sept. 4: USA vs. Russia (3:10 p.m./2:10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.) (at Nagoya)
Sept. 5: USA vs. Japan (7:20 p.m./6:20 a.m. – 6 p.m.) (at Nagoya)
Sept. 6: USA vs. Dominican Republic (3:10 p.m./2:10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) (at Nagoya)