MATSUMOTO, Japan (Aug. 27, 2015) – The U.S. Women’s National Team, ranked No. 1 in the world by the FIVB, finished out the first phase of the FIVB World Cup by dominating Algeria 25-7, 25-2, 25-5 on Thursday afternoon in Matsumoto, Japan.
Team USA improves to 4-1 overall, one match behind tournament leader Russia (5-0). As the two teams meet Sept. 4 in the 11-match round-robin format, the U.S. still controls its own destiny on winning the World Cup for the first team and also gain entry into the 2016 Olympic Games. 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.
As a team, the U.S. converted 59.6 percent of its attacks with a .544 hitting efficiency (34-3-57). The Americans held a 17-0 block advantage and a 8-0 ace margin over the Algerians.
“We had some things we focused on getting better at today and I also like the way our team played hard,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “It doesn’t matter who’s across the net. We honor our opponents, we honor our sport and we honor our program and team. I like what we did today.”
Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn.) paced Team USA over Algeria with 16 points via eight kills on 10 errorless attacks, six blocks and two aces. Megan Easy (Durham, N.C.) added 12 points on six kills via 11 attacks, four blocks and two aces. She added team-bests of 11 digs and 20 serves in the victory.
Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Ill.) chalked up 10 points with six kills on 11 errorless swings, three blocks and an ace. She added nine digs in the victory. Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) pocketed seven kills on 17 attacks and three blocks for 10 points. Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) collected seven points with six kills on seven attacks and a block.
“I think our team came into this match with some goals focusing on getting better every time we step on the court,” Robinson said. “I think we did a really good job of that today, being engaged on every single point and just playing USA volleyball, and bringing our speed and a lot of energy on the court.”
Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) turned in three points with two aces and a kill, and while Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) rounded out the scoring with an ace while a sub only in the first set. Kreklow was credited with 15 running sets on 34 set attempts. Glass had 11 serves in the match and three running sets. Natalie Hagglund (Encinitas, Calif.) provided four digs and two excellent receptions on as many chances.
The U.S. limited Algeria to a 9.87 kill percent and a negative .225 hitting efficiency (7-23-71). Nadira Ait Oumghar led Algeria in scoring with three points.
Team USA eased into the first technical timeout of the opening set with an 8-2 lead after consecutive blocks by Easy and Dixon after Easy slammed a cross-court winner. Out of the break, the U.S. continued to push out in front to 11-2 with an Easy winner around two Algeria errors. Out Algeria’s timeout, Dixon and Easy nail kills, Glass served an ace, Algeria hit long and Fawcett scorched a winner to yield a 16-2 advantage at the second technical timeout to cap an 11-0 run. The U.S. ended the set at 25-7 as Dixon scored seven points and Easy five points.
The U.S. bolted to a 6-0 advantage to start the second set with three Easy points and Kreklow on the service line. After Algeria trailed 7-2, won the final 18 points of the set for a 25-2 victory.
Algeria kept the third set close, trailing only 5-4 in the early stages. However, Team USA scored the next six points to establish an 11-4 lead. Easy served a scorcher to put the Americans in front 19-5 and Algeria did not score the rest of the way with a 25-5 USA victory. The U.S. ended the set on a 20-1 run.
All Team USA contests at the World Cup, can be watched live online at universalsports.com/Olympics as well as on a tape-delay basis on its Universal Sports television.
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 def. China 25-23, 25-17, 25-23
Aug. 26: USA def. Peru 25-17, 25-15, 25-12
Aug. 27: USA def. Algeria 25-7, 25-2, 25-5
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)