Team USA Seeks Win to Finish USAV Cup

By Bill Kauffman | June 11, 2015, 9:26 p.m. (ET)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (June 11, 2015) – The U.S. Women’s National Team, ranked No. 1 in the world, will seek to even its four-match USA Volleyball Cup series with No. 3 China in the finale on Friday at Cal State University San Bernardino’s Coussoulis Arena.

Match time is set for 7 p.m. PT with live video stream at Tickets can be purchased online at the same link to avoid the ticket lines at the door.

The two teams, representing a rematch of the 2014 FIVB World Championship gold-medal match in which the U.S. won 3-1 last October, split the opening two matches in Honolulu with Team USA winning 3-0 on June 5 followed by China winning 3-0 on June 6 as both teams made significant lineup changes. In the third match, the Americans held two match points in the fifth set before China came back to win 27-29, 25-21, 19-25, 25-19, 17-15.

Related: USAV Volleyball Cup Page | FIVB World Grand Prix Finals Page | U.S. Women's National Team Page

For the final match in San Bernardino, Kiraly and his staff have made one change from its June 9 roster – Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) has replaced Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif.), who is on her way to Peru to play for Team USA in the Pan American Cup June 13-21. Thompson will share setting duties with Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.), who has started the first three matches of the 2014 USA Volleyball Cup.

Middle blockers for the last USA Volleyball Cup match are Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), Christa Dietzen (Hopewell Township, Pa.), Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn.) and Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.). Opposites are Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio), Karsta Lowe (Rancho Sante Fe, Calif.) and Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.). Outside hitters selected for the match are Megan Easy (Durham, N.C.), Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) and Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Ill.). Liberos will be Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) and Tama Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii).

Friday's match will serve as the last preparation match for Team USA heading into the 2015 FIVB World Grand Prix that begins July 3. The U.S. will host the six-team FIVB World Grand Prix Finals July 22-26 in Omaha, Neb. Later this summer Team USA competes in the FIVB World Cup, the first Olympic Games qualification tournament.

Lowe, who made her international debut with Team USA against China on June 5, has started all three matches of the USA Volleyball Cup and led the Americans in scoring in two of the matches. She scored 16 points in the opening match victory, then followed with 19 points in the third match on June 9. Kreklow, in her second season with Team USA has been the starting setter for the U.S. in all 11 sets of the USAV Cup.

Akinradewo has 31 total points with 17 points in the last match on June 9 and 14 in the opener. Hill posted 15 points in the opener at Honolulu followed by 14 points in the match played at UC Irvine on June 9. Both started the first and third matches of the series.

China has been formidable at the net using a sizeable height advantage. The Chinese have out-blocked Team USA 37-17 in the first three matches. The Americans have a 23-19 advantage in aces. Over the course of the three matches, China has scored just seven more points than the U.S. (247-240).

China, which will have the same 14-player roster as in the first two USA Volleyball Cup matches in Hawaii, has been a great barometer for Team USA.

In its third year of the USA Volleyball Cup, the U.S. Women have hosted then-No. 3 Japan (now ranked No. 4) in 2013 and then-No. 1 Brazil (now ranked No. 2) in 2014. The Americans were 3-0 against Japan with all three matches in Southern California. Team USA won all four matches against Brazil two matches each in Southern California and Honolulu.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster of USA Volleyball Cup Matches
# - Name (Position, Ht, Hometown, College)
2 – Kayla Banwarth (L, 5-10, Dubuque, Iowa, University of Nebraska) *^#
3 – Courtney Thompson (S, 5-8, Kent, Wash., University of Washington) *#
5 – Tama Miyashiro (L, 5-7, Kaneohe, Hawaii, University of Washington) *^#
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 Hodge Easy (OH, 6-3, Durham, N.C., Penn State University) *^#
12 – Kelly Murphy (OPP, 6-2, Wilmington, Ill., University of Florida) *^#
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) *^#
19 – Kelsey Robinson (OH, 6-2, Bartlett, Ill., University of Nebraska) *^#
20 – Cursty Jackson (MB, 6-2, Los Angeles, Calif., University of Arizona) *
21 - Tori Dixon (MB, 6-3, Burnsville, Minn., University of Minnesota) *^#
23 – Carli Lloyd (S, 5-11, Bonsall, Calif., University of California-Berkeley) ^
25 – Karsta Lowe (OPP, 6-4, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., UCLA) *^#
31 – Molly Kreklow (S, 6-0, Delano, Minn., University of Missouri) *^#

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Jamie Morrison and Tom Black
Technical Coordinator: Joe Trinsey
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek

* = selected for June 5-6 roster
^ = selected for June 9 roster
# = selected for June 12 roster

China Women's National Team Roster for USA Volleyball Cup
# - Last Name First Name (Position, Ht, World Championship Matches, Olympic Games Matches)
1 – Yuan Xinyue (MB, 199cm, 13, 0)
2 – Zhu Ting (OH, 195cm, 13, 0)
3 – Yang Fangxu (OPP, 190cm, 13, 0)
5 – Shen Jingsi (S, 186cm, 20, 0)
6 - Yang Junjing (MB, 190cm, 13, 5)
8 – Zeng Chunlei (OPP, 187cm, 13, 5)
9 – Zhang Changning (OH, 193cm, 0, 0)
10 – Shan Danna (OH, 168cm, 13, 5)
11 – Zhang Xiaoya (MB, 189cm, 0, 0)
12 - Ruoqi Hui (OH, 192cm, 13, 0)
15 – Lin Li (L, 171cm, 0, 0)
16 – Ding Xia (S, 180cm, 0, 0)
17 – Yan Ni (MB, 192cm, 0, 0)
19 – Liu Yanhan (OH, 188cm, 0, 0)

Head Coach: Lang Ping
Assistant Coaches: An Jiajie, Lai Yawen, Bao Zhuang, Wu Xiaolei
Physiotherapist: Brittni Hsu
Doctor: Wang Kai
Team Manager: Lai Yawen