NAGOYA, Japan (Sept. 4, 2015) – The U.S. Women’s National Team had its six-match win streak at the FIVB World Cup snapped after Russia earned a 25-17, 31-29, 25-23 victory on Friday afternoon in Nagoya, Japan, in a battle of 7-1 teams in the top two positions of the standings.
Team USA, 7-2 overall, will now need to refocus for its Saturday match against host Japan at 6:20 a.m. ET before concluding the tournament on Sunday at 2:10 a.m. ET against NORCECA rival Dominican Republic. Russia now takes the top spot in the World Cup with an 8-1 record. The U.S. can still earn a spot in the top two and a berth into the 2016 Olympic Games, but two wins are a must along with some help from other teams this weekend.
“Russia played a very strong match,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “This was a disappointing loss. Every tournament brings pain and adversity and this is ours. We have a chance to come back against a good Japan team tomorrow. No. 1 (Yana Shcherban) played good. We did not execute our game plan well against her. No. 15 (Tatiana Kosheleva) is always good and she was again today.”
Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) scored a U.S. high 13 points with 11 kills on 32 attacks, two blocks and an ace. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) added 10 points with 10 kills on 20 attacks. Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) charted 10 points with seven kills on 23 swings, two blocks and an ace. Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.) chipped in eight points with six kills on 16 attacks, one block and one ace.
Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) provided seven points off the bench with six kills on 10 errorless swings and a block. Christa Dietzen (Hopewell Township, Pa.) tallied six points in the first two sets, while Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn.) replaced her in the third set and contributed four kills on five attacks. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) rounded out the scoring with a kill.
“This was a disappointing match,” Dietzen said. “We did not execute well. They have a number of weapons. Now we have to focus on Japan tomorrow.”
Glass set Team USA to a 40.3 kill percent for the match with a .218 hitting efficiency (48-22-119) as she was credited with 39 running sets on 77 chances. Hill charted 19 excellent receptions on 38 errorless chances, while Larson-Burbach totaled 12 excellent receptions on 17 chances to go with a team-high 14 digs. Libero Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) had 11 excellent receptions on 17 receptions and 13 digs.
Russia held a 16-9 block advantage in the match and took advantage of 13 U.S. errors. The Europeans held a slim 51-48 margin in kills as they converted 44.7 percent of their attacks with a .307 hitting efficiency (51-16-114). The Americans had a 2-1 edge in aces.
Russia had balanced scoring as four players had 14 to 16 points in the match. Tatiana Kosheleva scored 16 points, while Nataliya Obmochaeva, Irina Fetisova and Yana Shcherban all recorded 14 points in the victory.
“I'm very happy with the victory,” Russia coach Yury Marichev said. “The USA is a strong team. Beating them is something we have been trying to achieve for a while. When we lost to Serbia, we lost our concentration after the second set. Today we were able to maintain our concentration. We started No. 14 (Irina Fetisova) today in the hope that we could surprise the U.S. team.”
The U.S. has never won the FIVB World Cup. The Americans finished second in the last edition in 2011 after bronze-medal finishes in 2003 and 2007.
Earlier this year Team USA defeated Russia twice during the FIVB World Grand Prix. The U.S. won the first meeting a 3-0 in Kaliningrad, Russia, during the second preliminary round weekend, then followed that with a 3-1 victory in the Final Round in Omaha, Neb., to go on to win the title. Russia finished second in the World Grand Prix.
Russia took a two-point lead early in the first set at 5-3. Team USA quickly tied the score at 5-all with a Hill block, only to have Russia take the next three points to go into the first technical timeout up 8-5. Hill and Lowe put up back-to-back blocks to close the American deficit to 9-8, but Russia answered with four unanswered points to gain a five-point cushion at 13-8. Russia extended its lead to 18-12 on an American attack error. Hill and Fawcett slammed back-to-back kills to cut the gap to 18-14 prompting a Russia timeout. Russia inched its lead to eight points at 23-15 with a block and two kills. Dietzen put up a block and Larson-Burbach down a kill to save two set points before Russia ended the set at 25-17 on a U.S. error.
Russia took the first three points of the second set, then raised the advantage to 6-2. However, Team USA rolled out four straight points with back-to-back Hill kills to know the score at 7-all. Russia hit long to put the Americans in front 8-7 at the first technical timeout. Out of the break Hill scored a third straight kill to lift the Americans up 9-7. Russia leveled the score at 10-all on back-to-back blocks. Larson-Burbach gave the Americans a two-point cushion again at 12-10 with a block, then Russia hit long to raise the margin to 14-11. Akinradewo and Hill pounded consecutive kills to stretch the American advantage to 17-13. Russia sliced the deficit to a single point at 19-18 prompting a Team USA timeout. Russia tied the set at 22-all on an ace leading to the Americans second timeout. Larson-Burbach served an ace after an Akinradewo kill to give Team USA set points at 24-22. Russia saved both set points to knot the score at 24-all. Russia retook the lead at 26-25 after saving its fourth set point. Dietzen saved the set point with a block and Russia hit wide to reverse the lead back to USA at 27-26 for its fifth set point chance. Russia saved the chance and put up a block to go back in front 28-27 on a block and capped the set at 31-29.
After Russia took a 3-1 lead in the third set, Team USA came back to tie the score at 3-all with a Lowe ace. Russia answered with two straight points for a 5-3 margin. Back-to-back Russia errors put the U.S. back into a tie at 5-all. A Russia block gave the Europeans an 8-6 lead at the first technical timeout. Russia put up another block to stretch its lead to 10-7. Russia was given a red card after a Hill kill to slice the deficit to 10-9, then Dixon put up a block to tie the set at 10-all. Team USA took the lead at 14-13 after a Fawcett kill and Russia three-meter line violation. Russia gained the lead back at the second technical timeout with a 16-15 margin. Russia extended its lead to two at 20-18 prompting a Team USA timeout. Russia increased the gap to 22-19 as the Americans called another timeout. Fawcett and Hill downed consecutive kills out of the break to close to 22-21. Russia earned match points at 24-22. Dixon saved one match point, but Russia finished out the match at 25-23.
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.
FIVB World Cup Standings and Remaining Matches - Detailed Standings
1 - Russia (8-1, 24 points) – 9/5 vs. China; 9/6 vs. Algeria
2 - China (8-1, 24 points) – 9/5 vs. Russia; 9/6 vs. Japan
3 - Serbia (8-1, 21 points) – 9/5 vs. Kenya; 9/6 vs. Argentina
4 - USA (7-2, 22 points) – 9/5 vs. Japan; 9/6 vs. Dominican Republic
5 - Japan (7-2, 22 points) – 9/5 vs. USA; 9/6 vs. China
6 - Dominican Republic (4-5, 13 points) – 9/5 vs. Algeria; 9/6 vs. USA
7 - Korea (4-5, 12 points) – 9/5 vs. Argentina; 9/6 vs. Cuba
8 - Argentina (4-5, 11 points) – 9/5 vs. Korea; 9/6 vs. Serbia
9 - Cuba (2-7, 6 points) – 9/5 vs. Peru; 9/6 vs. Korea
10 - Peru (1-8, 4 points) – 9/5 vs. Cuba; 9/6 vs. Kenya
11 - Kenya (1-8, 3 points) – 9/5 vs. Serbia; 9/6 vs. Peru
12 - Algeria (0-9, 0 points) – 9/5 vs. Dominican Republic; 9/6 vs. Russia
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, Boston, Mass., 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 def. Kenya 25-15, 25-16, 25-13
Aug. 31: USA def. Argentina 25-16, 25-19, 25-14
Sept. 1: USA def. Cuba 25-15, 25-11, 25-15
Sept. 4: Russia def. USA 25-17, 31-29, 25-23
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)