U.S. Women Sweep Brazil in 2nd Exhibition Match

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Aug. 14, 2018, 8:09 p.m. (ET)

Chiaka Ogbogu and Annie Drews blocking Brazil
Chiaka Ogbogu and Annie Drews blocking Brazil as Team USA won its second straight match over Brazil to open a four-match exhibition tour

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 14, 2018) – The U.S. Women’s National Team swept Brazil 29-27, 25-23, 25-18 Tuesday in the two rivals’ second exhibition match of a four-match tour taking place in Brazil.

The U.S. fell behind 3-0 to open the first set, but quickly regained composure to take the lead at 10-8 and battled down the stretch for a 29-27 victory on its fifth set-point chance. The Americans battled back from a 19-15 deficit in the second set to win 25-23. Team USA opened the third set with advantages of 5-0 and 8-2 and cruised to the 25-18 victory.

USA vs. Brazil Exhibition Tour Series

U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly inserted five new starters into the lineup after its series-opening win on Sunday, and the end result was the same.

Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois) led Team USA with 15 points via 13 kills on 22 swings and a block. Opposite Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana) chipped in 11 points with nine kills on 25 swings, one ace and one block. Middle Chiaka Ogbobu (Coppell, Texas) contributed nine points with five kills on 14 attacks and a match-high four blocks.

Related: Match Stats (Updated) | Photo Gallery | U.S. Women's National Team Home Page

Outside hitter Madi Kingdon Rishel (Phoenix, Arizona) pocketed six points by slamming six kills on 12 attacks to go with two blocks for eight points. Middle Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minnesota) chalked up six kills on 11 errorless attacks to go with a block for seven points. Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California), who was the opposite in the double-sub with setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma) in all three sets, tallied three kills on three errorless swings to go with two blocks for five points in her limited action. Hancock added an ace and kill for two points, while starting setter Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois) rounded out the scoring with an ace.

Libero Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) handled eight receptions with a 88 positive reception percent. She was credited with a team-best seven digs in the match. Bartsch-Hackley added 29 receptions with a 41 positive percent, followed by Kindgon Rishel’s 36 positive reception percent on 25 chances and five digs.

Carlini, with Hancock coming in as the double-sub setter, led Team USA to a 48 kill percent and .318 hitting efficiency (42-14-88). Carlini had 66 set attempts, while Hancock had 12. The American defense limited Brazil to a 42 kill percent and .156 hitting efficiency (42-25-96).

The Americans out-blocked Brazil 12-8 and held a slim 3-1 margin in aces. Team USA managed a 42-40 edge in kills. As a team, the U.S. had a 45 positive reception percent to Brazil’s 34 percent.

Brazil’s Tandara led all scorers with 16 points. Teammate Amanda chipped in 12 points.

The U.S. started Dixon and Ogbogu at middle, Bartsch-Hackley and Kingdon Rishel at outside hitter, Drews at opposite and Carlini at setter. Courtney was the libero for the match.

Team USA elected not to travel a handful of veteran Olympic athletes (Foluke Akinradewo, Kim Hill, Jordan Larson, Carli Lloyd, Kelly Murphy, Kelsey Robinson), allowing younger players and others returning from injury the opportunity to compete and be evaluated for the upcoming FIVB World Championship roster.

The FIVB Women’s World Championship, played every four years in the second year of the Olympic quadrennial, is set for Sept. 29 to Oct. 20 in Japan. The Americans begin defense of their 2014 title in Kobe as they face Azerbaijan (Sept. 29), Trinidad & Tobago (Sept. 30), Korea (Oct. 2), Thailand (Oct. 3) and Russia (Oct. 4) in Pool C. The top four teams in Pool C advance to the second round (Oct. 7-11) in Osaka. The top six teams from the second round move on to the third round held Oct. 14-16 in Nagoya, followed by the semifinals and medal matches on Oct. 19-20 in Yokohama.

Brazil opened the first set with a 3-0 lead, but Team USA rolled into a tie at 7-all. The U.S. continued its charge with a 3-0 run to take a 10-8 advantage. After Brazil tied the set at 10-all, the Americans pushed its lead to 13-10 prompting a Brazil timeout. Brazil leveled the set at 15-all and went back in front at 17-16. Lowe put up a block to put the Americans back in front at 19-18. However, Brazil answered with three straight to stake a 21-19 advantage. Bartsch-Hackley landed a kill and Ogbogu placed a block to tie the set at 21-all. Ogbogu added another block to shift the lead into Team USA’s favor at 23-22. Drews scored consecutive kills to give the U.S. a 29-27 victory in the opening set.

Brazil gained a 6-3 advantage in the second set, but the U.S. responded with two Kingdon Rishel kills, Drews ace, Dixon kill and two Brazil errors to forge ahead 9-6 on a 6-0 run. Brazil stopped the run with three consecutive points to level the score at 9-all, then went in front at 11-10. Brazil raised its margin to 15-13, then moved up to 19-15 with three unanswered points. Team USA trimmed the gap to 19-17 with a Hancock ace after a Brazil service error. Kingdon Rishel and Lowe connected for consecutive kills and Dixon followed with a block to square the set at 20-all. Ogbogu scored a block after a Brazil error to place the Americans in front 23-22. Ogbogu claimed the set winner with a block after a Bartsch-Hackley kill for the 25-23 victory.

Team USA scored the first five points of the third set with consecutive Brazil errors, two Kingdon Rishel kills and an Ogbogu kill. The U.S. raised its lead to 8-2 with a Dixon kill and Brazil error, but Brazil came back with three consecutive points to slice the gap to 8-5. The U.S. extended its lead to 12-6 with two Bartsch-Hackley kills and Brazil error. Brazil trimmed its deficit to 15-12 with three unanswered points. Lowe and Bartsch-Hackley collected back-to-back kills to inch the American lead to 18-13. Lowe pounded a kill and Carlini followed with an ace to extend the U.S. lead to 21-15. Out of a Brazil timeout, Bartsch-Hackley pounded an overpass kill followed by a Brazil error to raise the American advantage to 23-15. Brazil stopped the run with three consecutive points to close Brazil to 23-18. Drews scored the final two points on blocks to give U.S. a 25-18 victory.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for Brazil Exhibition Tour
# - Player (Position, Height, College, Hometown)
1 – Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Penn State, Edmond, Oklahoma)
5 – Rachael Adams (M, 6-2, Texas, Cincinnati, Ohio)
6 – Tori Dixon (M, 6-3, Minnesota, Burnsville, Minnesota)
7 – Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, Wisconsin, Aurora, Illinois)
8 – Lauren Gibbemeyer (M, 6-2, Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota)
9 – Madi Kingdon Rishel (OH, 6-1, Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona)
10 – Simone Lee (OH, 6-1, Penn State, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin)
11 – Annie Drews (OPP, 6-4, Purdue, Elkhart, Indiana)
13 – Sarah Wilhite Parsons (OH, 6-2, Minnesota, Eden Prairie, Minnesota)
14 – Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (OH, 6-3, Illinois, Champaign, Illinois)
17 – Megan Courtney (L, 6-1, Penn State, Dayton, Ohio)
20 – Amanda Benson (L, 5-7, Oregon, Litchfield Park, Arizona)
24 – Karsta Lowe (OPP, 6-4, UCLA, Rancho Santa Fe, California)
25 – Chiaka Ogbobu (M, 6-2, Texas, Coppell, Texas)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Tama Miyashiro, Jeff Liu
Physiotherapist: Kara Kessans
Technical Coordinator: Matthew Choi