U.S. Women Fall to Dutch, World Title Chase Ends

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Oct. 15, 2018, 6:15 a.m. (ET)

U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team
The U.S. Women's National Team was eliminated from the FIVB World Championship following a five-set loss to Netherlands

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 15, 2018) – On the brink of elimination from the FIVB World Championship title chase, the U.S. Women’s National Team were unable to hold on to a 2-0 lead in falling to the Netherlands 30-32, 15-25, 25-22, 25-15, 15-9 in the Third Round pool play in Nagoya, Japan.

Quick Sets

  • Key Stat: Netherlands’ Lonneka Sloetjes propelled her team from two sets down by tallying a match-high 38 points.
  • Key Note: The U.S. needed to win to stay alive, and a 3-0 or 3-1 victory would have placed the Americans directly into the semifinals.
  • Pool H Standings: 1. China (1-0, 2 points), 2. Netherlands (1-0, 2 points), 3. USA (0-2, 2 points)
  • Cumulative 2018 World Championship Records: USA (7-4), Netherlands (9-1)
  • World Rankings: No. 2 USA, No. 8 Netherlands
  • 2018 Season Record: 33-8
  • Up Next: The U.S. will play Japan in the 5th-6th place match on Oct. 19 at 6:20 a.m. ET.

The U.S. lost both of its Third Round (Final Six) pool matches in five sets, including a match against China in which the Americans led 2-1 after three sets. Team USA will face Japan, the Pool G third-place team, in the 5th/6th place match on Oct. 19.

Related: U.S. Women’s National Team Home Page | Team USA World Championship Press Kit | Team USA World Championship Event Page

Netherlands, which came out of the Second Round Pool E as the top seed with an 8-1 record, raced out to a 9-2 lead in the opening set and led 18-11, but the Americans rallied to tie the set at 24-all. Team USA saved six set points and won the marathon opener 32-30 on its fourth set point chance. The Americans built an early 8-3 lead in the second set, then pushed out to a 16-8 margin on a 6-0 run before cruising into a 25-15 victory. In the third set, Netherlands broke a 16-all tie with a 6-2 run to take a 22-18 advantage in winning the set 25-22. Netherlands erupted for an 11-5 lead in the fourth set and forced the fifth set with a 25-15 victory. Netherlands used a 4-0 run to take a 5-2 lead in the tiebreaker and won the final set 15-9.

"It was a great battle. We fought hard to come back in the first set," U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. "Ultimately the result is very disappointing. They made some changes and we wasted chances in the third set. You have to be good at converting those chances against a team like the Netherlands."

U.S. outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois) scored a team-high 17 points, all on kills via 42 swings, off after not starting the match. Opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California) also came off the bench in the first set to score 14 kills on 31 swings and a block for 15 points. Middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio) totaled 13 points with nine kills on 15 swings and four blocks.

Middle Foluke Akinradewo (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) added 12 points with 11 kills on 20 attacks and a block. Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska) contributed nine kills and two aces for 11 points. Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon) scored two kills on five swings in starting the first set and as a sub in the final three sets. Setter Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California) rounded out the scoring with a block.

Libero Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California) was unofficially credited with 17 digs and a 43 positive reception percent on 14 chances. Larson handled a team-leading 34 receptions with a 44 positive reception percent to go with nine digs. Bartsch-Hackley was credited with a 55 positive reception percent on 33 chances and 16 digs. Lowe had nine digs and Hancock eight.

Details: Unofficial Match Stats | Official FIVB Stats | FIVB World Championship Web Site

Both teams converted 39 percent of their attacks, but Netherlands produced a .250 hitting efficiency (63-23-160) to the Americans’ .241 hitting efficiency (61-23-158) in unofficial stats.

Earlier this year the Americans defeated Netherlands 25-19, 25-21, 25-23 during the FIVB Volleyball Nations League preliminary round on May 23 in Toyota Japan. Overall, the U.S. is 35-11 against Netherlands dating back to 1983, having won the previous eight matches including the 2016 Olympic Games bronze-medal match. The last time the Netherlands defeated Team USA was in the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix.

Netherlands held advantages in every scoring category: 63-62 in kills, 11-7 in blocks and 10-2 in aces.

Netherlands’ Lonneke Sloetjes amassed a match-high 38 points, including 32 kills on 69 attacks. Celese Plak came off the bench to start the final three sets in providing 16 points.

"I'm proud of my team," said Netherlands Head Coach Jamie Morrison, who was an assistant coach for Kiraly at the 2016 Olympic Games where Team USA won bronze. "We continue to find ways to win in difficult situations. We had people come off the bench today and do a good job. We continue to make history and we are not finished yet. I told the team before the third set to take it one point at a time. It was a change of mentality and three substitutions that made the difference. We have a very deep team. We have versatile depth. Sloetjes is one of the top three players in the world."

The U.S. started Hill and Larson at outside hitter, Akinradewo and Adams at middle, Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois) at opposite, Lloyd at setter, Robinson at libero. Setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma), along with Lowe and Bartsch-Hackley, came into the first set and led the comeback victory along with the second-set victory. They started the final four sets. Sarah Wilhite Parsons (Eden Prairie, Minnesota) was a serving sub in all five sets.

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Netherlands grabbed a 9-2 lead early in the opening set as part of a 7-0 run that included two aces. Lloyd and Adams put up consecutive blocks to close the gap to 10-5, but Netherlands resumed a seven-point lead at 12-5 with another ace. The Dutch reached the second technical timeout leading 16-8. Bartsch-Hackley and Lowe hammered consecutive kills to slice the deficit to 17-11. Akinradewo and Lowe slammed kills and Adams put up a block to move the USA to within 18-14 at a Dutch timeout. Out of the break, Netherlands committed an error to bring Team USA within 18-15. Netherlands ended the 4-0 American run with consecutive points to extend the lead to 20-15. Team USA moved to within 22-20 with an Adams kill, Akinradewo block and Netherlands error. The Americans closed to within one at 24-23 with a Lowe kill after a Dutch service error. Out of a Netherlands timeout, the U.S. tied the set at 24-all with a Dutch attack error. Team USA took its first lead at 25-24 on a Netherlands attack error. Netherlands saved a set point and went back in front at 26-25 with a block. Akinradewo and Bartsch-Hackley ended the marathon set at 32-30 with consecutive kills.

The U.S. bolted to a 3-0 lead in the second set with a Larson ace and Lowe block after the Dutch opened with a service error. The Americans raised the advantage to 8-3 with a Larson kill between a Dutch service and attack error. Netherlands clipped two points off the deficit at 8-5, then moved to within two at 10-8. Team USA answered with three Lowe kills around two Bartsch-Hackley kills and Netherlands attack error to extend the lead to 16-8 on a 6-0 run into the second technical timeout. Out of the break, Bartsch-Hackley scored a third straight kill and seven overall American point to go up 17-8. Netherlands cut two points off the American lead at 19-12. Team USA answered with an Akinradewo kill after a Dutch error to increase the advantage to 21-12. Lowe scored the final two points on kills for a 25-15 victory.

Netherlands reached a two-point cushion at 4-2 early in the third set. However, Akinradewo tied the set at 5-all with a kill after a Netherlands error. The Dutch went into the first technical timeout leading 8-6. The U.S. took the lead at 11-9 with two Bartsch-Hackley kills, an Adams kill and Dutch error. Netherlands tied the set at 13-all with an ace off the net, then went into the at lead 16-15 at the second technical timeout. The Dutch increased their lead to 18-16 with consecutive points, then extended the advantage to 22-18 on a 3-0 run. Netherlands reached set points at 24-19 with two straight points. Team USA saved three set points with an Akinradewo kill and two Dutch errors. Netherlands won the set at 25-22.

Team USA scored the first two points of the fourth set with a Larson kill and Adams block, but Netherlands quickly tied the set at 2-all. The Dutch used an 8-1 run to take a 11-5 lead. The Americans chipped two points off the deficit at 12-8 with a Bartsch-Hackley kill and Dutch error. The Dutch answered with three points to go up 15-8. Out of the second technical timeout, the U.S. scored three straight points with a Larson kill, Murphy block to close to 16-12. However, Netherlands answered with three straight for a 19-12 advantage. The Dutch increased the lead to 24-14 with four straight points, then won the set at 25-15.

After Netherlands scored the first point of the fifth set, Bartsch-Hackley downed a kill and Netherlands committed an error to give the USA a 2-1 lead. The Dutch answered with four straight points to go up 5-2. Netherlands stretched the advantage to 9-5 with consecutive blocks, then moved up by six at 13-7. Netherlands won the match with a 15-9 victory.

U.S. Women's National Team Roster for FIVB World Championship

# - Player (Position, Height, College, Hometown)
1 –
Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Penn State, Edmond, Oklahoma)
3 – Carli Lloyd (S, 5-11, California, Bonsall, California)
5 – Rachael Adams (M, 6-2, Texas, Cincinnati, Ohio)
6 – Tori Dixon (M, 6-3, Minnesota, Burnsville, Minnesota)
8 – Lauren Gibbemeyer (M, 6-2, Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota)
10 – Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Nebraska, Hooper, Nebraska)
12 – Kelly Murphy (OPP, 6-2, Florida, Wilmington, Illinois)
13 – Sarah Wilhite Parsons (OH, 6-2, Minnesota, Eden Prairie, Minnesota)
14 – Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (OH, 6-3, Illinois, Champaign, Illinois)
15 – Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, Pepperdine, Portland, Oregon)
16 – Foluke Akinradewo (M, 6-3, Stanford, Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
17 – Megan Courtney (L, 6-1, Penn State, Dayton, Ohio)
23 – Kelsey Robinson (L, 6-2, Nebraska, Manhattan Beach, California)
24 – Karsta Lowe (OPP, 6-4, UCLA, Rancho Santa Fe, California)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Luka Slabe, Tama Miyashiro
Technical Coordinator: Jeff Liu
Physiotherapist: Kara Kessans
Team Manager: Jimmy Stitz
Doctors: Dr. Christopher Lee and Lori Boyajian-O’Neill
Consultant Coaches: Marv Dunphy
Scout Coach: Giuseppe Vinci
Mental Performance Coach: Traci Statler

2018 FIVB World Championship Schedule for Team USA

First-Round Pool C at Kobe, Japan (All Time Eastern)
Sept. 29: USA def. Azerbaijan 29-27, 25-21, 25-21
Sept. 30: USA def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-11, 25-12, 25-11
Oct. 2: USA def. Korea 19-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-18
Oct. 3: USA def. Thailand 25-17, 25-16, 23-25, 21-25, 15-11
Oct. 4: USA def. Russia 19-25, 25-20, 26-24, 12-25, 15-11

Second Round at Osaka, Japan (Must finish top 4 in Pool C to advance)
Oct. 7: USA def. Bulgaria 25-16, 25-17, 25-11
Oct. 8: USA def. Turkey 25-21, 25-17, 25-18
Oct. 10: USA lost to China 25-17, 26-24, 25-18
Oct. 11: USA lost to Italy 25-16, 25-23, 20-25, 25-16

Third Round at Nagoya, Japan (Must finish top 3 in Second Round to advance)
Oct. 14: China def. USA 25-22, 19-25, 20-25, 25-23, 15-9 (Pool H)
Oct. 14: Serbia def. Japan 25-19, 25-18, 25-23 (Pool G)
Oct. 15: Netherlands def. USA 30-32, 15-25, 25-22, 25-15, 15-9 (Pool H)
Oct. 15: Italy vs. Japan, 6:20 a.m. (Pool G)
Oct. 16: Italy vs. Serbia, 3:10 a.m. (Pool G)
Oct. 16: Netherlands vs. China, 6:20 a.m. (Pool H)

Final Classification Match (at Yokohama)
Oct. 19: USA vs. TBA (5th-6th Place Match), 6:20 a.m. ET

Semifinals and Medal Rounds in Yokohama, Japan (top two finishes in both Third Round Pools)
Oct. 19-20