U.S. Women Fall to China for 1st World Cup Loss

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Sept. 23, 2019, 4:14 a.m. (ET)

Karsta Lowe hits through the Chinese triple block
Karsta Lowe hits through the Chinese triple block

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 23, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Team, ranked No. 3 in the world, lost to No. 2 China 25-16, 25-17, 25-22 on Monday in a battle of the final two undefeated teams in the FIVB World Cup in Sapporo, Japan.

Team USA falls to 6-1 and into second place in the 12-team round robin World Cup. The Americans return to the court on Tuesday to face NORCECA rival Dominican Republic (played at 11:30 p.m. ET on Monday). The FIVB World Cup matches will be streamed live on FloVolleyball.tv.

Related: Unofficial Stats | Updated World Cup Standings | Match Replay

China raced to an 18-9 advantage in the opening set and went on to win 25-16. China used a 5-0 run to go up 18-12 in the second set and cruised to a 25-17 victory. China opened up a 12-7 advantage in the third set, then held off the Americans who closed to one point before winning 25-22.

Opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California) came off the bench and led Team USA with nine kills on 20 attacks and a block for 10 points. Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska) added eight kills and a block for nine points. Starting opposite Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana) scored six kills on 12 attacks, while outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California) turned in five kills.

The U.S. Women lost to world No. 2 China in a battle of final two undefeated World Cup teams on Monday in Japan. Team...

Posted by USA Volleyball on Monday, September 23, 2019

Middle Chiaka Ogbogu (Coppell, Texas) totaled three kills and a block for five points, while outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois) charted four kills. Middle Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colorado) downed four kills and setters Jordyn Poulter (Aurora, Colorado) and Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois) each scored one point.

Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California), who entered as the libero midway through the second set, produced eight digs and handled 13 receptions with a 62 positive percent. Starting libero Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) handled 25 receptions with a 40 positive percent to go with five digs. Robinson was credited with a 62 positive reception percent on 13 chances. Larson was 57 percent positive on seven receptions.

The U.S. was held to a 36 kill percent for the match and .196 hitting efficiency (40-18-112). In contrast, China converted 46 percent of its attacks with a .337 hitting efficiency (42-11-92) according to the unofficial stats.

China held its errors to just 10 for the match while holding advantages of 11-6 in blocks and 5-1 in aces. The Chinese produced a 43-38 margin in kills.

The U.S. started Larson and Robinson at outside hitter, Washington and Ogbogu at middle, Drews at opposite, Poulter at setter and Courtney at libero. Lowe started the final two sets. Bartsch-Hackley started the third set. Carlini, after being a sub in the first two sets, started the third set. Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon) was a serving sub in all three sets. Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minnesota) was a sub in the third set.

Team USA is the only country to have medaled in each of the last four World Cups. The Americans won silver in 2011 and bronze in 2003, 2007 and 2015. The 2015 World Cup podium finishes replicated the 2016 Olympic Games results – China winning the event with Serbia claiming silver and USA bronze.

China gained the first two-point cushion of the first set at 6-4, then expanded the lead to 10-6 on three consecutive points. China increased its lead to 13-7 on another 3-0 run and went up 18-9. Team USA cut the gap to 18-11 with a Robinson kill and Lowe block. The Americans chipped away two points with a Robinson kill and China error at 19-13. However, China served an ace off the net to raise its lead to 21-13 and went on to win 25-16.

China picked up an early 6-3 advantage in the second set. Washington and Larson slammed kills to cut the gap to 7-6, but China answered with the next two points to resume a three-point margin at 9-6. The Americans responded with a Lowe kill and Larson block. Lowe downed consecutive kills to level the set at 10-all. China responded with two quick points to go back up 12-10. China went up 18-12 on a 5-0 scoring run. Trailing 23-14, Larson won a battle of the net and Carlini served an ace to close to 23-16 before China finished the set at 25-17.

The U.S. started the third set up 2-0 on a Larson joust winner and Lowe kill, but China scored the next two to tie the set. China reversed the lead at 5-4 on a USA error. Bartsch-Hackley and Lowe downed consecutive kills to put the U.S. in front 6-5. China went in front 12-7 with a 6-0 scoring run. Ogbogu and Drews slammed kills to slice the gap to 14-11. Team USA closed to two at 19-17 with a Larson kill after a China service error. The Americans moved to within one at 20-19 with an Ogbogu kill and China error. However, China answered with two quick points to go up 22-19. Drews collected consecutive kills to pull the USA to within one at 22-21. China reached match point at 24-21 on consecutive points and finished the set at 25-22.

U.S. Women's National Team Roster for 2019 FIVB World Cup
# - Player (Position, Height, College, Hometown)
2 – Jordyn Poulter (S, 6-2, Illinois, Aurora, Colorado)
4 – Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Nebraska, Cypress, California)
6 – Tori Dixon (M, 6-3, Minnesota, Burnsville, Minnesota)
7 – Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, Wisconsin, Aurora, Illinois)
10 – Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Nebraska, Hooper, Nebraska)
11 – Annie Drews (OPP, 6-4, Purdue, Elkhart, Indiana)
14 – Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (OH, 6-3, Illinois, Champaign, Illinois)
15 – Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, Pepperdine, Portland, Oregon)
17 – Megan Courtney (L, 6-1, Penn State, Dayton, Ohio)
19 – Hannah Tapp (M, 6-3, Minnesota, Stewartville, Minnesota)
22 – Haleigh Washington (M, 6-3, Penn State, Colorado Springs, Colorado)
23 – Kelsey Robinson (OH, 6-2, Nebraska, Manhattan Beach, California)
24 – Chiaka Ogbogu (M, 6-2, Texas, Coppell, Texas)
25 – Karsta Lowe (OPP, 6-4, UCLA, Rancho Santa Fe, California)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Luka Slabe, Tama Miyashiro, Erin Virtue, Marv Dunphy
Technical Coordinator: Jeff Liu
Athletic Trainer: Kara Kessans
Team Leader: Jimmy Stitz

FIVB World Cup Schedule of U.S. Women’s National Team Matches

In Hamamatsu, Japan
Sept. 14: USA def. Kenya 25-14, 25-20, 25-14 (FloVolleyball Video Replay)
Sept. 15: USA def. Serbia 23-25, 25-17, 25-16, 25-15 (FloVolleyball Video Replay)
Sept. 16: USA def. Argentina 25-21, 25-18, 18-25, 25-11 (FloVolleyball Video Replay)
Sept. 18: USA def. Netherlands 25-23, 25-18, 25-19 (FloVolleyball Video Replay)
Sept. 19: USA def. Brazil 25-22, 25-18, 25-19 (FloVolleyball Video Replay)

In Sapporo, Japan
Sept. 22: USA def. Japan 26-24, 22-25, 25-21, 23-25, 15-8 (FloVolleyball Video Replay)
Sept. 23: USA lost to China 25-16, 25-17, 25-22 (FloVolleyball Video Replay)
Sept. 23: USA vs. Dominican Republic, 11:30 p.m. ET (played on Sept. 24 in Japan)

In Osaka, Japan
Sept. 27: USA vs. Russia, 5 a.m. ET
Sept. 28: USA vs. Cameroon, 1 a.m. ET
Sept. 28: USA vs. Korea, 10 p.m. ET (played on Sept. 29 in Japan)