Olympic Games Women’s Indoor Volleyball


USA vs. Netherlands Bronze Medal Preview


Friday, Aug. 20 * Noon ET


Matchup: United States vs. Netherlands

  • 2016 Olympic Games Records: USA 6-1, Netherlands 5-2
  • Final Preliminary Round Finish: USA finished 1st in Pool B, Netherlands 2nd in Pool B
  • FIVB World Rankings: USA is ranked No. 1, Netherlands is ranked No. 11
  • Olympic Games Head-to-Head Series Record: USA leads series 3-0
    • USA def. Netherlands 18-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-20, 15-8 on Aug. 8, 2016
    • USA def. Netherlands 12-15, 15-10, 17-15, 15-7 on July 22, 1996
    • USA def. Netherlands 3-1 in 1992 (quarterfinals)
  • All-Time Series Record since 1983: The U.S. leads the all-time series 31-11 since 1983.
  • Last USA win in Series: The U.S. Women rallied to defeat Netherlands 18-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-20, 15-8 on Aug. 8 in this year’s Olympic Games.
  • Last Netherlands win: Netherlands rallied to defeat the USA 25-12, 22-25, 1-25, 25-21, 15-13 on Aug. 8, 2009, in the FIVB World Grand Prix preliminary round.
  • Earlier this year: The U.S. Women defeated Netherlands twice in 2016 before the Olympic Games. Team USA won the first meeting 25-17, 19-25, 25-17, 25-20 on June 25 in Hong Kong during the FIVB World Grand Prix preliminary round. The Americans won the second meeting 25-21, 25-17, 25-23 on July 6 to open the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals Round on July 6.
  • What’s at Stake: The USA-Netherlands winner gets the bronze medal and ends the tournament on a high note.
  • Watch on TV: NBC at noon ET (subject to change and not uninterrupted live volleyball action);

USA’s Route to Bronze-Medal Match

USA def. Puerto Rico 25-17, 25-22, 25-17

USA def. Netherlands 18-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-20, 15-8

USA def. Serbia 25-17, 21-25, 25-18, 25-19

USA def. Italy 25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 25-20

USA def. China 22-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-19

USA def. Japan 25-16, 25-23, 25-22 (Quarterfinals)

Serbia def. USA 20-25, 25-17, 25-21, 16-25, 15-13 (Semifinals)

Netherlands Route to Semifinal

Netherlands def. China 25-23, 21-25, 18-25, 25-22, 15-13

USA def. Netherlands 18-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-20, 15-8

Netherlands def. Italy 25-21, 25-20, 25-20

Netherlands def. Puerto Rico 25-14, 25-22, 25-16

Netherlands def. Serbia 25-22, 25-20, 22-25, 18-25, 15-8

Netherlands def. Korea 25-19, 25-14, 23-25, 25-20 (Quarterfinals)

China def. Netherlands 27-25, 23-25, 29-27, 25-23 (Semifinals)

Recap on the Previous USA-Netherlands Match of 2016 Olympic Games

The U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team absorbed all it could take from No. 11 Netherlands on the second day of Olympic Games competition, but found a way to rally for an 18-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-20, 15-8 victory on Aug. 8 on the second day of the women’s volleyball Olympic Games schedule in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The U.S. had balanced scoring with four players scoring at least 14 points. Opposite Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois) charted a team-high 18 points with 15 kills on 31 attacks and three blocks. Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska) added 12 kills on 47 attacks, two aces and a block for 15 points. Middle Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Florida) contributed 15 points with 12 kills on 18 swings, two blocks and an ace for 15 points. Outside Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon) tacked on 14 kills on 36 swings in the victory.

Setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Michigan) was an offensive force as well as the tallied three kills, three blocks and two aces for eight points. Middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio), who started the first three sets, pocketed eight points with six kills on 11 swings and two blocks. Middle Christa Dietzen (Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania), who started the final two sets, added one kill in the victory.

Libero Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) turned in 13 excellent receptions on 30 chances and five digs, while Larson added 11 excellent receptions on 23 chances and a team-high six digs. Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Illinois), who was a back-row sub all five sets, added five excellent receptions on eight errorless chances.

Netherlands was led by opposite Lonneke Sloetjes’ 21 points and middle Robin de Kruijf chipped in 14 points. Outside hitter and captain Maret Balkenstein-Grothues was injured in the fourth set and did not return.

The U.S. converted 40.8 percent of its attacks as part of a .299 hitting efficiency (64-17-157) as Glass was credited with 53 running sets on 120 total set attempts. Both teams scored 11 blocks in the match and the Americans held a slim 5-4 margin in aces. Team USA managed a 64-54 kill advantage in the victory. The U.S. limited Netherlands to a 38.3 kill percent and .213 hitting efficiency (54-24-141).

After the U.S. rallied from a 7-3 deficit in the opening set to come within one at 11-10, Netherlands went on a roll the rest of the set to claim a 25-18 victory. The U.S. recovered from a 12-9 deficit in the second set with a 7-1 scoring run to take a 16-13 lead en route to winning 25-18. Netherlands broke an 8-all tie in the third set and inched its lead to 24-17 before the Americans saved four set points, but Netherlands closed it out at 25-21. The fourth set was back-and-forth with both teams trading the lead and Netherlands holding its last advantage at 17-16 before the Americans scored nine of the final 12 points for a 25-20 win. Team USA jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the tiebreaker and never looked back in closing out the comeback 15-8.

Key Points about USA

  • The Americans’ dream of their first Olympic Games gold medal in women’s indoor volleyball were put on hold for at least another four years as they lost to Serbia in a five-set semifinal heartbreaker on Thursday. In fact, the U.S. just recently won its first-ever tournament in what is considered one of the three majors – Olympic Games, FIVB World Championship, FIVB World Cup. Team USA captured the 2014 FIVB World Championship, defeating China in four sets in Milan, Italy.
  • The Americans have gone undefeated in each of the last two Olympic Games preliminary rounds plus quarterfinal round.
  • USA is 18-3 in its last 20 Olympic Games matches dating back to Aug. 13, 2008. Prior to Thursday’s loss in the semifinals to Serbia, the only two losses had been to Brazil in the gold-medal match of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.
  • Team USA has made it to the top four for the sixth time in Olympic Games history, having won silver in 1984, 2008 and 2012, and bronze in 1992.
  • USA has had five different leading scorers in its seven Olympic Games matches in 2016. Kim Hill and Kelly Murphy led the team in scoring with 15 points each during the opener against Puerto Rico on Saturday. Murphy followed with a team-high 18 points against Netherlands on Monday and Rachael Adams totaled 18 points in the Americans’ win over Serbia on Wednesday. Foluke Akinradewo led Team USA with 14 points in its victory over Italy on Friday. Jordan Larson scored a team-high 18 points in the Americans’ four-set win over China on Sunday. During the quarterfinal round match, Hill notched 18 points against Japan. Adams turned in a match-high 14 points in the loss to Serbia on Aug. 18.
  • Balanced scoring has been the theme for Team USA in this Olympics. Out of the four remaining teams in the Olympic Games, Team USA has five players in the top 11 in scoring. Jordan Larson and Foluke Akinradewo have 88 points each for sixth in Best Scoring. Kim Hill has 76 points for 10th in scoring, while Rachael Adams and Kelly Murphy have contributed 69 points for 11th place.
  • Alisha Glass ranks second in Best Setter with a 10.36 running sets average (290 running sets on 619 total set attempts)
  • Foluke Akinradewo would rank first in Best Spiker ranks as the Best Spiker in the tournament with a .458 hitting efficiency (71-16-120), put she does not have enough attempts after leaving the semifinal match in the second set. Kim Hill ranks fourth, Jordan Larson fifth and Kelly Murphy sixth.
  • Foluke Akinradewo has averaged 0.57 blocks per set for third in Best Blocker among players remaining in the competition. Rachael Adams ranks sixth with a 0.46 block average.
  • Jordan Larson has been Team USA’s best server and ranks third in the category among players in the semifinals. She averages 0.32 aces per set.
  • Kayla Banwarth ranks atop the Best Receiver category at 43.4 success percent and Jordan Larson is second among remaining players in the competition with a 42.2 success percent.
  • Kayla Banwarth averages 1.82 digs per set for fourth highest in Best Digger and Jordan Larson is close behind with 1.64 digs per set for fifth place.

Key Points on Netherlands

  • Netherlands, competing in its third Olympic Games and first since 1996, is playing for a medal for the first time in their Olympic Games history. Prior to 2016, Netherlands had never reached the semifinals having finished fifth in 1996 and sixth in 1992.
  • Netherlands lost to China in the semifinals after having won the preliminary match on opening day in five sets.
  • Netherlands coach Giovanni Guidetti has ties to the USA squad. During the winter, he is the head coach of Turkish League power VakifBank, which includes Team USA outside hitter Kim Hill and assistant coach Jamie Morrison. In addition, three of the Netherlands players – Robin De Kruijf, Lonneke Sloetjes and Anne Bujis – played for Guidetti on the VakifBank team.
  • Netherlands is led in scoring by Lonneke Sloetjes, who has 142 total points (125 kills, 10 blocks, 7 aces) for second most in the Olympics. Teammate Anne Buijs has 89 points for fifth place, while Robin de Kruijf has 80 points for eighth place.
  • Lonneke Sloetjes hold a .291 hitting efficiency at the Olympics for third-best.
  • Robin de Kruijf has 23 blocks for 0.79 blocks per set, ranking second in the Olympics.
  • Netherlands has a solid serving team that puts teams’ reception under pressure. Anne Buijs holds a 0.28 ace average per set to rank fourth. Further, Yvon Belien, Lonneke Sloetjes and Judith Pietersen all average 0.24 aces per set for sixth place and Laura Dijkema and Robin de Kruijf add 0.21 aces per set for ninth place – meaning Netherlands has six in the top nine in serving.
  • Debby Stam-Pilon holds a 2.10 dig average to lead the Olympics in the Best Digger category.
  • Laura Dijkema ranks atop the Best Setter list with 10.59 running sets average (307 running sets on 658 total sets).


  • Both USA and Netherlands hold victories over Serbia and China – the gold-medal matchup – during the 2016 Olympic Games.
  • USA is the only team from the 2012 Olympic Games semifinals to advance the 2016 Olympic Games semifinals and still has a chance to earn a medal in a third consecutive Olympic Games.
  • All four teams in the semifinal competed in Pool B during the preliminary round, having won their quarterfinal matches against their crossover Pool A opponent
  • The top three teams from the 2015 FIVB World Cup – the first 2016 Olympic Games qualifying tournament – advanced to the semifinals. China won the World Cup, while Serbia was the silver medalist and USA the bronze medalist. Due to quotas per zone, Netherlands did not compete in the World Cup, though they finished with the bronze medal at this year’s FIVB World Grand Prix.

U.S. Olympic Women’s Team captain Christa Dietzen following the loss to Serbia in the semifinals: “This one stings for sure,” Dietzen said. “But we had a great example set for us. Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross responded really well after their semifinal loss so we plan to take that same approach. Of course, yes, the next hour or so there is some grieving. But then we will see after 10 p.m. tonight who we will face in the bronze-medal match. We’re going after the bronze. That’s our next goal.”