COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 10, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team, ranked No. 2 in the world, lost to No. 4 Brazil 25-20, 25-23, 25-19 on Sunday on the final day of the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup in Nagoya, Japan.
Team USA ended the tournament with a 3-2 record with seven standings points. With the victory, Brazil ended the tournament with a 3-2 record and 11 standings points to take the silver medal. China entered the final day having already secured the gold medal based on its lead in standings points ahead of the Americans. Team USA chances for bronze now hinges on the results of the final match between Japan and China. If China wins, the Americans will earn the bronze medal.
The WGCC is a six-team, round robin event held in the first year of each Olympic quadrennial. At the most recent edition held in 2013, the U.S. lost to Brazil in the opening match then went on to win its final four matches to win silver behind the eventual champions from Brazil.
1. China 4-0 (11 pts) – GOLD – plays later today against Japan
2. Brazil 3-2 (11 pts) – SILVER
USA 3-2 (7 pts) – bronze if China defeats Japan
Japan 2-2 (6 pts) – bronze if Japan defeats China
Russia 2-3 (7 pts)
6. Korea 0-5 (0 pts)
Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska) and opposite Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana) scored team-leading 12 points for the Americans. Larson had 10 kills on 25 swings, one block and one ace. Drews had nine kills on 27 attacks, two blocks and an ace. Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Maryville, Illinois), who started in the final three sets, totaled six kills, two aces and a block for nine points coming off the bench. Middle Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Florida) produced seven kills on 15 swings, one block and one ace for nine points.
Brazil used two 5-1 scoring runs to stake a 20-14 advantage in the opening set en route to winning 25-20. Brazil overcame a 22-20 deficit in the second set by scoring five of the final six points for a 25-22 victory. Team USA opened the third set with a 6-2 advantage, but Brazil quickly mounted a 6-1 run to take an 8-7 advantage and continued to charge toward the 25-19 victory.
Middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio) turned in three kills on five swings and a block for four points in two sets. Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon) added two kills and a block in starting the first set. Middle Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minnesota), who started the final set in place of Adams, tacked on one block and one kill. Setter Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois) rounded out the scoring with a block.
Larson picked up eight digs to lead the American defense, while libero Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) tallied four digs and five excellent receptions on nine errorless chances. Bartsch-Hackley had 19 excellent receptions on 36 chances.
Team USA converted 37.3 percent of its attacks with a .245 hitting efficiency (38-13-102) as Carlini had 19 running sets on 54 set attempts and Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California), who started the third set, had 11 running sets on 31 sets. In contrast, Brazil converted 51.2 percent of its attacks with a .372 hitting efficiency (44-12-86).
The U.S. held a 9-8 edge in blocks and both teams served five aces. However, Brazil took advantage of 18 American errors and had a 44-38 margin in kills. In addition, the South Americans kept the offense in gear with a 43-23 dig advantage on defense.
Less than two weeks ago, the U.S. and Brazil played in the USA Volleyball Cup, a two-match exhibition series with both teams winning one match. The Americans won the first match in three sets on Aug. 27 (a bonus fourth set was played and won by Brazil), while the South Americans won the second match 3-1 on Aug. 29 in Anaheim – host city for the U.S. Women’s and Men’s National Teams.
Brazil was led in scoring by Gabi and Tandara with 16 points apiece.
The U.S. started Hill and Larson at outside hitter, Adams and Akinradewo at middle, Drews at opposite and Carlini at setter. Courtney was the starting libero mainly handling passing duties and shared the spot with Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California) who was in for defense.
The U.S. went in front 4-2 with a Hill kill followed by a Drews ace and Akinradewo block. However, Brazil rallied with a 5-1 run to take a 7-5 advantage. Brazil extended its margin to 14-11 with back-to-back points. Brazil went on a 5-1 run to stake an 20-14 advantage. Team USA answered with a 3-0 run with a Drews kill, Brazil error and Bartsch-Hackley ace to close to 20-17. Brazil reach set points at 24-19 on back-to-back points and won the set 25-20 after the U.S. saved one set point.
Brazil took the first two-point cushion of the second set at 5-3, then pushed the margin to 7-4 after a U.S. error. After the first technical timeut, a Larson kill and ace around a Bartsch-Hackley block knotted the score at 8-all. The teams traded side outs until Brazil scored consecutive points going into the second technical timeout with a 16-14 advantage. The U.S. leveled the score at 16-all with a Drews kill and Akinradewo block, then Bartsch-Hackley hit an off-pace kill to push the Americans in front 17-16 on a 3-0 run heading into a Brazil timeout. Brazil reversed the lead at 20-19 after a video challenge. The U.S. answered with a 3-0 run with Akinradewo scoring a kill and ace around a Brazil error at 22-20. Brazil immediately tied the set at 22-all after its timeout. Brazil reached set points at 24-22 with its third and fourth straight points. The Brazilians won the set 25-23.
The Americans broke a 2-all tie in the third set with a 4-0 run thanks to a Brazil service error and attack error, Drews kill and Bartsch-Hackley ace at 6-2. Brazil quickly answered by taking the lead at 8-7 on a 6-1 run. Brazil expanded its lead to 12-8 on four straight points. Brazil went into the second technical timeout up 16-11. The U.S. sliced the gap to 16-13 on a Bartsch-Hackley kill and Brazil error. However, Brazil raised its advantage back to four at 19-15 with consecutive points. The Americans rolled off two unanswered points to close to 19-17 with kills from Larson and Gibbemeyer. Brazil responded with a 4-1 run taking a commanding 23-18 advantage and went on to win 25-19.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for FIVB World Grand Champions Cup
# – Player (Position, Height, College, Hometown)
3 – Carli Lloyd (S, 5-11, California, Bonsall, California)
4 – Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Nebraska, Cypress, California)
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 (OH, 6-1, Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona)
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, Maryville, Illinois)
15 – Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, Pepperdine, Portland, Oregon)
16 – Foluke Akinradewo (M, 6-3, Stanford, Plantation, Florida)
17 – Megan Courtney (L, 6-1, Penn State, Dayton, Ohio)
29 – Aiyana Whitney (OPP, 6-5, Penn State, Norwood, New Jersey)
Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Tama Miyashiro, Marv Dunphy
Consultant Coaches: Sander Cohen, John Crawley
Technical Coordinator: Jeff Hicks
Athletic Trainer: Kara Kessans
Doctor: Dr. Andrew Gregory
Dietitian: Shawn Hueglin
Team Manager: Jimmy Stitz
2017 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup Schedule
Sept. 5: Brazil def. Russia 25-17, 23-25, 25-23, 25-12
Sept. 5: China def. USA 18-25, 25-18, 25-14, 25-17
Sept. 5: Japan def. Korea 25-23, 25-21, 26-24
Sept. 6: China def. Brazil 25-20, 25-12, 20-25, 23-25, 19-17
Sept. 6: USA def. Korea 25-22, 25-20, 25-16
Sept. 6: Russia def. Japan 22-25, 25-18, 25-22, 28-26
Sept. 8: USA def. Russia 23-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-21, 15-9
Sept. 8: China def. Korea 25-14, 25-4, 25-12
Sept. 8: Japan def. Brazil 25-18, 25-27, 25-15, 16-25, 15-6
Sept. 9: China def. Russia 25-20, 25-18, 25-20
Sept. 9: Brazil def. Korea 25-15, 25-10, 25-23
Sept. 9: USA def. Japan 22-25, 25-21, 26-28, 25-21, 15-12
Sept. 10: Russia def. Korea 25-19, 25-16, 25-21
Sept. 10: Brazil def. USA 25-20, 25-23, 25-19
Sept. 10: China vs. Japan (3:15 a.m.) – at Nagoya