COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (July 22, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team is one of three team finalists for the Team USA Awards Best of July as presented by Dow.
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The U.S. Women captured the silver medal at the FIVB World Grand Prix, the premier annual international women’s volleyball tournament. The Americans reached the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals in Bangkok with a sterling 8-1 record in the preliminary round with the only setback being against then-No. 2 China. However, the U.S. defeated China in straight sets on July 26 to cap the preliminary round in Hong Kong.
Team USA went on to win their Final Round pool with sweeps over Olympics bound Netherlands and China. The Americans then defeated No. 4 Russia in the semifinals to set up a gold-medal match against Olympic Games host Brazil on July 10. The Americans won the opening set over Brazil before needing to rally in the fourth set to force a thrilling fifth set for the $200,000 top prize. However, Brazil managed to recover in the fifth set to win its 11th gold medal in the 24th edition of the World Grand Prix. The Americans were aiming for their seventh gold medal in the premier event – the last tournament for the top teams before going to the Olympic Games.
Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio) was named Best Blocker of the tournament and Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon) was selected Second Best Outside Spiker. Both athletes will be making their first appearances in the Olympic Games next month.
The Americans are in search of their first Olympic Games gold medal after earning silver in the two most recent events in Beijing (2008) and London (2012) along with silver at 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Team USA opens Pool B action on Aug. 6 versus NORCECA rival Puerto Rico at 4:05 p.m. local time, followed by the Netherlands on Aug. 8 at 2 p.m. The Americans challenge Serbia on Aug. 10 and Italy on Aug. 12 with both matches at 2 p.m. The U.S. concludes pool play against second-ranked China on Aug. 14 at 4:05 p.m.
The top four teams in the two Olympic Games pools advance to the quarterfinals on Aug. 16. The top seed in each pool will face the fourth seed in crossover competition, while a drawing of lots will determine crossover quarterfinal opponents for the second- and third-place teams in both pools. The winners of the quarterfinal matches advance to the semifinal medal round on Aug. 18. The tournament concludes on Aug. 20 with the gold- and bronze-medal matches.
The U.S. Women are up against the Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team and the equestrian Eventing Team.