COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 5, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team, ranked No. 2 in the world, lost to 2016 Olympic Games champion China 18-25, 25-18, 25-14, 25-17 on Tuesday on the opening day of the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
The WGCC is a six-team, round robin event held in the first year of each Olympic quadrennial. Team USA faces No. 10 Korea on Sept. 6 (11:40 p.m. PT on Sept. 5) in Tokyo. Following an off-day to travel to Nagoya, the Americans face No. 5 Russia on Sept. 8 (8:40 p.m. PT on Sept. 7), followed by host and No. 6 Japan on Sept. 9 (3:15 a.m. PT) and No. 4 Brazil on Sept. 10 (10:40 p.m. PT on Sept. 9).
Earlier today, Brazil defeated Russia 25-17, 23-25, 25-23, 25-12 to start the tournament. Later today, host Japan plays Korea.
Television: Every match of the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup will be televised lived in the United States on The Olympic Channel, along with multiple replays of the matches.
Middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored 13 points with 12 kills on 14 swings and a block. Middle Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Florida) chipped in 12 points with 10 kills on 19 attacks, one block and one ace. Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska) contributed 10 kills on 28 attacks and an ace for 11 points.
The U.S. benefited from two 4-0 runs in the opening set to stake leads of 14-9 and 23-17 en route to winning 25-18. China answered in the second set by jumping to a 17-9 advantage and went on to win 25-18. China scored 14 of the last 19 points of the third set to win 25-14. China used a 5-1 run to move into the fourth set’s second technical timeout up 16-11 and went on to win 25-17.
Opposite Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana), making her first FIVB-tournament start, tallied nine kills on 25 attacks in playing the first three sets. Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon) recorded six kills and two aces for eight points in starting the first three sets. Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Maryville, Illinois), who started the fourth set, tallied two kills and an ace for three points. Setter Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California) charted two blocks, but missed most of the third set due to injury. Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois), a sub in all four sets, recorded a block. Opposite Aiyana Whitney (Norwood, New Jersey) rounded out the scoring with a kill in starting the fourth set.
Libero Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) had a U.S.-best eight digs to go with six excellent receptions on 11 chances. Hill was credited with 15 excellent receptions on 31 chances. Larson turned in nine excellent receptions on 27 opportunities to go with seven digs.
Lloyd was credited with 25 running sets on 81 total set attempts while Carlini added eight running sets on 19 total set attempts. The setting pair led the Americans to a 41.3 kill percent and .240 hitting efficiency (50-21-121). In contrast, the Chinese converted 47.9 percent of their attacks and limited their hitting errors to nine as part of a .402 hitting efficiency (56-9-117).
China’s height created offensive woes for the U.S. at times resulting in a 13-5 block advantage. The Chinese also held a 7-5 edge in aces to go with a 56-50 kill margin.
China’s Zhu Ting led all scorers with 21 points with 16 kills on 28 attacks, four blocks and an ace. Zhang Changning added 18 points that included 13 kills, four blocks and an ace for the Chinese.
The U.S. started Hill and Larson at outside hitter, Adams and Akinradewo at middle, Drews at opposite and Lloyd at setter. Courtney was the libero for the match.
During the FIVB World Grand Prix, the U.S. and China split a pair of matches with the Americans winning the first match 3-0 before the Chinese came back to win 3-2 the following week.
The opening set saw 13 straight side out points to start the match before the U.S. went into the first technical timeout up 8-6 with a kill from Drews and an unforced Chinese attack error. Drews added another kill out of the break to extend the gap to 9-6. China trimmed the deficit to 10-9 with back-to-back points. The Americans answered with a Hill kill and ace followed by a Larson kill and Akinradewo block to extend the Team USA lead to 14-9 as part of a 4-0 run. China closed to within two at 16-14 with consecutive points out of the second technical timeout. The Americans went on a 4-0 run with a Hill kill, Lloyd block, and two Chinese errors to go up 23-17 and went on to in 25-18.
China scored three unanswered points to take a 3-1 lead in the second set, then grabbed a 7-3 advantage on another 3-0 run. China ran up its margin to 13-6 on a 4-0 run. After China raised its lead to 17-9, Team USA cut the deficit to 17-11 with a China service error and Hill ace. However, China never allowed the Americans to get back into the set by winning 25-18.
China started the third set with a 3-0 lead in which Lloyd was injured on the first point and Carlini came in for her. Akinradewo and Larson connected for consecutive kills to cut the gap to 3-2, but China answered with a 3-0 run to stake a 6-2 margin with an ace and block. The Americans responded with a 3-0 run including a Larson tip and Akinradewo ace to close to 6-5. China rolled off four unanswered points to take a 10-5 advantage. Adams started a 3-0 run with a kill followed by a Hill overpass kill and Larson ace to close the Americans to within 11-9. Out of its timeout, China scored three unanswered points to regain a five-point cushion at 14-9 prompting a U.S. timeout. China stretched its lead to 19-11 on three straight points and cruised to the 25-14 victory.
China maintained the momentum in the fourth set with an early 3-0 lead, but the U.S. cut it down to 3-2 with kills from Akinradewo and Whitney. China extended its lead to 5-2 with consecutive points. Team USA narrowed the deficit to 5-4, but China went into the first technical timeout holding a three-point edge at 8-5. Team USA closed the gap to one at 11-10 with a Chinese error and Adams block. However, China pushed ahead 16-11 with a 5-1 run going into the second technical timeout. Out of the break, the U.S. cut the gap to 16-13 with an Adams kill and Bartsch-Hackley ace. However, China scored three quick points to up its lead to 19-13. China eased into the victory at 25-17.
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 vs. Korea (3:15 a.m. PT) – at Tokyo
Sept. 6: Brazil vs. China (8:40 p.m. PT on Sept. 5) – at Tokyo
Sept. 6: USA vs. Korea (11:40 p.m. PT on Sept. 5) – at Tokyo
Sept. 6: Japan vs. Russia (3:15 a.m. PT) – at Tokyo
Sept. 8: USA vs. Russia (8:40 p.m. PT on Sept. 7) – at Nagoya
Sept. 8: China vs. Korea (11:40 p.m. PT on Sept. 7) – at Nagoya
Sept. 8: Japan vs. Brazil (3:15 a.m. PT) – at Nagoya
Sept. 9: Russia vs. China (8:40 p.m. PT on Sept. 8) – at Nagoya
Sept. 9: Brazil vs. Korea (11:40 p.m. PT on Sept. 8) – at Nagoya
Sept. 9: USA vs. Japan (3:15 a.m. PT) – at Nagoya
Sept. 10: Korea vs. Russia (8:40 p.m. PT on Sept. 9) – at Nagoya
Sept. 10: USA vs. Brazil (10:40 p.m. PT on Sept. 9) – at Nagoya
Sept. 10: China vs. Japan (3:15 a.m.) – at Nagoya