COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 30, 2018) – The U.S. Women’s National Team over-powered Trinidad & Tobago 25-11, 25-12, 25-11 on Sunday on day two of the FIVB World Championship Pool C in Kobe, Japan.
- Key Stat: Team USA had 13 aces and 11 blocks in the victory
- Key Moment: The U.S. had five separate scoring runs of at least five points during the match, including a 9-0 and 7-0 run.
- Records: USA (2-0, 6 points), Trinidad & Tobago (0-2, 0 points)
- World Rankings: USA No. 2, Trinidad & Tobago No. 34
- 2018 USA Season Record: 28-4
- Up Next: USA vs. Korea on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 6:20 a.m. ET
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The U.S. opened the first set with an 11-5 advantage on a 5-0 run, then put together nine unanswered points to stake a 23-10 advantage en route to a 25-11 win. Team USA bolted to an 8-4 lead in the second set, then used a 7-0 run to forge ahead 17-7 as the Americans won the third set comfortably at 25-12. The U.S. used a late 10-1 run in the third set take a 23-10 advantage in the 25-11 victory.
U.S. outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois) led all scorers with 15 points on 10 kills via 18 swings, three blocks and two aces. Middle Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minnesota) added four kills on seven swings, five aces and four blocks and four blocks for 13 points. Opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California) pocketed nine points with six kills on 14 swings, two blocks and an ace.
“Our team did a very nice job of taking care of our side of the net and not worrying about the other team, and executing our game plan,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “We were serving very tough and I like how everybody has been able to contribute so much early in this tournament.
“I think we feel really good,” Bartsch-Hackley said. “We have been training really hard as a team and playing each other a lot for a lot of weeks in a row. It is nice to play someone other than ourselves. I think yesterday (Saturday versus Azerbaijan), there was a lot of emotion and a little nerves. We are excited to be here. We are really happy and I think we have calmed a little bit and really comfortable.”
Outside hitter Sarah Wilhite Parsons (Eden Prairie, Minnesota) collected eight points with four kills on eight attacks and four aces. Middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio) charted six kills on eight swings in the victory. Setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma) contributed two aces on as many attacks, one block and one ace for four points. Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois), who was used as the double-sub opposite with setter Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California) in the first and third sets, rounded out the scoring with two kills on six swings and a block.
Libero Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) was unofficially credited with six digs and five excellent receptions with a 60 positive percent. Wilhite handled 16 of the team’s 31 receptions with a 44 positive percent. Bartsch-Hackley tallied nine receptions and four digs. Hancock was credited with a team-best eight digs from her setter position.
Hancock had 38 set attempts while Lloyd added 11. Team USA turned in a 55 kill percent and .469 hitting efficiency (35-5-64) for the match. The American defense held Trinidad & Tobago to a 36 kill percent and .100 hitting efficiency (25-18-70).
“I thought we came out and were pretty disciplined,” Hancock said. “We made some adjustments. We had some good blocking lineups and some good serving runs early. We spread our offense pretty well and we are trying to get all cylinders going. We are just preparing one day at a time.”
The U.S. dominated the service game with a 13-0 ace margin to go with an 11-3 advantage in blocks. The Americans also held a 22-14 edge in digs.
Trinidad & Tobago was led by Channon Thompson’s eight points followed by Krystle Estelle’s seven points.
The U.S. started Bartsch-Hackley and Wilhite at outside hitter, Adams and Dixon at middle, Lowe at opposite and Hancock at setter, Courtney at libero. Through two matches of the World Championship, the U.S. has now started 13 of its 14-player roster.
Trinidad & Tobago is making its first-ever World Championship appearance.
Team USA’s second match will be against another team it will have limited knowledge about before facing them. However, Wilhite Parsons was on the Pan American Cup squad the defeated Trinidad & Tobago earlier this summer.
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The U.S. took a 4-2 lead in the opening set with a Lowe block and Trinidad & Tobago error. Bartsch-Hackley downed consecutive kills to put the Americans up 8-5 at the first technical timeout. Out of the break, Adams and Lowe blocked Trinidad & Tobago followed by a Bartsch-Hackley kill to raise the lead to 11-5. Trinidad & Tobago scored back-to-back points to narrow its gap to 12-8. Team USA went into the second technical timeout up 16-10 after a Wilhite Parsons kill and Dixon block. Out of the break, the Americans extended the lead to 23-10 with three Wilhite Parson aces, Dixon block, two Bartsch-Hackley kills and Trinidad & Tobago error.
Trinidad & Tobago took its first lead of the match at 4-3 in the second set with consecutive points. The U.S. answered with five unanswered points to take an 8-4 lead with a kill and block from Dixon, ace from Lowe and kill by Wilhite Parsons. Trinidad & Tobago stopped the run with consecutive points to narrow the deficit to 8-6. The Americans answered with a Dixon block and Trinidad & Tobago attack error to go up 10-6. Trinidad & Tobago called timeout trailing 12-7 after Dixon served an ace. Out of the break Adams slammed two kills, Hancock put up a block and served an ace to put the Americans up 16-7. Out of the second technical timeout, Lowe hammered a kill to inch the lead to 17-7. Trinidad & Tobago scored three straight points to cut its deficit to 18-11. Bartsch-Hackley served an ace as part of a 3-0 run that included a Lowe kill to prompt Trinidad & Tobago to call timeout trailing 21-11. Out of the break, Lowe pocketed another kill and block at 23-11 as part of a 5-0 run.
Team USA took an 8-4 lead in the third set with kills from Bartsch-Hackley, Adams and Hancock around a Dixon ace. The Americans doubled up Trinidad & Tobago 10-5 with a Bartsch-Hackley kill and service winner from Hancock. Bartsch-Hackley scored a kill and ace to shift the American lead to 12-6. Trinidad & Tobago cut two points off the deficit at 13-9. Team USA reached the second technical timeout up 16-9 with a Lowe kill followed by two Trinidad & Tobago errors. The Americans inched their lead to 23-10 with a Murphy kill, three Trinidad & Tobago errors, Bartsch-Hackley block, Dixon kill and Wilhite Parsons ace. Dixon finished the set with a kill and ace at 25-11.