COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 18, 2019) – Outside hitters Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska) and Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California) each scored 16 points in leading the U.S. Women’s National Team past Netherlands 25-23, 25-18, 25-19 in a battle of undefeated teams on Wednesday during the fourth day of FIVB World Cup competition in Hamamatsu, Japan.
Team USA improves to 4-0 in the 12-team round robin World Cup. The Americans conclude the first phase in Hamamatsu against Brazil on Thursday at 5 a.m. ET. The FIVB World Cup matches will be streamed live on FloVolleyball.tv.
The U.S. used a 5-0 run to take a 19-15 advantage in the opening set, then held on for a slim 25-23 victory. Team USA grabbed a 14-9 advantage on a 7-0 run in the second set, then scored the final three points of the set including two aces by Larson for a 25-18 victory. Holding a slim 16-15 lead in the third set, the Americans scored six unanswered points including two aces to open up a 22-15 advantage to win 25-19.
“I think we had a lot of patience today,” Robinson said. “Netherlands is a really great team. When they were firing and doing things really well, I think we just stayed patient and waited for our opportunity to score.”
Middle Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colorado) provided the Americans five kills on eight attacks and a block for six points. Setter Jordyn Poulter (Aurora, Illinois) served two aces to go with a block and kill for four points. Middle Chiaka Ogbogu (Coppell, Texas) rounded out the scoring with three kills and a block for four points.
American libero Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) was unofficially credited with an 85 positive reception percent with 27 errorless chances. Robinson was 45 percent positive on 11 reception chances to go with five digs. Larson was credited with 15 receptions and 45 positive percent to go with eight digs. Poulter had nine digs from her setter position.
Poulter set the U.S. to a 51 kill percent and .411 hitting efficiency (46-9-90). In contrast, the Americans limited the Dutch to a 46 kill percent and .309 hitting efficiency (39-13-84).
Team USA’s serve kept Netherlands’ offense off-balance all match, which resulted in a 7-0 ace advantage. The American offense managed a 46-39 kill advantage to offset Netherlands’ 7-5 edge in blocks. The U.S. held its errors to 14 for the match while benefitting from 14 Netherlands errors.
Outside hitters Jordan Larson and Kelsey Robinson each scored 16 points in leading the U.S. Women’s National Team past…
Lonneke Sloetjes led Netherlands with 10 points, and Robinson said one of the goals was to minimize her offensive outbursts.
“We tried to minimize her points,” Robinson said. “She is a fantastic player. I have been fortunate to have played with her in club, she is phenomenal.”
In last year’s FIVB World Championship, Netherlands rallied from two sets down to defeat Team USA (30-32, 15-25, 25-22, 25-15, 15-9) in Nagoya, Japan, and knocking the Americans out of their gold-medal run.
The U.S. started Larson and Robinson at outside hitter, Washington and Ogbogu at middle, Drews at opposite, Poulter at setter and Courtney at libero. Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois) was a sub in the first and third sets, while Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon) was a sub in the first set.
Team USA is the only country to have medaled in each of the last four World Cups. The Americans won silver in 2011 and bronze in 2003, 2007 and 2015. The 2015 World Cup podium finishes replicated the 2016 Olympic Games results – China winning the event with Serbia claiming silver and USA bronze.
The U.S. built a 7-4 advantage in the opening set with Drews scoring a kill and ace around two Netherlands errors as part of a 4-0 run. Netherlands went in front 11-10 on a 5-1 scoring spurt. The teams traded side out until Washington pounded a slide and followed with a service winner giving Team USA a 16-15 lead at the second technical timeout. Out of the break, Drews hammered a kill and Netherlands was called in the net to extend the USA lead to 18-15. Out of a Netherlands timeout, Larson scored a block to cap a 5-0 run at 19-15. Netherlands cut the gap to one at 20-19 with a 4-1 run. The Americans extended their lead to 22-19 with a Larson kill and Netherlands attack error. Netherlands closed to one at 23-22, but the American held on for the win at 25-23 on Robinson’s sixth kill of the set.
Netherlands scored three unanswered points to take a 5-2 lead early in set two. Team USA cut the deficit to 6-5 with a Netherlands error and Poulter overpass kill. The Americans took the lead at 14-9 with two kills from Ogbogu, one kill each from Drews and Robinson, a block from Ogbogu and Larson had two aces during the 7-0 run. Netherlands answered with three consecutive points to close to 14-12. Drews put up a block after a Netherlands service error to give the U.S. a 16-12 lead into the second technical timeout. Robinson slammed a kill and Washington put up a block to push the Team USA lead to 18-13. The Americans advanced their lead to 22-17 on a Robinson kill and Netherlands error. Team USA scored the final three points of the set including Larson with two aces for the 25-18 victory. Larson finished the set with seven points.
After serving the final two points for aces in the second set, Larson scored the first two points of the third set with kills. Netherlands took its first lead of the third set at 6-5, but they committed consecutive errors and Poulter put up a block to move USA in front 8-6. Netherlands leveled the set at 13-all after the teams traded several sideouts. The U.S. went into the second technical timeout leading 16-14 on a Washington kill and Netherlands error. The Americans increased their lead to 22-15 with a Larson kill, two Netherlands errors, two Poulter aces and Robinson kill. After Netherlands scored three straight to cut the gap to 23-19, the U.S. scored the final two points with a Drews kill and Netherlands attack error at 25-19.