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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (June 10, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team, ranked No. 1 in the world by the FIVB, opened its FIVB World Grand Prix title defense with a commanding 25-15, 25-17, 25-12 victory over No. 11 Germany Friday afternoon in Ningbo, China.

Team USA, shooting for its seventh World Grand Prix title and fifth in seven years, challenges No. 13 Thailand on Saturday at 3 a.m. ET on the second day of action before meeting Pool A host China on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET. China is ranked No. 2 in the world. The U.S. travels home next week to host a preliminary round weekend of the premier annual women’s international volleyball tournament as the Americans have a rematch against Germany on June 17, followed by No. 5 Japan on June 18 and No. 10 Turkey on June 19.

Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Illinois) led Team USA with 11 points via nine kills on 24 swings and two blocks. Opposite Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois) chipped in eight kills on 21 attacks, one block and one ace. Middle Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, California), making her first appearance with the U.S. Women’s National Team since competing in the 2011 Montreux VolleyMasters, provided five kills on seven swings, three blocks and an ace for nine points.

Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon) contributed nine points via six kills on 12 swings, two aces and a block. Middle Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Florida) pocketed eight points with seven kills on 11 attacks and an ace. Setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Michigan) turned a block and an ace for two points, while Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California) tacked on a kill and block as the double-sub opposite. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Washington), used a serving sub in all three sets, provided an ace in the first set.

The U.S. converted 44.4 percent of its attacks into points with a .321 hitting efficiency (36-10-81) behind Glass’ 24 excellent running sets as the starting setter. Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California) added four running sets as the double-sub setter in all three sets.

Libero Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) was credited with a team-leading six digs and added three excellent receptions on seven chances. Hill recorded a team-best six excellent receptions on 13 errorless chances and Robinson added five excellent receptions on 17 chances.

Team USA’s serving kept Germany out rhythm and netted a 7-2 ace advantage. For the night, the U.S. recorded just six serving errors. The Americans took advantage of 23 German errors and limited their own to 12 for the match. Germany was held to a 25.6 kill percent and a .070 hitting efficiency (22-16-86). The U.S. held a slim 9-8 margin in blocks.

In the opening set, the U.S. used a 10-2 to establish a 17-8 advantage en route to a 25-15 victory. Murphy scored six points in the opening set and Hill added four points including two aces. The Americans jumped to a 7-2 lead early in the second set and used a 7-2 run down the stretch to reach a 24-14 advantage before finishing the set at 25-17. Robinson tallied six points in the set. Team USA took advantage of six early German errors in the third set to establish a 9-3 lead. The Americans extended their lead to 17-7 on a 6-0 run that included a kill and ace by Akinradewo and a block and kill from Robinson. The U.S. closed out the set and match on back-to-back Akinradewo kills and a Hill block at 25-12. Germany committed eight errors in the final set.

The U.S. Women have now played in 250 World Grand Prix matches and hold a 155-95 record. The Americans have won 16 of their last 17 World Grand Prix matches dating back to 2014.

The Americans conclude the World Grand Prix preliminary phase with three matches in Hong Kong. The U.S. faces Germany on June 24, the No. 14 Netherlands on June 25 and host China on June 26.

The FIVB World Grand Prix schedule has each of the 12 teams in Group 1 playing three preliminary round weekends in various cities before the top five teams plus Thailand compete in the Final Round July 6-10 in Bangkok, Thailand.

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strong>U.S. Starters:
Alisha Glass (S), Kelly Murphy (OPP), Foluke Akinradewo (M), Alexis Crimes (M), Kim Hill (OH), Kelsey Robinson (OH), Kayla Banwarth (L)

U.S. Statistics

Points: Kelsey Robinson 11, Kelly Murphy 10, Kim Hill 9, Alexis Crimes 9, Foluke Akinradewo 8, Alisha Glass 2, Karsta Lowe 2, Courtney Thompson 1

Hitting: Kelly Murphy 8-21, Kelsey Robinson 9-24, Kim Hill 6-12, Foluke Akinradewo 7-11, Alexis Crimes 5-7, Karsta Lowe 1-4. USA 36-81, Germany 22-86

Blocks: Alexis Crimes 3, Kelsey Robinson 2, Alisha Glass 1, Kelly Murphy 1, Kim Hill 1, Karsta Lowe 1. USA 9, Germany 8.
Aces: Kim Hill 2, Courtney Thompson 1, Kelly Murphy 1, Foluke Akinradewo 1, Alisha Glass 1, Alexis Crimes 1. USA 9, Germany 2

Digs: Kayla Banwarth 6, Kim Hill 2, Foluke Akinradewo 1, Alisha Glass 1, Kelly Murphy 1. USA 11, Germany 9.