COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 8, 2018) – The U.S. Women’s National Team swept Turkey 25-21, 25-17, 25-18 on Monday afternoon in Osaka to remain undefeated in the FIVB World Championship with a 7-0 record.
- Key Stat: The U.S. had balanced scoring with four players in double-figures.
- Key Note: Team USA, the defending World Championship title holder, now needs just one victory in its final two second round matches to advance to the third round (Final Six).
- Records: USA (7-0, 19 points), Turkey (3-4, 9 points)
- World Rankings: No. 2 USA, No. 12 Turkey
- 2018 Season Record: 33-4
- Up Next: USA vs. China on Oct. 10 at 6:20 a.m. ET
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After trailing 4-1 early in the opening set, the U.S. crawled back into the set that included 10 ties and five lead changes. The Americans used a key 5-0 scoring run to stake a 21-16 advantage and went on to win 25-21. Team USA commanded an early 7-2 lead in the second set with a 6-0 scoring run, then pushed into a 25-17 victory. The Americans used a 7-2 run to overcome a 9-8 deficit and take a 15-11 lead in the third set and carried the advantage through to a 25-18 victory.
“It was a really good match. Turkey is always a great opponent to play,” U.S. setter Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California) said. “They play with a lot of fire and energy. I think our team did a good job coming out with urgency and playing good volleyball.”
“We are incredibly fortunate to have 14 players here and others who are not here who we trust to make good plays in matches like today,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “Whoever we have on the floor, we don’t necessarily want to depend on the one player. We try to have an offense that is more evenly distributed. It is more difficult for opponents to plan for.”
“This is my first World Championship, and I am happy to be here,” Lloyd said. “It is a great honor to be a part of this program. World Championship is an amazing event. We are excited to be here. It is a really tough competition and we are trying to take it one match at a time. This has been awesome. Japan is putting on an amazing event, thank you for all you are doing. See you at the next match.”
U.S. opposite Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois) led all scorers with 12 points as she recorded six kills on 14 swings, three blocks and three aces. Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska) chipped in 10 points with eight kills on 19 swings and two blocks. Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon) contributed 10 kills on 30 attacks in the victory. Middle Foluke Akinradewo (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) pocketed seven kills on nine attacks and three blocks for 10 points.
Middle Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minnesota) charted five kills in the victory. Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California), the double-sub opposite in all three sets, tallied four kills on nine attacks in her limited time on the court. Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma), the setter in the double-sub all three sets, rounded out the scoring with an ace on seven serves.
Libero Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California) was unofficially credited with nine digs and a 64 positive reception percent on 14 chances. Hill was 52 percent positive on 21 service receptions while adding six digs. Larson handled 13 receptions with a 46 positive percent to go with five digs.
Lloyd set the Americans to a 42 kill percent and .337 hitting efficiency (40-8-95) with 53 of the team’s total set attempts. Hancock added 20 set attempts. The U.S. held Turkey to a 35 kill percent and .140 hitting efficiency (35-21-100).
Team USA held an 8-2 margin in blocks and a 4-3 edge in aces for the match. The Americans limited their errors to 16 for the match and used 23 Turkish errors in the victory. The U.S. defense held a slim 28-27 dig advantage, as well as a 40-35 kill lead.
Turkey’s Zehra Gunes led her team with nine points and Meliha Ismailoglu added seven points.
The U.S. started Hill and Larson at outside hitter, Akinradewo and Gibbemeyer at middle, Murphy at opposite, Lloyd at setter, Robinson at libero. Sarah Wilhite Parsons (Eden Prairie, Minnesota) was a serving sub in all three sets.
Earlier this year the Americans played Turkey three times during the FIVB Volleyball Nations League and all three matches went five sets. Turkey prevailed in the first meeting on May 16 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Team USA won the second match in the Final Six playoffs after trailing two sets. The Americans then rallied to defeat Turkey in five sets in the gold-medal match.
After a day off, the U.S. will now face China on Oct. 10 at 6:20 a.m. ET in a key battle for qualification to the third round. China entered today with one loss in its opening six matches and are within striking distance of a third-round berth. Team USA has already defeated China twice this year in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League – once in the preliminary round and later in the semifinals.
“I know we just have to play good USA volleyball,” Larson said about Team USA’s upcoming opponents in China on Wednesday and Italy on Thursday. “I am sure we are going to have a good game plan going into that. Our hope is to just play the best we can.”
Kiraly said China will be a formidable opponent with one of the top international players in Zhu Ting. But for now, Team USA will enjoy Monday’s win over Turkey before moving on to China.
“First of all, we know China is a great team,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “They are led by one of the strongest international players around in Zhu Ting. But I think I would like to take a few minutes to enjoy this win before we start thinking about China in over two days from now.”
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Turkey scored four consecutive points to stake a 4-1 lead in the opening set. Team USA stopped the run with a Gibbemeyer kill and Turkey error to close to 4-3. However, Turkey upped its lead to 6-3 with its second ace of the set. Murphy served an ace after an Akinradewo kill to cut the gap to 6-5. Team USA knotted the set at 7-all with back-to-back Turkish errors, then the Americans went into technical timeout leading 8-7 on a Hill back-row kill. Turkey came out of the break with two points to reverse the lead to its side at 9-8. The U.S. went back into the lead at 11-10 with a Gibbemeyer kill and Turkey error. However, Turkey took the lead back at 13-11 with three consecutive points. Murphy put up a block after a Turkish service error to tie the set at 13-all. The Americans reached the second technical timeout leading 16-15 with a Murphy kill and Hancock ace. Team USA extended its lead to 19-16 with two Lowe kills after a Turkish service error. Out of a Turkey timeout, Turkey hit into the net and Hill cranked a back-row kill to lift the Americans to a 21-16 advantage. Turkey stopped the run with consecutive points to close to 21-18. Hill ended the set with a kill at 25-21.
The U.S. built an early 7-2 lead in the second set on a 6-0 run that included two Murphy aces, a kill and bock from Akinradewo and a Hill kill. Turkey answered with three consecutive points to trim the gap to 7-5. Larson hammered consecutive kills to raise the American lead to 10-6. Team USA inched its lead to 12-7 with a Hill kill after a Turkey service error. Murphy and Hill scored back-to-back kills to lift the U.S. lead to 15-9. The U.S. scored kills from Akinradewo and Hill around the second technical timeout to raise the advantage to 17-10. Out of a Turkey timeout, Akinradewo put up a block and Lowe followed with a kill to extend the American lead to 19-10 on a 4-0 scoring run into Turkey’s second timeout. Out of the break, Turkey scored back-to-back points to move to within 19-12. Turkey closed to within five at 21-16 with three consecutive points. Larson stopped the run with consecutive kills to raise the Team USA lead to 23-16. The U.S. ended the set with a Murphy kill and Turkey error at 25-17.
Turkey gained a 3-1 lead early in the third set. The U.S. took the lead at 6-4 with Murphy kill winning a mega rally then Turkey having two errors followed by an Akinradewo block to cap a 4-0 run. Team USA reached the first technical timeout with an Akinradewo kill and Larson block at 8-5. Turkey came out of the break with four consecutive points to retake the lead at 9-8. Out of an American timeout, Larson slammed consecutive kills and Turkey committed back-to-back errors to put the Americans up 12-9 prompting a Turkey timeout. The U.S. jumped its lead to 14-10 with a Hill kill after a Turkey service error to prompt Turkey’s second timeout. Team USA stretched the lead to 18-13 with kills from Hill and Akinradewo. Turkey trimmed the American lead to 19-16 with back-to-back points. Hill slammed a kill before back-to-back blocks from Murphy and Larson that gave the Americans a 22-16 lead. Back-to-back Turkey errors ended the match with a 25-18 Team USA win.