FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship


USA win tough five-setter against Russia in Grand Champions Cup

Alisha Glass of USA concentrates against Russia

Tokyo, Japan, November 15, 2013 – USA had to fight hard against a strong Russian team before emerging 3-2 (16-25, 25-22, 25-19, 24-26, 15-13) winners on the third day of the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Friday.

The win saw USA raise their record to 2-1 for five points, while Russia dropped to 1-2 and four points.

Natalia Malykh was the top scorer in the match with 26 points, while the Americans’ top scorer was Jordan Larson-Burbach with 23. USA setter Alisha Glass was named Player of the Match.

Nicole Fawcett contributed 15 points, including three big aces, to the victory, while Kirstin Hillebrand and Lauren Gibbemeyer added 12 and 10, respectively, in the win. Russia's Liuvob Shashkova finished with 22 in the losing effort.

Russia had the advantage in blocking points 17-9, while USA dominated the serving 9-2. Both sides committed 24 errors.

The Americans started the match badly. Natalia Malykh landed two big spikes and a missed set saw USA drop to 0-4, when coach Karch Kiraly called a timeout. The Americans picked up their first point with a good hit by Lauren Gibbermeyer to make the score 6-1, but the Russians were six points clear at the first technical timeout. Kiraly called his second timeout a point later to try and settle his team, but everything seemed to be going Russia’s way. At 12-3, the Americans started to find their game and give the Russians something to think about. Kristin Hildebrand launched some rockets and when USA closed the gap to 20-15, Russia coach Iury Marichev called a timeout. But the Russians had missile launchers of their own and Liubov Shashkova and Daria Isaeva steered their team to a 1-0 lead.

Russia maintained their good rhythm at the start of the second set. Anastasia Shiyakhovaya and Malykh delivered some meaty kills and a block by Victoria Chaplina on Nicole Fawcett saw the Russians five points ahead at the first TTO. The Americans fought back with successive blocks – Hildebrand on Shashkova and Fawcett on Chaplina – as they kept the pressure on the Russians and narrowed the gap to two points at 13-11, when Marichev hauled his players off court. USA drew level at 17-17 after successive mistakes by Chaplina, but two wayward shots by Hildebrand restored Russia’s two-point lead and Kiraly called a timeout. USA drew level again on a superbly placed shot by Fawcett and Marichev called his second timeout when the Americans went into the lead for the first time at 20-19 after a powerful thump by Jordan Larson-Burbach. Two more big hits by the American put USA in control and they earned four setpoints on a rotation error, which was symptomatic of how Russia had lost their muse. Cursty Jackson delivered the final blow to even the match at 1-1. 

Two good first-time tipovers at the net by setter Ekaterina Pankova allowed Russia to take a one-point lead at the first TTO of the third set and after a misplaced shot by Fawcett allowed Russia to go ahead 13-10, Kiraly called a timeout. Two more USA errors gave the Russians a five-point lead at the second TTO. Five points later, they didn’t have any lead at all. USA ended an eight-point run three points ahead at 19-16 and the Russians were clearly rattled. Pankova was yellow-carded after being penalised for a double touch and with the score at 23-18, Marichev called a timeout. But it was too late to change anything. A thunderbolt from Fawcett brought up setpoint and Jackson again had the honour of delivering the winning hit, putting USA 2-1 up.

Back came Russia with a strong start to the fourth set. Shashkova opened up with two kills and was supported by a brace from Malykh. After a block by Shashkova on Fawcett, Kiraly called a timeout at 1-5 and Larson-Burbach responded with two good kills. But Malykh reasserted Russian dominance with a block on Fawcett and two thunderous spikes that put her team 8-3 ahead. Marichev called a timeout after Fawcett scored with a big hit down the line and a block on Chaplina that narrowed the gap to three points at 9-6. At 12-8, Fawcett came up with three monster serves, forcing Marichev to use his second timeout. Her next huge serve levelled the scores at 12, but Russia crept ahead again to lead by two at the second TTO. The Americans drew level again at 17, but Kiraly called a timeout when Russia’s Chaplina blocked Hildebrand to make the score 20-19 for Russia. Chaplina immediately blocked Fawcett to give her team a two-point advantage, but the scores were level again at 22, 23 and 24. A netted serve by Jenna Hagglund handed setpoint to the Russians and a block by Shashkova took the match to a fifth set.

Russia led 5-3 after a block by Malykh on Fawcett and a spike by Chaplina, prompting Kiraly to call a timeout. The Americans levelled at 6-6 and led by two points at 9-7 following a huge kill by Hildebrand, but it was level again at 9-9. After the Americans dropped two points to make the scores level at 11, Kiraly called another timeout. The scores were level at 12 and 13 when Malykh sent a shot down the line just wide to give USA matchpoint. Malykh then did exactly the same thing to hand the match to the Americans.

On Saturday, Russia will play Brazil and the USA will play Thailand. 

Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

19.11.2013 09:41:14
Japan coach Manabe draws the line after winning World Grand Champions Cup bronze

Kyoto, Japan, November 19, 2013 – Only a couple of days after the women’s tournament came to a close in Tokyo, the head coach of Team Japan Masayoshi ... More...

18.11.2013 15:53:56
Brazil’s volleyball magicians make history

Lausanne, Switzerland, November 18, 2013 - The FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup ended with a familiar scene: the ladies in their bright yello... More...

17.11.2013 14:40:43
Claudino gives credit to teammates for MVP award

Tokyo, Japan, November 17, 2013 – Brazil’s Fabiana Claudino was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2013 FIVB Women’s Grand Champions Cup won by the... More...

17.11.2013 14:03:44
The first set was the key to our win: Ze Roberto

17.11.2013 14:01:11
Brazil clinch second title in Grand Champions Cup

17.11.2013 11:56:08
Brazil clinch World Grand Champions Cup with 3-0 win over Japan

17.11.2013 09:59:48
Everybody had fun: Thai captain Apinyapong

17.11.2013 09:37:14
Thailand score historic victory over Russia in Grand Champions Cup

17.11.2013 06:46:45
Team USA has a lot to be proud of: Kiraly

17.11.2013 06:04:21
USA overcome Dominican Republic 3-1 in World Grand Champions Cup

17.11.2013 00:41:27
Brazil in the driver’s seat entering final day

16.11.2013 14:14:17
Brazil one step away from the crown

16.11.2013 14:07:44
Dominican De La Cruz: Japan exploited our shortcomings

16.11.2013 13:19:20
Sakoda electrifies Japan against a spirited Dominican squad

16.11.2013 11:17:27
Brazil coach Ze Roberto: Russia is difficult every time

16.11.2013 10:28:42
Brazil stay unbeaten with 3-1 victory over Russia in Grand Champions Cup

16.11.2013 07:07:55
Thailand's style is beautiful for volleyball: USA coach Kiraly

16.11.2013 06:31:50
USA edge Thailand 3-2 in thrilling Grand Champions Cup tie

16.11.2013 01:08:00
Thai's combine happy faces with fighting spirit

15.11.2013 23:26:15
Guimaraes dismisses the importance of individual performances

15.11.2013 14:03:26
Brazil still unbeaten, USA and Japan gain momentum

15.11.2013 13:46:51
Our defence worked well against Thailand: Japan coach Manabe

15.11.2013 13:07:28
Japan overcome Thai resistance in Grand Champions Cup

15.11.2013 11:08:43
It was a very difficult match: USA coach

15.11.2013 06:46:41
We made too many mistakes: Brazil captain Fabiana

15.11.2013 06:32:26
Brazil drop first set but rally to beat Dominican Republic 3-1

14.11.2013 13:13:53
Coaches ready for second phase of World Grand Champions Cup

13.11.2013 16:13:16
Brazilian Fabi reflects on her Rio chances

13.11.2013 14:46:47
Brazil undefeated at Women’s Grand Champions Cup

13.11.2013 13:55:51
Kiraly says familiarity with Japan helped U.S. prevail

13.11.2013 13:25:19
Larson and Murphy pace USA over Japan

13.11.2013 10:41:24
Russia coach Marichev pleased with blocks after victory

13.11.2013 10:18:48
Russia outblock Dominican Republic to notch first win

13.11.2013 06:16:12
Guimaraes pleased with Brazil's performance in victory

13.11.2013 05:46:07
Brazil claim one-sided victory over Thailand

12.11.2013 23:24:57
Kiraly’s mission: Take his team to unknown lands

12.11.2013 15:18:12
Dominican Republic, Brazil and Japan score victories on day one at Nagoya

12.11.2013 14:21:13
Manabe says teamwork keyed win over Russia

12.11.2013 13:41:10
Japan edge Russia in four sets

12.11.2013 10:03:34
Brazil coach Guimaraes says team has to persevere

12.11.2013 09:26:47
Brazil prevail against USA on day one at Nagoya

12.11.2013 06:23:49
Dominican coach says win over Thailand tough despite score

12.11.2013 05:50:33
Dominican Republic subdue Thailand in opening match

11.11.2013 13:23:44
Coaches ready for Women’s World Grand Champions Cup challenge

11.11.2013 04:26:48
JVA President “proud and grateful” to host World Grand Champions Cup

10.11.2013 16:03:13
Wildcards Dominican Republic ready to seize Women's Grand Champions Cup opportunity

09.11.2013 23:29:57
Hosts Japan look for first ever Women's World Grand Champions Cup gold

09.11.2013 12:28:45
Russia team heads to Japan for Women's World Grand Champions Cup

08.11.2013 17:25:30
Brazil's Garay draws on Japan experience as team heads into Women's World Grand Champions Cup

07.11.2013 12:09:44
2013 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup media guide online

06.11.2013 16:42:46
Brazil women's team begin World Grand Champions Cup practice in Japan

04.11.2013 11:46:40
Brazil out to make history at Women's World Grand Champions Cup

01.11.2013 09:44:26
US women name FIVB Grand Champions Cup final roster

01.11.2013 09:11:38
Brazil veterans Walewska and Carol Gattaz return for Grand Champions Cup

30.10.2013 16:30:32
Second Champions Cup appearance for Dominican Republic

24.10.2013 18:41:09
Thai coach hoping for best at World Grand Champions Cup

23.10.2013 16:20:00
Brazil announce Women's World Grand Champions Cup roster

16.10.2013 10:00:00
Dominican Republic women and Italy men complete World Grand Champions Cup lineup

27.09.2013 15:26:42
Accreditation for World Grand Champions Cup now open

21.09.2013 23:59:36
Brazil wins South American Championship gold

21.09.2013 23:58:18
United States win ticket to FIVB Grand Champions Cup

21.09.2013 19:49:52
Thailand reign supreme at Asian Senior Women’s Championship

15.09.2013 15:01:08
Russia qualify for FIVB World Grand Champions Cup, World Championships

05.09.2013 18:24:32
Women's European Volleyball Championship starts Grand Champions Cup qualifiers