FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

USA overcome Russia in four sets in World Grand Prix opener


Kristin Hildebrand makes a reception in Friday's win over Russia

 Campinas, Brazil, August 2, 2013 – The United States opened their 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix campaign by defeating Russia 3-1 (25-20, 17-25, 25-21, 25-12) on Friday in Campinas, Brazil.

Team USA is seeking to become the first team to win four consecutive FIVB World Grand Prix titles. By defeating Russia, the U.S. set a new World Grand Prix record with its 17th consecutive win dating back to the 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round. 

The U.S. recovered from an early 2-0 deficit in the opening set and took charge with a 10-4 scoring run to reach a 19-14 advantage, then held off a late Russia rally to win 25-20. Russia scored four unanswered points to break free from a slim 12-11 advantage in the second set and went on to win 25-17 with six blocks in the frame. The U.S. broke a 3-3 tie in the fourth set with a 12-3 scoring run and never looked back for a 25-12 victory.

Kelly Murphy and Kim Hill, both in their first year with the U.S. women’s team, combined for 31 points as newcomers to the FIVB World Grand Prix played huge roles. Murphy came off the bench to score a team-high 16 points with 12 kills on 18 attacks, two blocks and two aces. Hill totalled 15 points with 12 kills on 32 swings, two aces and a block.

“I don’t think it has sunk in yet,” Murphy said of playing in her first World Grand Prix match. “Tonight the team had good energy. We made a lot of good adjustments and became more aggressive in serving and blocking alignments. We also made good plays and won the long rallies.”

Kristin Hildebrand, who was a key contributor on the 2013 World Grand Prix gold-medal team, added 15 kills on 38 attacks in the win. Lauren Gibbemeyer charted 12 points with nine kills on 17 attacks and three blocks.

“Russia is a strong team and played well." Hildebrand said. "We had to battle back in that third set after they took the second, and we did – I am very proud of my team. It was a good way to start. We will have another tough match against Poland tomorrow.”

Lauren Paolini pocketed eight points with five kills, two blocks and an ace; Nicole Fawcett tacked on five points with two kills, two blocks and an ace; and Alisha Glass rounded out the scoring with three blocks and two aces.

The U.S. converted 44.2 percent of its attacks with a .326 hitting efficiency as Glass handed out 14 running sets on 85 set attempts. Hildebrand turned in 14 excellent receptions on 43 attempts, while Tamari Miyashiro added six excellent receptions on 17 attempts and 14 digs. Glass added 14 digs from her setter position.

Team USA dominated in each of the scoring skills, including 57-44 in kills, 13-9 in blocks and 6-2 in aces. Russia benefited from 23 American errors while limited its miscues to 16 for the match. The U.S. also produced a 62-54 edge in digs. Team USA limited Russia to a 34.7 kill percentage and .165 hitting efficiency (44-21-127).

Team USA ended a three-match losing streak to the Russians, including setbacks in the 2010 FIVB World Championship semifinals and 2010 Montreux VolleyMasters. Russia still holds an 11-9 advantage in the head-to-head World Grand Prix matches with the United States.


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