Monday, 27 May 2024

U.S. Women’s Volleyball Team Finishes Strong at FIVB World Championship

The U.S. Women’s National Team showcased their dominance in a thrilling match against host country Japan in the FIVB World Championship, securing a fifth-place finish. The American team’s remarkable performance was characterized by a 10-1 block advantage and a 7-2 margin in aces. This victory marked an important comeback for Team USA, who had previously suffered two heartbreaking five-set losses in the Third Round pool play, dashing their hopes of clinching the championship title.

Key Highlights

  • Balanced Scoring: The U.S. team exhibited a well-rounded offense, with five players reaching double figures in points. Leading the pack was Kim Hill from Portland, Oregon, who notched an impressive 25 points, the highest in the match.

  • Breaking the Losing Streak: This win comes as a relief after a challenging four-match losing streak for Team USA. Their resilience and determination propelled them to overcome the obstacles and finish the tournament on a high note.

  • Impressive Records: The U.S. team boasted an impressive record throughout the 2018 World Championship, with 8 wins and 4 losses. Japan, on the other hand, achieved a commendable 7-5 record. In terms of world rankings, the United States stood at No. 2, while Japan held the sixth spot.

  • Final USA Season Record: Team USA’s outstanding performance in the World Championship contributed to an overall season record of 34 wins and 8 losses.

Match Overview

Both the United States and Japan competed fiercely in the Third-Round pool matches, eventually landing in the fifth-place classification match. The American team seized an early 9-3 lead in the first set, only to see Japan make an impressive comeback, tying the set at 16-all. However, Team USA rallied and secured a 25-23 victory in the first set. The second set saw a dominant performance from the U.S., who used a 6-1 run to establish a comfortable 16-9 lead, eventually winning the set 25-16. Japan put up a tough fight in the third set, securing a hard-fought 25-23 victory. Nevertheless, the United States regained control in the fourth set, clinching a 25-23 win and ultimately securing the match.

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Coach and Player Reactions

U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly expressed his admiration for the Japanese team and complimented the organizers for their exceptional work in hosting the World Championships. He also praised his team for their resilience and determination throughout the tournament.

Captain Jordan Larson echoed Kiraly’s sentiments, thanking the Japanese fans for their incredible support and acknowledging the unique atmosphere of playing in Japan. The American team felt privileged to be part of such a significant event.

Notable Performances

Kim Hill emerged as the star of the match, contributing 25 points, including 22 kills, 2 blocks, and an ace. Karsta Lowe also played a crucial role, accumulating 17 points, while Jordan Larson scored 12 points from her position as an outside hitter.

Team Effort and Defensive Strength

Foluke Akinradewo and Rachael Adams showcased their prowess at the net, securing 11 and 10 points, respectively, with their impressive kills and blocks. Setter Micha Hancock contributed tremendously to the team’s success, tallying 7 points with 4 aces, 2 kills, and a block. Additional contributions from Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, Sarah Wilhite Parsons, and Kelsey Robinson further bolstered the team’s performance.

Defensively, libero Kelsey Robinson demonstrated her exceptional skills, delivering a remarkable 62 percent positive reception rate on the eight opportunities she encountered. Larson and Hill also played pivotal roles, showcasing their defensive abilities with 16 and 12 digs, respectively. Hancock added 13 digs, while Lowe accounted for eight.

Statistical Dominance

The U.S. team exhibited remarkable efficiency, converting 41 percent of their attacks with a .341 hitting efficiency. The Americans also outperformed Japan in terms of kills, recording a 67-57 advantage. Alongside their dominance in blocking and serving, they managed to limit the Japanese team’s offensive prowess, holding them to a 38 percent kill rate and a .270 hitting efficiency. The United States also displayed superior defensive skills, recording 64 digs compared to Japan’s 54.

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Japanese Opposition

Risa Shinnabe led the Japanese team’s scoring efforts with 16 points, followed closely by Sarina Koga with 15 points.

The Road Ahead

Despite the disappointment of not being able to defend their World Championship title, Team USA remains determined to learn from this experience and improve. The team displayed remarkable character and resilience throughout the tournament, setting the stage for future successes.

Looking ahead, the United States is excited to return to Japan for the 2019 FIVB World Cup and the highly anticipated 2020 Olympic Games. The American players expressed their enthusiasm for the exceptional job Japan has done in hosting these international events.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster

1 – Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Penn State, Edmond, Oklahoma)
3 – Carli Lloyd (S, 5-11, California, Bonsall, California)
5 – Rachael Adams (M, 6-2, Texas, Cincinnati, Ohio)
6 – Tori Dixon (M, 6-3, Minnesota, Burnsville, Minnesota)
8 – Lauren Gibbemeyer (M, 6-2, Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota)
10 – Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Nebraska, Hooper, Nebraska)
12 – Kelly Murphy (OPP, 6-2, Florida, Wilmington, Illinois)
13 – Sarah Wilhite Parsons (OH, 6-2, Minnesota, Eden Prairie, Minnesota)
14 – Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (OH, 6-3, Illinois, Champaign, Illinois)
15 – Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, Pepperdine, Portland, Oregon)
16 – Foluke Akinradewo (M, 6-3, Stanford, Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
17 – Megan Courtney (L, 6-1, Penn State, Dayton, Ohio)
23 – Kelsey Robinson (L, 6-2, Nebraska, Manhattan Beach, California)
24 – Karsta Lowe (OPP, 6-4, UCLA, Rancho Santa Fe, California)

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Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Luka Slabe, Tama Miyashiro
Technical Coordinator: Jeff Liu
Physiotherapist: Kara Kessans
Team Manager: Jimmy Stitz
Doctors: Dr. Christopher Lee and Lori Boyajian-O’Neill
Consultant Coaches: Marv Dunphy
Scout Coach: Giuseppe Vinci
Mental Performance Coach: Traci Statler

FAQs

Q: What was the final standing of the U.S. Women’s National Team in the FIVB World Championship?

A: The U.S. Women’s National Team secured a fifth-place finish in the FIVB World Championship.

Q: Who were the standout performers for the U.S. Women’s National Team?

A: Kim Hill led the American team with an impressive 25 points, followed by Karsta Lowe with 17 points. Jordan Larson also contributed significantly, tallying 12 points.

Q: How did the U.S. team perform statistically against Japan?

A: The American team exhibited dominance in several statistical categories, including blocking, serving, kills, and digs. They converted 41 percent of their attacks with a .341 hitting efficiency, outperforming Japan in various aspects of the game.

Summary

In the FIVB World Championship, the U.S. Women’s National Team showcased their strength and resilience, securing a fifth-place finish. Their victory against Japan in the classification match was characterized by a remarkable display of blocking and serving prowess. The team’s balanced scoring and exceptional defensive skills contributed to their success. Although they faced some challenges along the way, the American players exhibited remarkable determination and a commitment to their game plan. Looking ahead, the U.S. team is excited to return to Japan for future international competitions.