Wednesday, 29 May 2024

U.S. Women Suffer First Defeat of 2017 World Grand Prix

The U.S. Women’s National Team experienced a setback in their journey at the FIVB World Grand Prix in Macau, China. Facing off against Italy, they lost a hard-fought match with a final score of 25-22, 22-25, 25-21, 13-25, 15-13. This defeat is the first for the U.S. team in the tournament and also marks their first loss of the season after 13 consecutive victories.

The U.S. women’s team, which had been undefeated until this point, now sits at a record of 4-1. However, they still remain a strong contender in the competition. Their next match is against the host country China on July 16 at 3:30 a.m. ET in Macau. The Americans had previously defeated China in a sweeping victory last Sunday in Kunshan, China.

The FIVB World Grand Prix is an esteemed international tournament for women, showcasing the prowess of the top teams from around the globe. Italy, with a record of 3-2, proved to be a formidable opponent for the U.S.

During the match, outside hitter Madi Kingdon showcased her skills, contributing 20 points with powerful kills from 38 swings. Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, another key player for the U.S., recorded 16 kills, three blocks, and an ace, earning a total of 20 points. Kelly Murphy, the team’s opposite, also made a significant impact with 14 points, including nine kills, three aces, and two blocks.

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The middle blockers Tori Dixon and Lauren Gibbemeyer each contributed five points to the U.S. score, while Liz McMahon, who played as an opposite in the double substitution throughout the match, secured five kills from 11 attempts. Micha Hancock, the setter in the double sub, served two aces, and Carli Lloyd, the team’s setter, rounded out the scoring with a block.

In terms of defense, libero Justine Wong-Orantes demonstrated her exceptional skills, tallying 20 digs and 17 excellent receptions on 24 attempts. Bartsch-Hackley also showcased her versatility, contributing 17 excellent receptions and eight digs. Lloyd and Kingdon both displayed their defensive prowess with 17 digs each.

It was an intense match with both teams battling fiercely. Italy had the advantage in key areas, including kills (65-57), blocks (12-8), and aces (10-7). While the U.S. struggled with errors, committing 13 compared to Italy’s 34, they still put up a strong fight.

In the first set, the U.S. fought hard but ultimately fell short as Italy secured a 25-22 victory. The U.S. rallied back in the second set, establishing an early lead and claiming a 25-22 win. Italy regained their momentum in the third set, taking a 25-21 victory. However, the U.S. responded with an impressive performance in the fourth set, winning decisively with a score of 25-13. The fifth and final set was a closely contested battle, but Italy managed to secure a 15-13 victory.

Despite this defeat, the U.S. team has a rich history of success in the FIVB World Grand Prix, having won the tournament six times. In the last two editions, they claimed gold in 2015 and reached the gold-medal match in 2016. The U.S. and Brazil have been dominant forces in the World Grand Prix, with the two nations winning 17 out of the 24 editions, including every year since 2008.

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Don’t miss the U.S. Women’s National Team’s next match against China on July 16 at 3:30 a.m. ET in Macau. Show your support and witness the exciting action unfold in the FIVB World Grand Prix.