Behind four former members of the Stanford women's volleyball squad, the U.S. Women's National Team closed out the FIVB World Championship first round Pool C undefeated after defeating NORCECA rival Cuba, 30-28, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23, in a nail-biter Wednesday evening in Matsumoto, Japan.
Team USA finished atop Pool C with a 5-0 record heading into the second round crossover Pool F at Nagoya. The Americans, ranked second in the world by the FIVB, will face Pool B's fourth-place Czech Republic on Saturday.
Former Cardinal Logan Tom finished with 18 kills on 30 attacks and a block for 19 points, while Foluke Akinradewo recorded six kills on nine attacks and a team-high four blocks for 10 points. Ogonna Nnamani rounded out the scoring with one point.
Tom also chipped in a team-high 23 excellent service receptions on 37 attempts against Cuba. Cynthia Barboza subbed into the match to serve in the first game.
The two teams had matching totals in kills (62), blocks (eight) and digs (34), but the USA used a 7-3 ace margin to its advantage. While the U.S. held a .346 hitting efficiency, Cuba was limited to a .314 hitting percentage and 44.3 kill percent.