The U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team saw its five-match win streak snapped when Serbia took a 25-12, 17-25, 25-23, 25-15 victory over the Americans on Sunday to complete Pool H action of the FIVB World Grand Prix in Komaki, Japan.
The U.S., defending FIVB World Grand Prix champions had won their last 16 matches in FIVB World Grand Prix competition dating to last year.
The U.S. (5-1, 14 points) continues the FIVB World Grand Prix next weekend in Hong Kong as part of Pool J. The Americans play Germany on Friday, Italy on Saturday and Peru on Sunday at the Hong Kong Coliseum.
"Serbia played a very strong game, especially in service, and they attacked well in transition," U.S. coach Hugh McCutcheon said. "As always, we are trying to get better and Serbia taught us a few things."
Stanford grad Foluke Akinradewo led the U.S. with nine kills and three blocks. Cardinal grad Logan Tom added six kills, two blocks, a service ace and 10 digs.
"We came out flat in the first set, but played better volleyball in the second set," USA captain Jennifer Tamas said. "We had a lot of unforced errors. Now we have to get the ball rolling again. We will go to Hong Kong and try to play better volleyball."
Stanford sophomore Nicole Gibbs left everything she had on the court at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego on Sunday in a 7-6, 1-6, 6-4 loss to top-seeded Lauren Davis in the finals of the USTA U18 National Championships.
The fourth-seeded Gibbs was leading, 4-3, in the third set and up, 15-30, when she lost a point after the chair overruled a linesman. That tied the score instead of giving Gibbs a chance to break.
"I know the chair judge and she just missed it," radio commentator Ken Thomas said. "It was right in front of me. I know Nicole Gibbs thought that call hurt her, but it was not a devastating overrule. She's smart enough to leave that call behind her."
Davis, a full-time professional, not only received the winning trophy but the wild card into the U.S. Open that came with it.
"It was fearless tennis," Thomas said. "There was no hesitation to go big. They were both ripping it. You could tell Nicole was crushed. She had a towel over her face. But that's tennis."
Gibbs, who reached the semifinals of the NCAA singles tournament in May, earned the 'silver ball' for her efforts.
Stanford freshman Ellen Tsay also lost, dropping a 6-3, 6-1 decision to Madison Keys in the consolation final.