Stanford grad Alix Klineman took advantage of her first start with the United States women's national volleyball team Sunday by recording a match-high 19 points as the Americans downed world No. 1 Brazil, 25-21, 25-23, 25-20, at USC's Galen Center as part of the USA Volleyball Cup.
Klineman made the successful switch from outside hitter to opposite, recording 14 kills on 27 attempts, three blocks and a pair of service aces.
Alix Klineman. Photo by David Gonzales/stanfordphoto.com
Stanford grads Kristin (Richards) Hildebrand and Cassidy Lichtman also participated. Hildebrand, the team captain, produced seven kills for the U.S.
The four-match series takes a short break before starting up again with a pair of matches in Hawaii on Friday and Saturday.
Akinradewo sat out Sunday's match, but will join Lichtman with the team in Hawaii. Hildebrand and Klineman will not be making the trip.
So far, so good for the second-ranked Americans, who have lost to Brazil in the gold medal match of each of the last two Olympics.
The U.S. has employed several newcomers over the current year and the added experience will only benefit Team USA heading into final preparations for the 2016 Olympics.
Kelsey Robinson, also making her first start, had 13 kills on 25 attacks with just one error, while adding two blocks and an ace.
Alisha Glass, who set Team USA to a 45 kill percent for the match, contributed two kills and an ace. Libero Nicole Davis, who played at USC, had a team-leading 11 digs.
Team USA out-blocked Brazil 7-1 and held a 6-2 advantage in aces. The U.S. defense limited Brazil to a 38 kill percent.
A full replay of Sunday's match can be viewed on the USA Volleyball website.