Team USA volleyball blocks way back into FIVB contention


The U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team out-blocked Korea in a 25-15, 25-17, 25-16 victory in the FIVB World Grand Prix Pool D Saturday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Team USA (3-2, 9 points) concludes Pool D in Sao Paulo against top-ranked Brazil (5-0, 15 points) on Sunday. The U.S. defeated Brazil, the two-time defending Olympic Games champion, four straight matches during the USA Volleyball Cup last month.

Stanford grad Cassidy Lichtman served as a substitute in all three sets while fellow Cardinal grads Foluke Akinradewo and Alix Klineman took the match off.

The U.S. won its third straight and resides in fifth place heading into its match against Brazil, the only undefeated team in this year's World Grand Prix preliminary round.

The top four teams from the 12-team Group 1 advance to the World Grand Prix Final Round Aug. 20-24 in Tokyo.

Kelly Murphy led the U.S. with 15 points via 12 kills on 22 attacks and three blocks.

"I am very happy with this win," U.S. team captain Alisha Glass said. "Korea is a very good team and they play in a different style. I am really proud of my team."

The U.S. converted 48.7 percent of its attacks into points with a .405 hitting efficiency (38-6-74). Meanwhile, Korea converted just 32.2 percent of its attacks with a .057 hitting efficiency (28-23-87). Team USA's serve netted a 6-1 advantage in aces. The Americans held a 36-28 margin in kills and limited their errors to 17 for the match while taking advantage of 21 Korean errors. Korea managed a 33-30 margin in digs.

"The USA team served in the right places of the court and that was a key point for our win," U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. "We also showed good discipline. We knew that Kim (Yeon-Koung) is the most important player of Korea and we prepared ourselves to limit her efficiency in scoring.

Women's soccer

Lindsey Horan scored in the 82nd minute to help the U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team beat Brazil, 1-0, on Friday at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.

The Americans (1-1, 3 points) is in second place in their pool with one match to play. The top two teams from each pool advance to the tournament's quarterfinal stage, which begins next Saturday.

Team USA meets China on Tuesday. A win guarantees a trip to the next round while a loss makes things more complicated.

The starting lineup featured nine of the 11 starters from the opening Group B game against Germany 2-0 loss. Stanford sophomore Stephanie Amack and freshman Andi Sullivan were in the starting lineup. Sophomore Jane Campbell is the backup goalie.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA Water Polo/USA volleyball

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