Sports

Americans will need help to reach final of FIVB Grand Prix

 

Stanford grad Foluke Akinradewo recorded eight kills and a match-high five blocks but the United States women's national volleyball team dropped a 25-20, 25-22, 29-27 decision to host Brazil in a FIVB World Grand Prix preliminary match on Sunday.

The world's No. 2 Americans fell to 3-3 and dropped into sixth pool in its pool. World No. 1 Brazil remains the lone unbeaten in the tournament.

The top four teams from the 12-team bracket advances into the Final Round. The U.S. has three matches remaining and must sweep just to have a chance.

The U.S. and Brazil open the final weekend of play in Bangkok, Thailand on Friday. The Americans will also play host Thailand on Saturday and the Dominican Republic on Sunday.

The Americans finished sixth overall in last year's FIVB World Grand Prix after winning the title the three previous years.

The U.S. swept the two-time defending Olympic champion Brazilians in three exhibition matches played in America last month.

Brazil took advantage of 22 Team USA errors, 10 service errors, and limited its own miscues to nine for the match. Brazilians held advantages in aces (4-0) and blocks (11-9). The Americans produced a 51-42 kill margin.

The U.S. converted 34 percent of its attacks into points with a .213 hitting efficiency. Brazil converted 33 percent of its attacks into points with a .228 hitting efficiency.

The U.S. held an 82-67 margin in digs. Brazil handled its 60 service receptions with a 63.3 excellent percent, while Team USA was 47.3 percent excellent on 74 chances.

Cardinal grad Cassidy Lichtman was used in a substitute role in all three sets while Alix Klineman did not see action.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA volleyball

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