Sports

USA women take over lead in FIVB World Cup volleyball

 

The top-ranked U.S. Women's National Team won its fifth straight match of the FIVB World Cup by defeating Argentina, 25-16, 25-19, 25-14, Monday afternoon in Okayama, Japan, and, in the process, made a step up to the top spot in the standings.

Team USA improved to 6-1 overall with 19 points and moved into the World Cup lead after previously undefeated Russia (6-1, 18 points) lost in five sets to Serbia (6-1, 16 points). China (5-1, 15 points) and Japan (5-1, 15 points) also have just one loss.

The top two teams at the end of the 11-match round-robin tournament earn bids into the 2016 Olympic Games.

Stanford grad Foluke Akinradewo, selected as the most impressive player of the match, pocketed 11 points with nine kills on 16 swings and two blocks.

The U.S. had balanced scoring among its starting players. Karsta Lowe and Kim Hill led the Americans with 13 points apiece. Lowe turned in 11 kills on 19 attacks and two aces, while Hill charted nine kills on 17 attacks, three aces and a block. Jordan Larson-Burbach contributed 12 points with 10 kills on 21 attacks and two aces.

"It is one of our strengths in having people who can put the ball away from all over the court," Hill said. "Definitely having a balanced offense is one of the reasons we are good."

"We know each other well, Argentina and the United States; they always play hard and they play well so we knew it would be a good challenge today and it was," U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said.

Christa Dietzen notched nine points with five kills on 10 errorless swings and a team-best four blocks.

— USA volleyball/Palo Alto Online Sports

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