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USA volleyball finishes third at FIVB women's World Cup

 

The U.S. Women's National Team concluded the FIVB World Cup with a 25-10, 25-19, 25-17 victory over Dominican Republic on Sunday in Nagoya, Japan, and finished with the bronze medal in the 11-match, 16-day Olympic Qualification Tournament.

Team USA, which finished 9-2 overall, had a chance to move into second place and earn Olympic Games qualification on the final day of competition. After the Americans won its match, Team USA needed either Serbia to lose to Argentina or China to fall to Japan.

Serbia battled to a five-set win to avoid an upset at the hands of Argentina, while China won a four-set battle against the host Japanese. China ended the tournament with the gold medal and Serbia earned the silver to get the two coveted Olympic Games berths.

The U.S. will compete in the NORCECA Championship at the end of September for a chance to earn a top four spot and invitation to participate in the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament in January 2016.

"I'm happy with the way we came back from a tough loss to Russia to win our final two matches here," U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. "When I took over I tried to instill the concept of team - like a second family. Choosing your words carefully and celebrating our successes. I want the players to play freely - letting it rip as we say in English. Playing without fear. We have the chance for the bronze medal here. We will be happy to stand on the podium at the end of a difficult tournament."

Nicole Fawcett led Team USA with 15 points. She produced 14 kills on 26 attacks along with one block. Tori Dixon, named the Second Best Blocker of the World Cup, added 13 points with eight kills on 12 errorless swings, three blocks and two aces. Jordan Larson-Burbach totaled 11 points with 10 kills on 19 swings and an ace.

Kelsey Robinson charted seven points, all on kills via 13 errorless attacks. Stanford grad Foluke Akinradewo accounted for five points with three aces, one kill on five swings and a block. Karsta Lowe collected two kills on five attacks. Alisha Glass pocketed two aces.

Kayla Banwarth was credited with a team-high 16 excellent receptions on 18 chances and nine digs. Robinson handled a team-high 10 digs on 11 chances along with four excellent receptions. Glass and Larson-Burbach each dug nine balls.

Glass was credited with 32 running sets on 59 chances as she helped the Americans to a 50 percent kill percent and .393 hitting efficiency (42-9-84). Molly Kreklow added two running sets and two digs in her limited action on the court in all three sets.

"This has been a long tournament," Glass said. "Some matches went our way, some didn't. I'm proud of the way we came out and played this match."

The U.S. dominated each area of the match as the Americans held a 41-27 advantage in kills, 5-4 edge in blocks and an 8-2 margin in aces. Team USA limited Dominican Republic to a 34.6 kill percent and .231 hitting efficiency (27-9-78).

— Bill Kauffman/USA volleyball

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