Sports

USA women's volleyball has 10-match winning streak end

 
Team USA during the national anthem. Stanford grad Foluke Akinradewo is third from the right of American lineup. Photo courtesy of FIVB.

Stanford grad Foluke Akinradewo recorded seven kills and four blocks but the U.S. women’s national volleyball team lost to Serbia, 30-28, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18, snapping its 10-match win streak in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Tuesday in Santa Fe, Argentina.

The Americans, ranked second in the world, fall to 11-2 overall in the 15-match round-robin preliminary round.

Team USA can clinch the top spot in the Volleyball Nations League preliminary round with wins in its final two matches, or a combination of one win and a loss by second-place Brazil (11-2, 31 points).

Serbia, now 10-3 overall with 31 points, remains in third place and solidified its spot into the VNL Finals Round.

The top five teams in the preliminary round will join host China in the Finals Round set for June 27 to July 1 in Nanjing, China.

The U.S., which used its 10th different starting lineup in 13 VNL matches, face Korea on Wednesday before concluding the preliminary round against host Argentina on Thursday.

The U.S. rallied from a 23-20 deficit in the opening set and had two set points, but Serbia took the win at 30-28 on its fifth set point attempt.

Team USA overcame deficits of 9-2 and 18-12 in the second set to win 25-23. Serbia built an 8-2 lead in the third set, and this time did not allow the Americans back into the set with a 25-20 victory. Serbia cruised in the final set after building an 18-10 advantage en route to winning 25-20.

U.S. outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley scored a match-high 26 points with 22 kills on 43 swings, three blocks and an ace. Opposite Annie Drews tallied 10 points, all on kills from 29 swings.

Outside hitter Kim Hill totaled nine points with eight kills and an ace. Middle Rachael Adams charted six blocks, one ace and one kill for eight points.

Setter Carli Lloyd provided two blocks and a kill for three points. Kelly Murphy rounded out the scoring with one kill and one block for two points as a sub in sets two and four.

Libero Kelsey Robinson held a 67 positive reception percent with 18 chances without an error. Bartsch-Hackley handled a team-best 50 receptions with a 44 positive percent, while Hill added 26 receptions with a 54 positive reception percent.

Serbia converted 39.5 percent of its attacks into points and held the high-powered American offense to a 32.7 kill percent.

Team USA held a 16-10 advantage in blocks and both teams served three aces. However, Serbia’s consistent attacks off the fingers of the Americans resulted in a 60-50 advantage in kills. Serbia also took advantage of 27 American errors to their own 23.

— USA Volleyball

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