Pepperdine grad Kimberly Hill, a former MVP of the Turkish Volleyball League, led a balanced attack with 20 points as the United States beat Turkey, 17-25, 25-22, 26-28, 25-15, 15-7, Sunday to become the first champions of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
“I am so proud of this team," U.S. coach Karch Kiraly said. "All 14 of them, and many others back home, have put their heart and soul into this, and that makes us better every day. It is a great win for the USA women’s program.”
Michelle Bartsch-Hackley added 18 points, followed by Jordan Larson with 15, Stanford grad Foluke Akinradewo with 12 and Tetori Dixon with 10 as the Americans (17-2, 4-0) took the title in Nanjing, China.
"They have a lot of good players and it is absolutely acceptable for me to lose a final against a team like this," Turkish coach Giovanni Guidetti said.
The Chinese, who lost to Team USA in four sets on Saturday, came back to beat Brazil in the third-place match.
Team USA, the reigning world champions, beat Turkey for the second time in a week, erasing the memory of an early-season Turkish victory over the Americans. All three matches went to five sets.
"We look at this VNL as our main challenge and our main preparation going into the World Championship," Kiraly said.
The U.S. meets Azerbaijan on opening day of the World Championships in Kobe, Japan on Sept. 29.
Hill played for Vakifbank Istanbul for three years (2015-17), helping the team win titles in the CEV Champions League and Club World Championships in addition to the Turkish Volleyball League.
U.S. libero Kelsey Robinson is a current member of Vakifbank as an outside hitter and both faced former and current Turkish teammates.
Turkey's silver medal is the best finish by its national team.