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Volleyball - 14. November 2010.

FIVB Womens World Championships

Nov. 13, 2010

Bill Kauffman
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bill.kauffman@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 13, 2010) - The U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team lost to Russia 25-16, 13-25, 25-19, 25-21 in the first semifinal match of the 2010 FIVB Women's World Championship on Saturday evening in Tokyo.

The U.S., ranked second in the world by the FIVB, will face the loser of Brazil and Japan from the tonight's second semifinal match on Sunday in the bronze-medal match at 5 p.m. Japan Time (midnight Pacific Time). The Americans have medaled at the FIVB World Championship four times. Team USA earned the silver medal at the 2002 World Championship in Berlin and the 1967 World Championship in Tokyo. The Americans captured the bronze in the 1990 World Championship in Beijing and the 1982 World Championship in Lima, Peru.

The U.S. reached the semifinals with an overall 7-2 record in the FIVB World Championship and second-place finish in the second round Pool F. So far in 2010, the U.S. has medaled in its three previous tournaments including the gold medal at the FIVB World Grand Prix, the silver at the Montreux Volley Masters and the bronze at the Pan American Cup.

Russia, the defending World Champion after its title in 2006, entered the semifinal round without a loss in the tournament and only six total sets lost. The Russians are accustomed to reaching the podium at the FIVB Women's World Championship as they have finished outside the top three only twice (sixth in 1986 and 1982) in the 14 editions dating back to 1952.

Russia, with a 12-player roster average 6-2 (1.88m), jumped out to an 8-3 lead over the U.S. in the first set and never allowed the Americans closer than five points the rest set in a 25-16 victory. The Russians held a 15-8 advantage in kills in the opening set and took advantage of six American errors. In contrast to the first set, Team USA powered to a 22-10 lead on a 16-3 scoring run in evening the match with a 25-13 victory. The Americans held a 16-7 margin in kills in the set. Russia broke a 9-all tie in the third set with four unanswered points and never allowed Team USA to scored back-to-back points the rest of the period for a 25-19 victory. Russia went through the third set without committing an error. Russia never trailed in the fourth set and used a key three-point run to take an 18-14 lead en route to the 25-21 victory.

"They were better than us today," U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. "From our end, I thought we tried to implement some plans and systems, but at the end of the day, the Russian team is quite physical, and they can do some things that other teams in the world cannot. We struggled to stop them, but we couldn't. We learned lessons from today. We will come back tomorrow and try to do the best we can."

Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) tallied a Team USA-high 23 points with 20 kills, two aces and a block. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) added 15 kills for the Americans, while Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) contributed 10 kills and two blocks for 12 points. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) reached double-digits with eight kills and two blocks. Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) charted six kills and an ace for seven points. Rounding out the scoring was Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.) with a kill and Lindsey Berg (Honolulu, Hawaii) with a block.

For the complete press release, visit http://usavolleyball.org/news/2010/11/13/u-s-women-lose-to-russia-in-world-semis/39496.
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