Saturday, August 10, 2013

National Team | USA cruises to a 3-0 World Grand Prix volleyball win

Courtney Thompson , Kristin Hildebrand and Cassidy Lichtman all shine against Netherlands
  • #1 USA def. #20 Netherlands 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-13)
  • next: #1 USA vs. #9 Serbia | August 11, 2013 | Belgrade, Serbia


The US National Team added another World Grand Prix pool play win today, overcoming a slow start to overwhelm 20th-ranked Netherlands 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-13) in Belgrade, Serbia.

USA's Courtney Thompson (3) turns an errant pass into a kill assist during the second set of USA's 3-0 World Grand Prix victory against Netherlands in Belgrade, Serbia
USA struggled out of the gate, as Alicia Glass had a tough time with her out-of-system sets. Glass was at her best when good passes allowed her to pair with Rachael Adams in the middle, connecting on several timely quick sets. In the end, Cassidy Lichtman made the difference, serving the final four points of the set, contributing a couple sets and heads-up digs toward the end.

Outside hitter Kristin Hildebrand was the clear star of set two. From the start, she played great defense and made the Dutch pay for a couple of poor free balls. Time and again, the Stanford grad outsmarted blockers with great location and pace. Courtney Thompson entered with USA leading 16-12, and set the rest of the way, including several rotations on the front row. Thompson contributed five assists and paired with Christa Harmotto on a stuff block.

(L to R) USA's Kyla Banwarth, Courtney Thompson, Kristin Hildebrand and Kim Hill celebrate a World Grand Prix point against Netherlands
-photo courtesy FIVB

By set three, Holland was out of gas, as Harmotto and the rest of the front line made the Dutch pay for poor passing that led to predictable sets. Thompson played the final 12 points, contributing a pair of assists.

Sunday, the Americans face their toughest opponent of the pool, the home team Serbians. Serbia is 5-0 so far in pool play; USA is 4-1, losing only to the Brazilians in Brazil.

NOTES:

For the second match in a row, Kayla Banwarth handled libero duties for USA.

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