Hill Stars as USA Clinches Fifth Place at #FIVBWomensWCH

  0 Wendy Mayer | October 19th, 2018 | Asian Volleyball, International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball, Previews & Recaps, U.S. Women's Volleyball

2018 FIVB Women’s Volleyball World Championships – Fifth Place Match

  • October 19, 2018
  • Yokohama Arena; Yokohama, Japan (Capacity 12,000)
  • FIVB Rankings: #2 USA; #6 Japan
  • Schedule/Results

The United States ended the World Championships with a four-set win over Japan and fifth place out of the 24-team field.

The Americans were the reigning world champions (2014) coming into the event, but failed to reach the semifinals after dropping both of their Final Six matches. In all, the USA dropped four matches in a row before topping Japan for fifth place: two in the second round (3-0 to China, 3-1 to Italy) and two in the Final Six (3-2 to China; 3-2 to Netherlands).

Previously, the Americans were runnerup in 2002, finished nine in 2006 and fourth in 2010.

United States def. Japan 3-1 (25-23, 25-16, 23-25, 25-23)

After giving the lead in each of its Final Six matches (2-1 to China, 2-0 to Netherlands), the United States was able to salvage a four-set win over Japan despite an error-riddled effort.

The Americans committed 28 errors in the match, but overcame them with a 67-57 advantage in kills, 10-1 edge in blocks and 7-2 lead in aces.

Kim Hill stepped into the spotlight in the match, racking up 25 points (22 kills, 2 blocks, 1 ace), while Karsta Lowe (17), Jordan Larson (12), Foluke Akinradewo (11) and Rachel Adams (10) followed. Micha Hancock got the start in place of Carli Lloyd, who had led the team at setter throughout the competition, and managed seven points, including a team-leading four aces. Lowe paced the team at the net with three blocks, while Hill and Akinradewo turned in two stuffs apiece.

Risa Shinnabe (16) and Sarina Koga (15) led the way for Japan, each notching 14 kills. Shinnabe added the team’s lone block, while each player served up an ace. Erika Araki and Yuki Ishi added eight and seven points respectively, all on kills. Ishii replace Ai Kurogo in the starting lineup for sets two and beyond. Japan utilized 12 players in the match.

The United States boasted a 16-12 lead midway through Set 1, but Japan scored in four in a row to tie it up. A Larson putaway gave the Americans a small cushion at 20-17. Hill added a stuff to make it 24-21 and a Japanese hitting error clinched the 25-23 win.

After building an early 11-8 advantage in Set 2, the United States cruised to a 25-16 win, sealing the victory with a Lowe kill and a Japanese service error.

Japan was better to start Set 3, following Araki and Koga to a 7-5 lead. A Hill block knotted the score at 12. The teams were tied again at 20 all after a Lowe putdown. Koga put Japan ahead 22-20 and a Lowe hitting error gave the hosts a set-point try at 24-22. A kill by Ishii extended the match at 25-23.

Japan carried the momentum into Set 4, putting a scare into the Americans with a 5-2 lead. The USA righted the ship with a 12-5 run, including kills by Lowe and Larson and an ace. By the second technical timeout, the Americans were back in form and up 16-12 thanks to an Adams kill. Down 20-16, Japan looked to Shinnabe, who narrowed the gap to three at 22-19. Lowe’s net defense put USA on the cusp of fifth place at 24-21 and Hill pounded down the final point, her eighth of the set, two serves later at 25-23.


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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for Volleymob.com after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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