The U.S. Women’s National Team is 3-for-3 against Brazil this week, following up wins on Sunday and Tuesday with a five-set rally on Thursday.
The Americans came back from a 2-0 deficit to win 15-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-23, 17-15.
In tiebreak, Team USA went up 6-1 early and held on for the 17-15 win to complete the comeback.
Opposite Karsta Lowe was tops in scoring for Team USA with 18 points (15 kills, 3 blocks). Outside hitter Madi Kingdon Rishel and Simone Lee and middle blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer also turned in double-digit scoring efforts. Kingdon Rishel managed 17 points (15 kills, 2 blocks), while Gibbemeyer notched 15 points (9 kills, 5 blocks, 1 ace) and Lee posted 10 points (8 kills, 1 block, 1 ace).
Brazil went 16-7 Set in Set 1 and cruised to a 25-15 win.
In Set 2, the Brazilians opened with a 4-0 lead, only to see the USA catch up at 5-all. Down 16-10, the Americans dug deep, vaulting ahead 21-20, but could not pull off the comeback, falling 25-23. In the 11-4 rally, Adams and Hancock served up aces and Drews and Lee supplied the offense, while Gibbemeyer notched two blocks to tie the score at 20-all. Lee put the USA on top at 21-20, but Brazil scored five of the final seven to go up 2-0 in the match.
After falling behind 2-0, the United States pushed ahead 7-4 including four straight Brazilian miscues. Brazil settled and regained the lead at 11-10 and went on to a three-point advantage at 15-12. Points from Lee, Drews and Hancock brought it to a 15-all tie. Two more Brazilians errors and a stuff by Rachael Adams put Team USA on top 21-18. A Lowe putaway and Lee block capped the 25-21 win.
Brazil led 10-6 early in Set 4, but the Americans pulled even at 13-all with help from kills by Lowe, Adms and Gibbemeyer. Drews and Kingdon Rishel provided the offensive firepower to tie it up again at 16. A Carlini ace and two Kingdon Rishel putaways gave the USA a little cushion at 19-17, but Brazil scored three straight to steal back the lead. Brazil called timeout trailing 23-22, before Gibbemeyer evened the match with a block and a kill which sealed a 25-23 victory.
The Americans scored six of the first seven points in tiebreak, including kills by Lowe, Kingdon Rishel, Adams and Lee. Gibbemeyer added a putaway to help push the margin to five at 9-4. The Brazilians chipped away, cutting the margin to two at 12-10 and eventually saving three match points to knot it up at 14-all. After another tie at 15, a Kingdon Rishel putaway and Gibbemeyer ace completed the five-set win for the visitors.
The teams will meet one last time on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro at the Maracanãzinho where the Americans won bronze at the 2016 Olympics.
Head coach Karch Kiraly has mixed up his lineup throughout the friendlies with Brazil, with all 14 players earning at least one start thus far. On Thursday, Kiraly selected: Lauren Carlini, Lauren Gibbemeyer, Rachael Adams, Madi Kingdon Rishel, Simone Lee, Karsta Lowe and libero Amanda Benson.
USA vs. Brazil Exhibition Tour Series
Aug. 14: USA def. Brazil 25-19, 25-18, 26-28, 25-16
Aug. 16: USA def. Brazil 29-27, 25-23, 25-18
Aug. 16: USA def. Brazil 15-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-23, 17-15