2017 WORLD GRAND CHAMPIONS CUP
- Women – September 5-9
- Men – September 12-16
- Nagoya and Osaka, Japan
- Women – Schedule/Results
- Men – Schedule/Results
- WATCH LIVE
Team USA is now 1-1 at the 2017 FIVB Women’s World Grand Champions Cup, with a loss against China on day one and a three-set sweep of Korea on day two.
Against the Chinese, the Americans were not at their best, but in previous editions of the event, Team USA has struggled to win right out the gate, only doing so once. Three veteran players stepped up to lead the way in Rachael Adams, Foluke Akinradewo and Jordan Larson who put down 13, 12 and 11 points, respectively. The players had a lot of difficulty hitting around the strong Chinese block, which stopped 14 of the Americans attacks.
Following the match, Team USA’s captain Carli Lloyd said, “We have a lot of work to do to become competitive in this tournament. We did not play like we can today. We have to be better from now on.”
This was more than accurate and something that they quickly turned around to do against Korea.
The Americans spread out their offense, with five players posting double-digit points in the match. Larson led the way with 13 points, followed by Adams and Lauren Gibbemeyer with 12 then Annie Drews and Kim Hill with 11 apiece.
“We had a good challenge today against a strong team,” said head coach Karch Kiraly following the win. The Koreans put up a strong fight in the match through their defense but that was not enough to overcome the well-balanced American offense.
“We have big goals. We have never won an Olympic gold medal. Someday we will, hopefully, sooner than later. The team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will battle strongly to stand on the podium and maybe at the top,” said Kiraly.
Though Team USA is a dominant force in the volleyball world with well-seasoned players and bounds of young talent rolling in every year, they are struggling to top the podium at many major events, especially the Olympics. The team has plenty of time to develop in the coming years prior to the Tokyo Olympics but it will come at a great challenge, as volleyball teams around the world are improving rapidly, as well.
The Americans still have three matches of play at the World Grand Champions Cup – Russia, Japan and Brazil.
“We’re very happy to transfer here to Nagoya today and we are looking forward to playing against three very strong teams. It will be a wonderful test for us to see what skill level we’re at this time,” said Kiraly.