USA Sweeps Italy to Wrap up #VNL Homestand in Lincoln

  0 Wendy Mayer | May 17th, 2018 | European volleyball, FIVB Nations League - Women, International Volleyball, News, U.S. Women's Volleyball


  • May 15th-17th, 2018
  • Power Rankings
  • Bob Devaney Sports Center; Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Time Zone: GMT – 5 (US Eastern Time -1)
  • World Rankings: #2 United States, #7 Italy, #12 Turkey, #22 Poland
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USA def. Italy 3-0

  • USA defeated Italy 25-21, 25-18, 25-21
  • USA moved to 2-1; Italy moved to 0-3

Twenty-three Italian miscues were the difference in an otherwise close match statistically as the United States got back on track in Volleyball Nations League action with a sweep of Italy.

Both teams put down 39 kills. The USA led 8-5 in blocks, but Italy owned the serve 6-4 in aces. A 23-8 advantage in points off errors gave the Americans the edge.

Kim Hill paced the victors with 13 points, posting a match-high nine kills to go with two blocks and a team-leading two aces. Tori Dixon (9), Kelly Murphy (9), Jordan Larson (8) and Foluke Akinradewo (7) rounded out the scoring for the Americans. Murphy and Larson downed seven kills apiece, while Dixon notched six putaways and two stuffs.

Anastasia Guerra, Marina Lubian and Camilla Mingardi turned in nine points apiece to lead the Italian charge. Rossella Olivotto added eight points, while Elena Pietrini managed six in just one full set of action. Guerra and Lubian downed eight kills apiece and each served up an ace. Mingardi tacked on seven kills, while Olivotto notched four kills, a team-best two blocks and two aces.

The United States raced out to a 4-1 lead in the match and built a 14-9 lead midway through Set 1. A Guerra kill and a Lubian ace cut the margin to three at 15-12. Italy kept fighting and it was a two-point game soon after at 19-17. The Americans rallied when it counted, however, scoring six of the final nine to close out the 25-20 win. A stuff by Dixon and Lloyd set up the final point.

USA led Set 2 from start to finish, boasting an 8-4 advantage early and leading by as many as seven in the latter stages of the 25-18 win. A setter-hitter misconnection cost the Americans on their first set-point try at 24-17, but Akinradewo came through with a kill the next point to put the United States up 2-0 in the match.

Italy regrouped at the short intermission and came out firing in Set 3, turning a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 lead as the United States struggled defensively. A stuff by Dixon and Murphy brought it to a 5-all tie. Italy kept the advantage, however, pushing the margin to four at 12-8 on a stuff. The Americans answered with a 6-2 run with help from a few Italian hitting miscues, knotting the score at 14. A huge block by Dixon and Hill gave the United States a brief 15-14 advantage. After another tie at 15, USA crept ahead by three at 18-15 including an ace by Larson. Italy called timeout and kept things close, narrowing the gap to two five times, but could not break through. A Larson ace gave the United States its first match-point try at 24-20. The star of the weekend Michelle Bartsch-Hackley sent the Americans on their way to Japan with a victory at 25-21.


Here are the post-match reactions:

USA coach Karch Kiraly:


USA libero Kelsey Robinson:


USA opposite Kelly Murphy:


Italy coach Davide Mazzanti:


Italy middle blocker Marina Lubian:

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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 after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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