The U.S. women’s national volleyball team learned a few things Tuesday in a loss to Brazil 26-24, 25-18, 19-25, 25-15, splitting a pair of USA Volleyball Cup matches in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena.
On Sunday, the U.S. swept Brazil 25-21, 25-14, 29-27 before the South Americans won a bonus fourth set 25-22. Both the U.S. Women and Brazil will head to Japan later this week to compete in the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup, a six-team round-robin tournament from Sept. 5-10.
U.S. Women’s Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly feels the team’s level of consistency during the final match of the USA Volleyball Cup was not a surprise against Brazil, and that the team will need to work on that heading into the World Grand Champions Cup.
“I think we learned that it is an inconsistent process,” Kiraly said. “We probably looked a little better on Sunday than today. Brazil served better today and put us in some passing troubles. We had a lot of misconnections, which I am not completely surprised at because our players have not been working together that much at the same time with the group traveling to World Grand Prix. Our offense wasn’t clicking particularly well, and we will have to clean that up a bit starting with better passing and we only have a few training sessions to do that before we start World Grand Champions Cup on Tuesday against China.”
Opposite Annie Drews came off the bench to start the final two sets and scored a team-best 15 points with 12 kills on 21 attacks and three blocks. Middle Foluke Akinradewo, a Stanford grad, tallied nine kills on 20 attacks, three blocks and an ace for 13 points. Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska) added 10 kills on 37 swings, one block and one ace for 12 points.
“Our slide really struggled tonight. A bright spot was when Annie came in, we got her going behind the setter,” Kiraly said. “But we were having troubles connecting between setter and hitter on the slide. That is out of character for us. But we will be fine.”
Middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio) added eight points with kills and three blocks, while outside Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Maryville, Illinois) contributed eight points, all on kills from 10 attacks. Opposite Aiyana Whitney, making her national team debut and starting the first two sets, tallied seven kills in the match.
Outside hitter Kim Hill pocketed three kills and an ace for four point in starting the first two sets. Setter Carli Lloyd started the first two sets and scored two kills before Lauren Carlini started the final two sets.