Volleyball News

Omaha, USA, July 27, 2015 – Although the last day of the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals seemed a bit anti-climactic with the United States having clinched the title the previous day, Sunday did not go without drama and excitement in Omaha as four teams battled to reach the silver and bronze podium spots.

As four teams entered the final day 2-2, Russia came away with the silver medal after defeating Japan and Brazil claimed the bronze on a day they defeated Italy.

The USA gave their home fans plenty to cheer about Sunday as they defeated China 25-23, 25-19, 25-18. Karsta Lowe sparked the American offense with 17 points, while Megan Easy added 13 points in her first start of the Final round. China’s Liu Yanhan scored a team-best 16 points, while Xiaotong Liu totaled nine points. USA held a 7-3 block advantage.

The USA, the first team to win the World Grand Prix immediately after winning the FIVB World Championship, finished the tournament 5-0 and with their sixth overall event gold medal. The Americans are also the first team to win the World Grand Prix on home soil. China, which was battling for a medal, ended the tournament 2-3 and off the podium.

Russia, battling for a spot on the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals Round podium, swept Japan 25-11, 25-19, 25-18 in the last match. Nataliya Goncharova, the leading scorer in the tournament, ended the match with 23 points and Yana Shcherban contributed 13 points. Japan’s Saori Sakoda scored a team-high 11 points, while Sarina Koga added eight points. Russia out-blocked Japan 9-3.

Russia ended the tournament 3-2 and with the silver medal, while Japan was winless in five matches of the six-team round-robin event.

Brazil out-lasted Italy 25-18, 25-27, 30-28, 25-18. Juciely Cristina Barreto sparked Brazil with 21 points and Ana Carolina Da Silva chipped in 17 points. Valentina Diouf led Italy with 21 points and teammate Caterina Bosetti charted 18 points coming on the bench. Italy out-blocked Brazil 18-13, but 24 Italian errors were too much to overcome.

This year’s tournament marks the first time since 2007 that Brazil did not get gold or silver. Brazil have won either gold (2008, 2009, 2013, 2014) or silver (2010-2012) in the previous seven editions.

Final standing

  1. USA
  2. Russia
  3. Brazil
  4. China
  5. Italy
  6. Japan
  7. Germany
  8. Serbia
  9. Thailand
  10. Belgium
  11. Turkey
  12. Dominican Republic

Individual Awards

Most Valuable Player – Karsta Lowe, USA

Best Opposite Spiker – Ntaliya Goncharova, Russia

Best Setter – Molly Kreklow, USA

Best Libero – Anna Malova, Russia

First Best Blocker – Juciely, Brazil

Second Best Blocker – Christa Dietzen, USA

First Best Outside Spiker, Natalia, Brazil

Second Best Outside Spiker – Kelsey Robison, USA