Lausanne, Switzerland, August 30, 2017 – The top female volleyball players in the world will do battle for the title of champion of champions at the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup from September 5 to 10.
The event in Japan showcases the stars of the international volleyball scene. And some of the players who missed the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix are back in their countries’ squads for the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup, including Americans Jordan Larson and Kimberly Hill and Russians Nataliya Goncharova and Tatiana Kosheleva.
Their preliminary squad for the tournament means the Americans can call on the leadership qualities of experienced Olympians Jordan Larson and Kimberly Hill at outside hitter, and Foluke Akinradewo and Rachael Adams at centre. The quartet were given time to rest this summer after a long Olympic cycle. Kim Hill, for example, also went on to win the FIVB Volleyball Club World Championship with VakifBank Istanbul in May – alongside China’s Zhu Ting.
“For the upcoming World Grand Champions Cup, we have the possibility of incorporating several players with Olympic and World Championship experience who did not compete in the World Grand Prix. Players like Jordan, Foluke, Kim and Rachael,” said head coach Karch Kiraly. “That kind of experience can be very beneficial for any team, certainly for ours.”
After resting over the summer, Nataliya Goncharova, Tatiana Kosheleva and Yana Shcherban joined the Russian squad as they prepare for the Grand Champions Cup in Anapa. Defending champions Brazil have already won the FIVB World Grand Prix this year – for the twelfth time – as well as the South American Championship. Amongst the team’s biggest stars are Natalia Pereira, Tandara Caixeta and Adenizia da Silva.
South Korea, who take their place at the World Grand Champions Cup courtesy of a wild card, will be counting on some big performances from attacking machine Kim Yeon Koung. She led her team to bronze in their continental championship.
Hosts Japan go into the competition on the back of their fourth title at the Asian Volleyball Championships, where Risa Shinnabe was named MVP. Like Nana Iwasaka, who was one of the top blockers in the event, she is one of the hosts’ stars and would love to be celebrating again after the team’s victory in the continental championship.
Finally, China could be the team to watch as they aim to win another major title after their victorious campaign at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
World Grand Champions Cup winners
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