The U.S. women’s national team finished the first weekend of the FIVB World Grand Prix with an undefeated record on Sunday after defeating Russia, Italy, and China in Kunshan, China.
The match versus Russia on Friday was the closest battle, going all the way to five sets (22-25, 25-19, 25-27, 25-16, 15-11). The USA’s Kelly Murphy led the match with 19 points (15 kills and four blocks), while Michelle Bartsch-Hackley contributed 17 points.
In the second match of the weekend, the U.S. team earned a sweep of Italy (25-21, 25-22, 25-19) on Saturday, with Tori Dixon and Bartsch-Hackley leading the way with 10 points each.
A 3-0 victory over China (25-22, 25-22, 25-21) wrapped up the first weekend of WGP competition for the USA on Sunday. Murphy once again led with 19 points, and Justine Wong-Orantes made her first appearance of the tournament, recording 20 excellent receptions out of 21 attempts.
Next up, the U.S. team will face Turkey (July 14), Italy (July 15), and China (July 16) in Macau, China, for the second week of play. –Megan Kaplon
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