Thursday, July 11, 2013

National Team | #1 USA defeats #3 Japan in squeaker; Hagglund contributes

USA 3, Japan 1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-23)
  • next: USA vs. Japan | July 12 | 7PM | Long Beach St

In a rare international match on US soil, those in a sellout crowd in San Diego were the only Americans able to witness what must have been a sensational match.

Team USA, ranked #1 in the world, battled past #3 Japan by the barest of margins, with all four sets decided by three or fewer points (23-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-23).

USA Volleyball's Jenna Hagglund (20) celebrates a USA Volleyball Cup point against Japan
-photo by Bill Kauffman, USA Volleyball

A major social media campaign to draw viewers around the world to the match fell flat, as an Internet firewall on the UC San Diego campus kept the match off a promised live stream on the USA Volleyball website. Fans on volleyball forums expressed disappointment—even disgust—at the failure to broadcast the match. The snafu was magnified when no one provided live tweets or Facebook updates.


Former Washington setter Jenna Hagglund saw action in the first and third sets, contributing 9 assists to USA’s 63-49 kill advantage over a shorter Japanese team. Kristin Hildebrand led all USA attackers with 16 kills (.520); Nicole Fawcett added 15 kills (.430). USA out-hit Japan .430 to .350, and won the blocking battle 10-4. USA committed 23 service errors, to just 10 for Japan, and Japanese serve receive numbers were significantly better than the Americans’.

Tomorrow, the three-match series moves to Long Beach State and the much larger Pyramid arena. Another Washington alum, Olympian Courtney Thompson, will replace Hagglund in Coach Karch Kiraly’s lineup. USA Volleyball says it will once again try to stream the 7PM match on its website.

  • The USA Volleyball website earlier reported it might broadcast a replay of Wednesday’s match today at 12PM (Pacific). We are now told, however, that the rebroadcast will be delayed, perhaps indefinitely. [UPDATE: THE REPLAY IS NOW AVAILABLE; SEE ABOVE]
  • USA Volleyball will try to provide set score tweets during the next two matches, though they do not plan play-by-play tweets.
  • The third match will be Saturday in San Clemente. Three former Huskies—Hagglund, Thompson and Olympian Tama Miyashiro are on tap to be on the 12-person roster for that match.
  • As we first reported two weeks ago, the Pac-12 yesterday confirmed that its fledgling television network hopes to cut deal to broadcast Pac-12 contents China. Volleyball—a wildly popular sport in China—is high on the list for possible content.


  1. We attended and had a good time. The USA team averaged probably 2-3 inches more in height. Game was sold out but there were probably 100 empty seats mostly due to people standing in upper balcony versus sitting. Crowd was so so and a lot of them around us were obviously seeing their first volleyball match, but they did seem to pump up the team when things were going south. Way too many service errors by USA team, I counted 8, 8, 3 and 6 in the four sets but could be off plus or minus 2. Japan was a very good defensive team digging well. The USA seemed to have problems with pass and as stated serving. Still, it was good to see the national team candidates all there at once. They introduced the other 16 members who didn't suit up between 2nd and 3rd sets. After the match, the team stayed and signed autographs for the fans for a long time. We were able to get Courtney and Tamari's autograph on a mini ball for our granddaughter. Both Courtney and Tamari seemed to get a chuckle out with our UW shirts and GO Huskies cheer after we got their autographs. Hope they get the support in Long Beach and Capistrano this weekend. Hopefully there will be more of these exhibitions in the future in the US.

    1. Awesome report. Much thanks for being a correspondent. Hope you tell other California-based fans they can take a moment to follow Volleyblog Seattle (you can also "Like" our Facebook page to ensure getting updates.)

    2. Thanks and we do. One other thing, Jenna Haglund looks like she shed 10-15 lbs vice her UW playing days and is looking very svelte. Unfortunately, we are not facebookers nor tweeters.

    3. Jenna is in terrific shape this summer. We spent a couple weeks this May in the USA gym in Anaheim ... Jenna's and Courtney's fitness levels are both mighty impressive.


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