Thursday, October 9, 2014

National Team | Courtney Thompson comes up big in USA’s thrilling volleyball win over Russia

Washington Hall of Famer sparks two crucial runs in World Championships showdown
  • USA def. Russia 3-1 (25-19, 25-223, 15-25, 25-23)

Courtney Thompson (3) raises her fist as USA wins a point against Russia in the FIVB World Championships
-photo by FIVB

The score was tied at 13, first set. USA coach Karch Kiraly signaled his usual mid-set double substitution, sending in Courtney Thompson and Nicole Fawcett to replace Alicia Glass and Kelly Murphy. From the service line, Thompson delivered several quality jump floats, including an ace. Before long, with Thompson at the controls, the score was 21-14, and USA cruised to a set one victory over rival Russia.

Courtney Thompson (blue warmup) celebrates a USA point against Russia in the FIVB World Championships
-photo by FIVB

In the third round of the 2014 FIVB World Championships in Milan, Thompson embraced a larger-than-usual role as USA staved off elimination The 3-1 win against Russia means USA advances to the semifinals (likely against Brazil) if Italy can win at least two sets Friday against the Russians.

Thompson played in all four sets, entering the final set in similar circumstances as the first. Trailing 11-12, she helped serve and set USA on a 7-1 run and an 18-13 advantage. With the score 24-22, usually calm Coach Kiraly exploded when the referee ruled that a Russia block attempt deflected off Jordan Larson-Burbach. Although replays showed that the rebound missed Larson-Burbach and landed out of bounds, Kiraly earned a rare yellow card for his continued protests. On the next play, Foluke Akinradewo crushed a slide for the match winner.

USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal congratulates Courtney Thompson (R) and Alicia Glass after USA's 3-1 victory
over Russia in the FIVB World Championships in Milan
-photo by FIVB

Kim Hill and Murphy led the Americans with 16 and 15 kills, respectively. Russia’s amazing Tatiana Kosheleva recorded 24 kills.

On Friday, Italy (9-1) hosts Russia (6-4) at 11AM (Pacific) on Of the six remaining teams—USA, Russia, Italy, Brazil, China and Dominican Republic—four will advance to the semifinals Saturday morning. 

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