Friday, July 3, 2015

National Team | Courtney Thompson sparks USA to Grand Prix win against Italy

3-1 opening round win features three comebacks with Thompson setting and serving
  • USA def. Italy 3-1 (25-27, 25-21, 25-22, 25-23)

US National Team setter Courtney Thompson
Team USA let set one slip away. Set two seemed about to do the same. Enter Courtney Thompson.

With the Olympian from Kent, WA taking the reins from starting setter Molly Kreklow, the US Women’s National Team took the final three sets in Ankara, Turkey, earning a first-round World Grand Prix victory over Italy, 3-1 (25-27, 25-21, 25-22, 25-23).

USA had set point in the first frame, only to let Italy win 5 of the next 6 points for a set one win. In set two, Italy led 18-14 before the USA went on a 6-1 run of its own. Thompson entered the match, leading final 5-2 run and the set victory.

Thompson remained the setter the rest of the match, serving three aces on the way to the 3-1 win. In each of the three final sets, USA overcame late Italy leads. For the match, USA out-hit Italy 33%-29%. Italy outblocked the Americans 14-13.

Outside hitter Krista Vansant saw limited action in the first set, serving three times and recording an ace. Another Washington alum, libero Tama Miyashiro, did not play in the match.

The FIVB World Grand Prix is an annual international tournament featuring 12 of the best teams in the world. Teams play three rounds of pool play over the first three weekends in July. The top 6 advance to the Final Round in Omaha, Nebraska. As host, USA is guaranteed one of the six slots. In the second match of the Ankara round, USA will face host Turkey at 9AM Saturday, July 4.

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