Kimberly Hill passes during USA's victory over Japan on the opening day of the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals
Omaha, USA, July 22, 2015 - Playing in front of their home crowd, the United States thrilled the fans with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-18) victory over Japan Wednesday evening to begin their FIVB World Grand Prix Finals schedule in Omaha, Nebraska.
Karsta Lowe paced the American squad with 17 points via 14 kills on 21 swings and three blocks. Foluke Akinradewo added six attack winners on 11 swings and a team-high foru blocks for 10 points, which was matched by Kelsey Robinson with eight kills and two blocks. Japan was led by Yuki Ishii and her seven points followed by Mami Uchiseto's six points off the bench. The U.S. out-blocked Japan 11-2 and both teams had three aces.
USA, which has used 10 different starting lineups in the this year’s 10 matches of the World Grand Prix campaign, controlled the opening set as they bolted to a 7-1 advantage with Karsta Lowe and Tori Dixon scoring kills to end the run. The Americans continued to mount the pressure going up 21-9 as Robinson and Kelly Murphy contributed kills. Akinradewo scored two points at the end to cap the set at 25-12. Robinson led the way for the set with six points as the Americans converted 18 of 31 attacks.
Japan grabbed a 6-3 advantage in the second set following a Sarina Koga ace. USA recovered with a 7-2 run in taking a two-point lead at 10-8. The Americans reached the second technical timeout with a 16-12 advantage. Molly Kreklow served an ace as part of a 4-0 run to end the set with a 25-15 victory. Lowe provided eight points in the victory.
USA was relentless to start the third set going up 7-1. Japan battled back into the set in closing the gap to 15-12. Lowe put up a block to increase the American advantage back to six at 21-15. Hill closed out the set with a kill at 25-18.