After three straight wins from 2010-12, United States have failed to make the podium at the World Grand Prix in the last two editions. Last year they finished fifth in the Intercontinental Round of Group 1 but failed to qualify for the Final Six. However, legendary coach Karch Kiraly helped them to bounce back in spectacular fashion by winning the World Championship. This time around their place in the final round is guaranteed as it is being held on home soil in Omaha, Nebraska, and their quest for a sixth World Grand Prix triumph gets under way against Italy in Ankara, Turkey.
In 2013 the US were sixth in the World Grand Prix yet were able to take the silver medal at the Grand Champions Cup. Since finishing runners-up at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, they have never been out of the top two places in the FIVB world rankings. They displaced Brazil at No.1 following their silver medal at the 2011 World Cup. The South Americans regained top spot in September 2013 after they ended USA’s three-season reign as World Grand Prix champions. But USA took the gold medal at the NORCECA Continental Championships in September 2013 and returned to the top of the rankings after winning World Championship gold in Italy last year.