In front of sellout crowds ranging from 2,000 to 3,500 fans, the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Japan in all of the three matches that made up the USA Volleyball Cup in early July. Japan, the bronze medalists from the London Olympics, put up a good fight, using their famously strong defense to push the No. 1-ranked U.S. to four sets in the first two matches and five in the final, where the U.S. prevailed by only five points.
The matches were held at the UC San Diego RIMAC Arena, the Long Beach State Walter Pyramid, and at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano. Lauren Paolini, Kristin Hildebrand, and Nicole Fawcett all came out big in the three matches, and first-year head coach Karch Kiraly now holds an impressive record of 8-0.
Next up, Team USA will travel to Brazil, Serbia, and Japan in August, followed by a return to the homeland for matches in Nebraska, September 16-21.
Originally published in October 2013