USA dominate Russia to dream the finals


USA celebrate the win over Russia

Milan, Italy, October 9, 2014 – USA defeated defending champions Russia for the second time at the FIVB Women's World Championship. This time it was 3-1 (25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 25-23) on the second day of the third round at Mediolanum Forum in Milan.

The match's top scorers were Russia's Tatiana Kosheleva who won 25 points and USA's Kimberly Hill with 18.

Key facts:

. USA and Russia have now met 11 times at the World Championship
. USA broke the 250 sets won mark during the match and have now won 252 in World Championship history
. Russia have taken at least one set in their last 43 World Championship matches

The match started very balanced with the two teams tied at 9-9 when USA began to score with impressive Kimberly Hill spikes. She gave her team a three-point gap at the second TTO. USA kept their momentum until 21-14 before Russia hit back through Nataliya Goncharova. However, it was too late and USA eventually took the first set 25-19.

Russia recovered from that first set loss and led 6-2 early in the second thanks to Tatiana Kosheleva and Goncharova. The Americans fought hard for every ball and at the first TTO Russia led by a single point. USA didn’t give up and Christa Harmotto Dietzen and her teammate Hill were on fire meaning that her team fought back to lead 10-9 and 16-13 at the second TTO. Kosheleva scored 10 points in the set and was Russia's star player but it was not enough and USA closed the set 25-23.

The third set saw USA steam ahead of Russia to lead 8-2 at the first TTO. If the previous sets seemed close, this one was closer. Ekaterina Gamova and her teammates scored nine points in row to go ahead of USA at 14-13 having been 13-5 down. The second TTO saw the score of 16-14 in Russia's favour, and thanks good serves from Evgeniya Startseva and amazing spikes from Goncharova, the Russians took the third set 25-15.

At the beginning of the fourth set Russia jumped ahead 7-3 but USA scored four points in a row to tie at seven-all. After the first TTO, with Russia just one point ahead, the set remained balanced until 13-13. USA scored five points in a row to make it 18-13. Kosheleva and Gamova kept Russia’s hopes alive until 23-21, before USA won the match from a Akinradewo kill.

Russia winning the third set ensured Italy's qualification for the semi-finals and the two teams meet in pool G's final match tomorrow night. USA will be hoping the tournament hosts do them a favour against their bitter rivals, Russia.


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