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.
. 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.