Hill sparks USA past Japan 3-1 in fifth-place match


Yokohama, Japan, October 18, 2018 - Kimberly Hill scored a match-high 25 points as the United States downed Japan 3-1 (25-23, 25-16, 23-25, 25-23) in the fifth-place match at the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship on Friday night.

Karsta Lowe added 17 points and Jordan Larson 12 in the victory for USA.

Risa Shinnabe was the high scorer for Japan with 16 in the loss.

Japan's speed was no match for the power of USA on this night. The Americans dominated the first two sets before Japan fought back in the third.

Japan started well in the fourth set before losing energy and seeing USA surge past them.

The United States took the first set with a strong block and attack. Japan fell behind early in the set, but came back to equalize midway through, and made it close at the end. 

A spike by Kelly Murphy gave USA a 16-12 lead at the second TTO in the opening set. Japan ran off four straight points to equalize at 16-16. A spike by Larson put the U.S. up 20-17. An ace by Koga pulled Japan within two at 21-19. Kimberly Hill's block on Erika Araki gave USA set point at 24-21. The U.S. took the set 25-23 when Japan fired a spike long.

The United States grabbed an 11-8 lead in the second set after a spike by Murphy. USA's offense was moving smoothly, as they passed and attacked with precision. Japan had trouble dealing with USA's block. The American side led 16-9 at the second TTO. USA's lead ballooned to 20-11 as they continued to score on quick strikes. Karsta Lowe gave USA set point at 24-15 with an attack from the wing. Japan sent a serve long and USA took the set 25-16.

Araki put Japan up 5-4 in the third set with a spike off an option play. A spike by Koga made it 7-5 and USA called a timeout. Japan led 8-7 at the first TTO on a spike by Yuki Ishii. Japan defended better in the third set. A block by Hill ended a lengthy rally and tied the score at 12-12. The United States led 16-15 at the second TTO on a spike by Larson. USA equalized at 20-20 on a tap by Lowe. Koga responded with a tap of her own as Japan moved ahead 22-20. Lowe sent a spike long and Japan had set point at 24-22. Ishii gave Japan the set 25-23 with a spike.

Koga gave Japan a 5-2 lead in the fourth set with a spike down the line. An attack by Lowe tied it 10-10. USA pulled ahead 12-10 on an ace. A spike by Larson made it 14-10. The U.S. led 16-12 at the second TTO on a spike by Rachael Adams. Hill gave USA a 20-16 margin with an attack from the wing. A spike down the line by Risa Shinnabe saw Japan trailing 22-19. A block by Lowe gave the USA match point at 24-21. Hill gave USA the set and the match 25-23 with an attack from the wing.


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