USA outlasts Bulgaria in 5, on to Grand Prix finale

The top-ranked U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team concluded the FIVB World Grand Prix preliminary round by rallying past Bulgaria 16-15, 25-23, 20-25, 25-15, 15-8 Sunday afternoon in Sendai, Japan.

Tama Miyashiro was the libero, had 4 digs

With the victory, Team USA advances to the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round set for Aug. 28 to Sept. 1 in Sapporo, Japan. The Americans, the three-time defending champions of the premier annual women’s international volleyball tournament, finished the nine-match preliminary round with an 8-1 overall record with 22 points. The U.S. ended the preliminary round on a six-match win streak with its only loss a four-set match at Brazil. The top five teams plus host Japan will compete in the Final Round. Updated standings can be found by clicking here.

Bulgaria, which had wins over No. 2 Brazil and No. 3 Japan earlier in the tournament, ends the preliminary round with a 6-3 record and 19 points.

Heading into the final preliminary round match, the U.S. needed at least one standings point (victory or a five-set loss) to qualify for the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round and continue its trek in trying to become the first team to the win the event four consecutive years.

Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah) paced the U.S. scoring with 15 points on 13 kills on 29 attacks, one block and one ace. Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio), who came off the bench and started the final three sets, picked up 13 points with 11 kills on 29 attacks and two aces. Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) charted 12 kills on 31 swings and a block for 13 points. Christa Harmotto (Hopewell Township, Pa.) tacked on nine kills on 17 errorless attacks and three blocks for 12 points.

Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) racked up nine kills off the bench. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) pocketed four blocks and two aces for six points, while Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) added three kills and two blocks for five points. Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) totaled three kills and Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) rounded out the scoring with an ace.

The U.S. converted on 43.8 percent of its attacks with a .270 hitting efficiency (60-23-137) as Glass was credited with 40 running sets on 99 set attempts. Hill contributed a team-high 21 excellent receptions on 47 attempts, while Hildebrand was eight of 19 on service receptions. Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) was credited with six excellent receptions on 17 attempts along with a team-high four digs.


  1. Grammy August 18, 2013 10:52 pm

    All I have to say is I wish the Wahine stats were as detailed as the USA’s, but won’t hold my breath for that. I think it would be easier to understand what it takes to win (when we don’t) and answer who is performing at a high level over basic stats or just observational evidence which seems to be sketchy at best and subject to personal bias at worst. Go Wahine!

  2. jkyoung03 August 19, 2013 1:37 am

    The box scores and stats for every match are usually posted by the StarAdvertiser. Also, the statistics are available on the UH Athletics website. The box scores contain all the statistical information that the USA includes.

  3. LC August 19, 2013 5:51 am

    I have no interest in USA volleyball.

  4. Cindy Luis August 19, 2013 7:38 am

    1. I actually find the standard box easier to decipher than what USA Volleyball uses. UH does use the VolleyData system but they haven’t made that available to the public. the box released is the one used by the NCAA for stat information.
    Things have changed during the four decades I’ve been involved with covering the sport here.
    The Star-Bulletin was the first paper to begin running a short form box similar to the short form box in basketball. This was off a fax.
    Before that we did not receive full boxes. The SID would call in stat highlights. And if no SID on the road, Shoji would call to chat about the match and give us leading hitters, blocks and digs.
    we then were the first paper to run a full box. We still tweak our box because we don’t put in individual SEs, which do count as points for the other team. Perhaps this year.

  5. mei mei August 19, 2013 9:21 am

    Cindy… would you know why Destinee Hooker isn’t playing ?

  6. Cubicle1126 August 19, 2013 10:17 am

    mei mei — destinee hooker is having a baby. i know the announcement was made a few months ago, but i don’t know if she’s had the baby yet. might be later this year.

  7. mei mei August 19, 2013 11:28 am

    thank you Cubicle ! 🙂

  8. Cindy Luis August 19, 2013 12:36 pm

    thanks for the info Cubi.

  9. Dedicatedfan August 19, 2013 12:58 pm

    Cindy, did you attend either of yesterday’s, Sunday, two practices? If so, any news.

    This is the week according to Dave Shoji, that he will determine who his starting unit will be.

  10. setaone August 19, 2013 1:11 pm

    9. “This is the week according to Dave Shoji, that he will determine who his starting unit will be.”

    Doesn’t matter. Dave will tinker with the lineup throughout the season. Mainly RS and OH2.

  11. Cindy Luis August 19, 2013 1:47 pm

    Nope, did not end up at practice. a couple of things got in the way and by the time I could go it wasn’t going to really be worth the time to get there for the last 15 minutes or so.
    This week will be determining ‘more who the lineup will be’ on the first night Doesn’t mean it will be the lineup for the starters for the second night. There are a lot of options.

  12. mauna August 19, 2013 2:00 pm

    I see Ashley Kastl as the third passer in the rotation with Longo and Hartong. Kastl actually was the leading digger in two matches, and tied with Longo in another in Croson’s absent. As a OH2 she has to raise her hitting to stay in the rotation, otherwise another hitter who can hit for a higher pct will step in with a DS sub. Ideally I know Shoji wants to keep the two LOH in for backrow attack and sub out the RS.

  13. Cindy Luis August 19, 2013 2:04 pm

    in the ideal world Long would be 2 inches taller and play all the way around. She passes well, hits well out of the back row. Just a little undersized at OH.

  14. Purple&Green August 19, 2013 2:21 pm


    Who’s Tai’s pepper partner??
    As it makes a difference.

    She was really focused and doing extremely well on Dec.1st (@UW)..a small thing of it;
    But da fundamentals in pepper are transcendently valuable.

  15. Dedicatedfan August 19, 2013 3:46 pm

    Cindy, 11, that is actually what I meant. Sorry, was not more precise.

  16. Dedicatedfan August 19, 2013 3:52 pm

    13. Cindy, I agree with you about Long, or if she had the hops that Kanani did, then she would be the 2nd LS hitter.

  17. Cindy Luis August 19, 2013 7:21 pm

    14. Don’t remember right now. They have been working more in position groups passing.

  18. Hot August 19, 2013 8:04 pm

    Is Ginger Long actually just 5-7? Because I am not getting the “undersized” comment. She is listed at 5-11, the same as Jane Croson, Nohea Tano and Aneli Otineru. Kanani Danielson and Chanteal Satele were 5-10. If Long isn’t athletic enough, doesn’t jump high enough, is not powerful enough, then those are the issues, not her height. 5-10 is NOT undersized for a Hawaii OH. Long is the only OH (5-10) in recent memory who has played more back row than front row. Yes, Caroline Blood and Megan O’Brian were considered as DSs as well, but they were walk-ons and not recruits.

  19. mauna August 19, 2013 8:58 pm

    18. I agree with you Hot. I believe it’s Ginger’s slight frame that has some people referring to her as being undersized, sideways I’d say. On Saturday’s scrimmage she’ll have a real chance to show her stuff, since they’re splitting into two teams. It’s been known that some players don’t show too much during practices, but when real match situation comes upon them, they perform lights out.

  20. Hot August 20, 2013 1:44 am

    I hope so to mauna. I’m just a little bothered by her being “undersized” used as an excuse for her not to play front row, when the above mentioned players were of the same height or shorter. Nohea Tano was of similar frame as Long, yet she beat a taller Boogaard for the opposite position two years in a row.

  21. Warriorfan August 20, 2013 8:58 am

    Well Ginger is listed at 5′ 11 but I’ve noticed she is clearly shorter than that especially when she stood next to 5′ 11 Jane. Realistically she’s 5′ 9 , and while Kanani is around that height , Kanani can also jump half a foot higher.

    I think Ginger should just concentrate on her role as a serving sub and making that jump float serve as tough as possible and more consistent, she struggled with errors last year but if she works on being more consistent her serve will be a huge weapon for UH.

  22. mauna August 20, 2013 9:39 am

    The height numbers esp on the UH roster site is not exactly accurate. Not sure if they actually measure the girls at practice before noting it down by the SID but I guess they just round it off. From what I saw of the girls Jane was over 5’11 and Ginger closer to 5’10 making their discrepancy in ht appearance. Others I noticed was Jade is between 6’4 and 5, Emily more like 6’1 1/2 and Kalei the same, but numbers are just that numbers.

  23. Purple&Green August 20, 2013 4:04 pm


  24. setaone August 21, 2013 8:02 am

    I think we all know it is standard practice in College Athletics that height is usually exaggerated in some way. I have seen Ginger in person and she is taller than me (I’m 5’8″), but not significantly taller.

    20. Tano may have been shorter than Boogard. but Tano was a lot quicker, better defender, and at that point in time, a better all around player.

  25. Cindy Luis August 21, 2013 3:41 pm

    22. SID doesn’t do the numbers but exactly sure who does. players may give their own info, could be with shoes on (or Nike heels as I’ve long said).
    Some play bigger than their listed height. Danielson was one of those.

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