Volleyball: USA win first World Championship Title

Volleyball: USA win first World Championship Title

Photo courtesy of FIVB.org

Milan, Italy, October 12, 2014 – The United States of America are the new world champions! In front of 12,600 thrilled fans in Milan’s Mediolanum Forum, USA overpowered China 3-1 (27-25, 25-20, 16-25, 26-24) to claim their first FIVB World Championship title ever. It is a historic night for American volleyball, for this is their first ever title in a major FIVB competition. World No. 1 Brazil finished third, outlasting hosts Italy 3-2 (25-15, 25-13, 22-25, 22-25, 15-7) in an epic five-set thriller at FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014.

Despite their legacy of success over the past 30-plus years, the USA had never won the World Championship title – or any of the three major women’s international titles including the Olympic Games and FIVB World Cup before.

Best scorers of Sunday’s gold medal match were Kimberly Hill for USA and Chunlei Zeng for China with 20 kills each. USA had the edge in blocking (14-9) and serving (6-5).

USA coach Karch Kiraly: “We came here to make history and we made it. It was a tough battle, but we made it.”

USA captain Christa Dietzen: “It’s the first time for the USA and we made it. We represented present and future volleyball programs, but most importantly we did it together.”

United States have qualified for the final for the second time at the World Championships. In 2002, they lost 3-2 against Italy.  Team USA have won two silver and two bronze medals at the world championships and have become the third nation to complete the medal set following Russia/Soviet Union and Japan.

In the match for bronze, World No. 1 Brazil overcame the disappointment of Saturday’s semifinal defeat to USA and outlasted hosts Italy 3-2 (25-15, 25-13, 22-25, 22-25, 15-7) in front of a 12,600-strong sellout crowd, to finish third in the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championships. It is Brazil’s fourth-best appearance ever, after the silver medals of 1994, 2006 and 2010. For Italy, it is the second-best finish ever after the gold medal of 2002.

Best scorer of the bronze medal match was Italy’s Valentina Diouf with 31 points. Sheilla contributed 21 kills for Brazil. Brazil had the edge in blocking (11-6), Italy in serving (7-5).

Brazil have finished in the top four for the fifth time in the last six editions, finishing the third time in a row on the podium. They only finished seventh in 2002. Italy have finished in the top four for the third time after 2002 (gold), 2006 (fourth) and today (fourth).

Brazil have surpassed Japan’s 87 wins at the World Championship. Only Russia/Soviet Union have won more matches (120).
USA coach Karch Kiraly: We came here to make history and we made it. It was a tough battle. I would like to congratulate Lang Ping and her team. They played a marvelous tournament. After we got a 2-0 lead we knew China would never give up. It was a battle to the end and they have some great young players, as do we. I hope that we will be playing against each other in the future. It is just good for the sport to have teams with such history performing at a high level.

Photo courtesy of FIVB.org


October 14, 2014 – USA have claimed the top spot in the senior women’s world ranking following their victorious run at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014. Coach Karch Kiraly’s team move up from second position to swap places with Brazil.

Brazil, who won bronze at the recent World Championship, by defeating hosts Italy, step down to take second place in the world ranking, while finalists and silver medalists China rise two places into third.

The country making the biggest gains within the women’s ranking top 10 is the Dominican Republic. The team coached by Marcos Kwiek are rewarded for their fifth-place finish at the Women’s World Championship and move up four ranks to sixth place. In so doing, they move ahead of 2010 world champions Russia, who are now seventh, dropping down from fifth.

Both Japan and Italy have lost one rank. Japan ended the World Championship in seventh position and drop from third to fourth in the world ranking, while tournament hosts Italy, who lost to Brazil in the bronze medal match, step down from fourth to fifth place. The Republic of Korea, who were absent from the World Championship in Italy, lose three places and fall from seventh to tenth.

Serbia (WR 8), Germany (WR 9), Turkey (WR 11) and Thailand (WR 12) hold on to their positions in the new world ranking. Belgium, however, have moved up four places to 13th, while Argentina have improved their rank by five places to claim 14th place. Canada are up five ranks to 16th place and Croatia are up six to 17th.

The biggest moves in the top 50 concern Australia (up 27 places to 46th), India (up 57 places to 48th) and Switzerland (up 56 places to 48th), while Peru move down 10 places, Poland 13 and Belarus 11.

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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