The USA women won the first FIVB Volleyball Nations League title when they beat Turkey on Sunday night 17-25, 25-22, 26-28, 25-15, 15-7 in Nanjing, China.
It was the third time the two national teams went five during the tournament as the Americans beat Turkey for the second time in five days.
Kim Hill, who did not start the match, led the USA with 16 kills, a block and three aces. Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, who led the scoring throughout the tournament that saw the Americans go 17-2 overall, was replaced late in the first set by Hill. But she returned as the opposite late in the second set and finished with 15 kills and three blocks.
Jordan Larson had 12 kills, two aces and a block and Foluke Akinradewo had seven kills three aces and two blocks. Tori Dixon had seven kills and three blocks.
From USA Volleyball:
Team USA picked up $1 million dollars for winning the VNL title, while Turkey pocketed $500,000 as the second-place team. Michelle Bartsch-Hackley earned an extra $40,000 as the tournament’s most valuable player and Best Outside Spiker. Tori Dixon added $10,000 as Best Middle Blocker. The Final Six held a $2.1 million purse, which will be identical for the men’s VNL to be held this coming week in France. China earned the bronze medal with a 25-18, 25-22, 25-22 victory over Brazil.
“I am so proud of this team,” USA coach Karch Kiraly said. “All 14 of them, and many others back home, have put their heart and soul into this, and that makes us better every day. It is a great win for the USA women’s program.”
Added Larson, “I just get chills thinking about it. Really, this has been a long, long tournament. I am so proud our team. It has been a grind, a lot of travel. It hasn’t been easy, but we came away with a win in the end.”
Click here for the USA Volleyball recap, that has the complete schedule through which the Americans battled from May 15 to July 1 with extensive travel.