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Murphy leads USA to winning start


KUNSHAN, China, July 7, 2017 - Kelly Murphy successfully led USA’s scoring and blocking efforts to a 3-2 (22-25, 25-19, 25-27, 25-16, 15-11) victory over Russia in the opening game of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2017, which took place in China on Friday.


Murphy was the best scorer of the match. She contributed 18 points, including four kill blocks, to her team’s success. Teammate Michelle Bartsch-Hackley was right behind her on the chart with 17 points, as she was responsible for four of USA’s 15 aces in the match. 


Irina Fetisova (also with four kill blocks) and Kseniia Parubets were Russia’s top scorers with 13 points each.


In Apeldoorn, Netherlands, Celeste Plak had a day on Friday as she led the Netherlands to their first FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2017 victory. The Dutch team mastered a 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-21) win against the Dominican Republic in the opening match of their home tournament in Apeldoorn, their fifth in the five matches these two teams have played against each other in the history of the competition.


In three sets, Plak managed to make 17 points, which made her the best scorer of the match. Dutch middle blocker Robin De Kruijf added 10 points. Dominican Republic’s two most prolific players, Gina Altagracia Mambru Casilla and Bethania De La Cruz De Pena, also scored 10 points each.