United States Cruises into NORCECA Finals


OMAHA, Nebraska, September 20, 2013 – The United States earned a spot into the 2013 Visit Omaha NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship title match by defeating Canada 25-22, 25-14, 25-15 on Friday evening in the tournament’s second semifinal match at Ralston Arena.


The United States, the defending champion of the biennial championship, will seek its seventh title in the tournament’s 23rd edition dating back to 1969. The Americans will play Dominican Republic, tonight’s other semifinal winner, on Saturday at 8 p.m. CT.


Canada, which holds two silver medals (1973 and 1989) as its best event finishes, will play Puerto Rico for the bronze medal on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT. Canada has not reached the NORCECA medal podium since 1995.


Kelly Murphy produced a match-high 12 points for the United States. Jordan Larson-Burbach, playing in her home state of Nebraska, added 10 points with a match-high three aces. Canada was led by Lucille Charuk’s seven points, while Tabitha Love, Jaimie Thibeault and Dana Cranston added six points in the loss.


The United States out-served Canada 6-0 in aces and its offense generated a 37-24 advantage in kills. The Canadians held an 8-6 edge in blocks.


The NORCECA champion earns a spot into the six-team FIVB Grand Champions Cup held Nov. 12-17 in Japan.


U.S. Captain Kristin Hildebrand: “We were expecting a tough Canada tonight and congrats to them because they did a great job. They came out serving tough and passing well. They were defending a lot of balls. I think we were surprised at how well they were defending our offense. (On Saturday’s Championship Match Opponent): The Dominican Republic is a great team. Every single time we play them it’s a battle.”


U.S. Coach Karch Kiraly: “I thought Canada came out and did a really nice job of attacking us, especially from the service line. We didn’t handle it that well. That’s actually our game plan. We want to be attacking every opponent that we face. In fact, they attacked us more than we attacked them. I feel like we were waiting for them to make some errors and they didn’t. They played some nice, clean volleyball. At some point, we had to make a decision to try to be proactive and not just wait; but start forcing them into some less-comfortable situations.”


Canada Captain Brittney Page: “I think we started off really strong and really precise and crisp and then we just let it deteriorate. As we did that they (the U.S. Women) maintained their level and they ran away with it. I just wish we maintained how we started because we came out with a lot of fire and a lot of fight. We were staying true to ourselves and focusing on ourselves.”


Canada Coach Arnd Ludwig: “I think there were two differences (between the first and second sets). I think the U.S. made some adjustments to our game. Also in the first set we were just going for the ball and made a lot of good serves and attacks and in the second set we were a little more scared. We didn’t put the same risk into the attack.


Photos of the match can be found at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1gce6lxluladkc3/s8kpdC8Wfx. All matches in the Visit Omaha NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship can be viewed online at http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball/Events/Live-Webcast..