The 8th place US Women (2-4) resume their quest for a World Grand Prix medal this Friday in Bankok, Thailand, where they will take on the 6th place Russian team (3-3). The match will be available online from Universal Sports.
To date, the Russians have defeated Korea twice 3-0 and 3-2, and Dominican Republic 3-2, and have lost to 3rd ranked China (5-1), 3-2, 10th ranked Puerto Rico in a stunning 3-1 upset, and 5th ranked Japan, 3-1.
The US Women have wins over Puerto Rico, 3-2 (after trailing 2-0), and Dominican Republic, 3-2, with two losses to Germany — a 3-0 sweep in Rio de Janeiro and another in Chinese Taipei — as well as losses to undefeated and #1 ranked Brazil, 3-0, and undefeated and #2 ranked Netherlands, 3-2.
Russia has been led by 20 year old Tatiana Kolvesheva, the #2 Best Scorer to date (#17 ranked Nicole Fawcett, former Penn State All American, leads the USA), 23 year old middle blocker Maria Borodakova, the #5 Best Blocker (#12 ranked Foluke Akinradewo leads the USA), and Ekaterina Kabeshova, the #6 Best Libero (the USA’s Nicole Davis is ranked #10). Russia’s Captain is Marina Sheshenina, and the Head Coach is Vladimir Ivanovich Kuzyutkin, who was appointed following the 2008 season to lead Russia through the 2012 Olympic cycle.