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Kelsey Robinson vs. Russia

United States national team outside hitter Kelsey Robinson goes up for a kill during the Americans’ five-set win against Russia on Friday in the FIVB World Cup in Osaka, Japan.

Former Nebraska volleyball player Kelsey Robinson came up big for the United States women’s national team by delivering eight of her match-high 27 points in the tiebreaking fifth set to rally the Americans past Russia 24-26, 25-22, 25-22, 17-25, 15-8 on Friday to begin the FIVB World Cup’s final phase taking place in Osaka, Japan.

Both teams entered the match at 7-1 with the winner getting a clear shot of controlling its destiny for the silver medal.

Team USA, ranked No. 3 in the world, improved to 8-1 overall in the 12-team round robin World Cup. With two matches remaining in the triple-crown tournament, the Americans are in the driver’s seat for silver with only a very slim chance at gold (China must lose twice and USA win twice).

Robinson converted 23 of 44 attacks into points with four ace serves — three coming in the final set — as part of her 27 points at the outside hitter position. She had several kills on back-row attacks.

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“My teammates are amazing,” said Robinson in a news release. “(Jordyn) Poulter is putting up great balls and we have great passing, the middles are holding blocks for us. The only reason I can do well is because of my teammates.”

There are two other former Huskers on the team for this event. Outside hitter Jordan Larson contributed 16 kills. And Justine Wong-Orantes, who was the libero when the Americans served, added seven digs.

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Sports reporter

Brent has worked at the Journal Star for 14 years. His beats include Nebraska volleyball, women's basketball and high school soccer and cross country.

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