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.