U.S. women clinch title at FIVB World Grand Prix Finals

Foluke Akinradewo (center, facing forward) and her USA teammates celebrate after winning set point of the second set against Brazil on Saturday.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images for FIVB

OMAHA, Neb. — The United States clinched its first FIVB World Grand Prix Finals championship since 2012 Saturday night by defeating two-time defending champion Brazil in women’s volleyball.

A 25-16, 25-22, 25-21 sweep of second-ranked Brazil secured the title for the No. 1 Americans with one day remaining in the five-day event. The United Statesis the only undefeated team, going 4-0 so far in the finals and 12-1 through the Grand Prix event.

It was a spike by Karsta Lowe, the newest member of the national team, which secured the victory at CenturyLink Center. Lowe finished with nine kills, one behind team leader Kimberly Hill.

U.S. captain Christa Dietzen had seven spikes and seven blocks. The Americans scored the final four points of the third set to break a 21-21 deadlock and win the match.

In Saturday’s opening match, China swept Russia 27-25, 25-20, 25-19, making both squads 2-2 in the finals. Brazil fell to 2-2 with the loss to the Americans. 

The tournament will conclude Sunday, beginning with the United States facing China, followed by Italy vs. Brazil and Japan vs. Russia in the late match.