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USA wins again as Hill and Gibbemeyer shine against Dominican Republic

 

Bangkok, Thailand, May 30, 2018 - Kimberly Hill and Lauren Gibbemeyer celebrated their returns to the starting lineup as the United States continued their hot streak in the women's FIVB Volleyball Nations League with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-21) victory against the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.

Hill and Gibbemeyer both missed Tuesday's straight-sets win over Germany but capped their comebacks with a combined 27 points, with Hill finishing with 16 and Gibbemeyer racking up 11.

Michelle Bartsch-Hackley was once again the US team's top scorer. She compiled 19 points to take her total for the tournament to 106, the most by any player on the American roster, as the reigning world champions posted their sixth consecutive 3-0 win in the competition.

Brayelin Martinez led the Dominican Republic with 19 points, including a game-high 17 kills from 36 attempts, taking her total of spikes for the VNL to 103 and her overall points total to 120.

Wing spiker Yonkaira Pena also troubled the Americans throughout the contest and picked up 13 points along the way while Lisvel Eve and Dominican captain Niverka Marte got seven each.

The Dominican Republic beat the Pool 11 hosts Thailand 3-0 on Tuesday but Wednesday's defeat left them at 2-6 for the tournament while the US have been unstoppable since losing their second match at home against Turkey, winning 18 sets in a row.

With Martinez's heavy hitting and Marte's never-say-die attitude, the Dominican Republic provided the Americans with a real challenge, leading late in the second and third sets, but the tournament leaders found a way each time to win.

Hill dominated early on and managed 16 kills from just 26 attempts while Gibbemeyer was even more efficient, hitting 9 from 11, as the US improved to 7-1 for the tournament.

Bartsch-Hackley took over in the final two sets, adding a block and four service winners to her 14 spikes from 33 swings, while Kelly Murphy became the fourth American to reach double figures when she closed with 10.

The US have now won their last 13 matches against Dominican Republic since 2006.

The US play Thailand in their final Pool 11 match on Thursday while the Dominican Republic tackle Germany.

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