Team USA setter Alisha Glass admits there are no secrets for either team ahead of Friday’s high-stakes FIVB Women’s World Cup clash against bitter rivals Russia.
The Americans have beaten Russia twice already this year including a hard-fought four-set victory in July.
That win helped Karch Kiraly’s team claim the World Grand Prix, with the Russians finishing second.
The US currently sit atop the World Cup ladder on 22 points after seven wins from their first eight matches, one point clear of Russia.
While they have had the better of their rivals this year, Glass knows there is nothing between the two countries and both know exactly what to expect from the other.
“Absolutely, it gives you more information (having played them so often) but they have seen us and they have the same advantage in knowing what we will do,” Glass said.
“I think it will be a close match, and it will go back-and-forth. I am excited for it.
“(Russia) wants to win this tournament. They are a good team and they brought one player that they did not have at World Grand Prix (Nataliya Obmochaeva).”
The stakes couldn’t be higher on Friday with the top two teams at the end of 11 round-robin games earning their spot at next year’s Olympic Games in Rio.
Both sides’ only blemish this tournament came in the form of five-set defeats to Serbia.
Team USA’s final two clashes are against fifth-place Japan on Saturday and sixth-place Dominican Republic on Sunday.
“Every one of those matches is going to be one that we will have to bring our A-game,” Glass said.
“I think we are excited for them. That is what World Cup is all about – play good teams and good competition and hopefully we will come out with some wins.”
Coach Kiraly added: “We have some very difficult matches coming up. Our focus going forward is how to score the next point a lot against Russia.
“We know it will be a challenging weekend of opponents. There are lots of teams that are close (in the standings) but we can’t worry about them.
“The only thing we can think about is how to play as hard as we can and how to play smart volleyball for one point and then another point against Russia.”
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