Kelly Murphy ’08 Leading USA Volleyball in FIVB World Grand Prix

Kelly Murphy (top) watches a teammate's dig. - Photo courtesy  of Team USA

Kelly Murphy (top) watches a teammate’s dig. – Photo courtesy of Team USA.

Joliet Catholic Academy graduate Kelly Murphy ’08 is currently helping to lead the U.S. Women’s Volleyball National Team to an undefeated record in the FIVB World Grand Prix after defeating No. 5 Japan 25-23, 25-22, 26-24 on Thursday in Hong Kong.

Murphy, the Gatorade Volleyball National Player of the Year in 2008 and a four-time All-American at the University of Florida, tallied 10 kills on 17 errorless swings, three blocks and an ace for 12 points in the victory. Team USA (7-0 during the Grand Prix) is currently ranked No. 1 in the world by FIVB and returns to action today against No. 12 Thailand before concluding the World Grand Prix preliminary round against No. 3 China on July 18. Team USA hosts the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals July 22-26 in Omaha, Neb.

“We just have to try to learn from tonight and move on as quickly as we can tomorrow,” Murphy said of beating Japan. “We have two really tough matches coming, so being as focused as possible on each team is really important.”

The U.S. National Team is coached by American volleyball legend Karch Kiraly, the only person to have won Olympic gold medals in both volleyball categories: beach and indoor. Team USA currently sits in third place in the Grand Prix Group 1 standings, undefeated with 20 points behind undefeated China and Brazil. The U.S. team has an automatic bid to the finals in Omaha thanks to being the host.

Murphy’s decorated career has included a high school state championship with the Angels in 2008 (the second state title in the decorated program’s history and third overall), two SEC conference championships, and Team USA’s first-ever FIVB Women’s World Championship in 2014. Murphy is in her third year as a member of the U.S. National Team, and currently plays professional volleyball for the Ageo Medics based in Ageo City, Saitama, Japan.

Excerpts courtesy of “U.S Women Sweep Japan to Stay Undefeated” By: Bill Kaufman. Read more here:

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