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Fawcett powers U.S. past Japan

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Nicole Fawcett had 19 points and the U.S. women’s national team defeated Japan in the opening match of the inaugural USA Volleyball Cup on Wednesday.

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Benjamin Logan graduate Nicole Fawcett sends the ball over the net during Wednesday’s volleyball match between the United States and Japan in the USA Cup. (USA VOLLEYBALL PHOTO)

Fawcett, a Benjamin Logan High School product, recorded 15 kills on 35 swings. She also tallied three aces and one block.

Kristin Hildebrand added 16 points for the U.S. women, currently ranked No. 1 in the world by the sport’s international federation. A sellout crowd of 3,500 attended the match, won 23-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-23 by the U.S., at UC San Diego.

The USA Volleyball Cup is an initiative to bring elite-level indoor volleyball to fans in the United States. The threematch series continues Friday night at Long Beach State.

The win was the first on home soil for U.S. coach Karch Kiraly, who took over the national team following the group’s silver medal performance in last summer’s London Olympics.

Saori Kimura had 16 points for Japan, which won the bronze medal in London.

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