Rancho Santa Fe’s Karsta Lowe was one of 14 players selected to the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team that will represent the United States at the FIVB World Championship Sept. 29 through Oct. 20 in Japan. Team USA, ranked second in the world, will be attempting to defend its World Championship title won in 2014 in Italy.
Lowe, a 6’4 opposite for Team USA, will be making her first World Championship appearance after joining the team in May 2015. Lowe’s major national team accomplishments include winning a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and being selected most valuable player of the 2015 FIVB World Grand Prix.
Locally, Lowe started her youth club volleyball career with Coast Volleyball Club in 2003 and finished with Wave Volleyball Club. She played for La Costa Canyon High School and UCLA before joining the national team in 2015.
After the 2016-17 professional season, Lowe took time off from the team to go back to college to work on her master’s degree—she was enrolled in a master's of landscape architecture program at USC. She put the program on hold for now and rejoined Team USA in May 2018 after not playing international volleyball for nearly 18 months.
“My return in May was challenging, yet rewarding. My body was not conditioned to the training regime and I struggled with some shoulder pain. But slowly but surely, with ample work in the weight room, I feel strong and ready,” said Lowe. “I really enjoyed my studies at USC but there is nothing quite like being with Team USA.The competition is contagious, both while training in the United States and in tournaments abroad.I feel part of something really special and I'm excited to compete and have fun with these girls.”
In her first competition back, Lowe scored 18 points in an exhibition match versus Japan while holding a .469 hitting efficiency. She also started two exhibition matches against Brazil in August, including a 15-point performance on Aug. 12 and an 18-point effort on Aug. 16.
For the season, Lowe has averaged 3.11 points per set while posting a .336 hitting efficiency in 18 sets played.
“After taking a break from volleyball, Karsta has returned with a deeper perspective and greater clarity about what she values most,” said U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly. “This has allowed her to make significant changes, and help raise the level of play in our training gym. We are all looking forward to her return to FIVB competition.”
The FIVB Women’s World Championship is played every four years in the second year of the Olympic quadrennial. The Americans begin defense of their 2014 title in Kobe, Japan, as they beat Azerbaijan, Trinidad & Tobago and Korea in the first round Pool C and will next face Thailand (Oct. 3) and Russia (Oct. 4). The top four teams in Pool C advance to the second round (Oct. 7-11) in Osaka. The top three teams from the two second round pools move on to the third round held Oct. 14-16 in Nagoya, followed by the semifinals and medal matches on Oct. 19-20 in Yokohama.
FloVolleyball.tv, a subscription streaming service, will stream all FIVB World Championship matches in the United States. To sign-up for a discounted FloVolleyball.tv subscription, visit bit.ly/2Oe5HZj. To see the full World Championship schedule that FloVolleyball.tv will stream, visit bit.ly/2CLn1Dr.