U.S. Women Sweep China, Nearing Grand Prix Title
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 28, 2010) – Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) totaled 24 points in leading the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team to a 25-21, 27-25, 25-22 victory over China on Saturday evening in Ningbo, China, on the fourth day the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round.
Team USA, now 4-0 in the Final Round with 10 points and an overall 10-match win streak intact, is in first place in the Final Round standings and two matches ahead of the pack in the six-team round-robin event.The Americans need to defeat Japan in their final World Grand Prix match on Aug. 29 at 1 p.m. (11 p.m. Pacific Time on Aug. 28) to guarantee itself the gold. Otherwise, second-place Brazil (2-2, 8 points) could slip into the top spot despite having a lower won-loss record. Teams earn three points for a three- or four-set victory, two points for a five-set victory and one point for a five-set loss. China is in third place with six points and a 2-2 record, while Japan is in fourth place with four points and a 2-2 record. Poland and Italy also have four points with 1-3 records.
Other matches on the final day are Italy (1-3, 4 points) versus Poland (1-3, 4 points) at 3:30 p.m. (1:30 a.m. Pacific Time) and China (2-2, 6 points) versus Brazil (2-2, 8 points) at 7 p.m. (5 a.m. Pacific Time). The FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round is a five-day, six-team round-robin event being played Aug. 25-29.
The Americans defeated China 25-20, 25-10, 22-25, 25-22 on the final day of the preliminary round on Aug. 22 in Hong Kong. Earlier this year China topped the U.S. in the 26th Montreux Volley Masters gold-medal match held in June at Montreux, Switzerland. Team USA defeated China during pool play of the 2008 Olympic Games as it went on to win the silver medal.
With the victory, Team USA is assured of reaching the World Grand Prix podium for the first time since winning bronze medals in 2003 and 2004. The U.S. won the World Grand Prix in 1995 and 2001, its only other podium finishes. Team USA has reached the medal podium in its two earlier tournaments of 2010 (silver at Montreux Volley Masters and bronze at Pan American Cup).
The Americans held sizeable leads in all three sets only to have rally from late China advantages. Team USA scored seven of the final points of the opening set to overcome a 19-18 deficit after leading 16-11 at the second technical timeout. Similar to the first set, the U.S. allowed a 15-1 lead in the second set evaporate and came back from a 23-21 deficit to win 27-25 after saving one set point. Team USA led 12-8 in the third set before China came back to lead 17-16. The Americans used a 5-1 scoring run to take a 21-18 advantage and sided out the rest of the set for a 25-22 victory.
“I'm happy about the way we played today,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “It's very challenging to play China. They are a good team. I'm satisfied with my team, as they are very disciplined in serving, blocking and defense. Reception players worked very hard and gave great pass.”
Hooker collected 19 kills on 41 errorless attacks, three blocks and two aces for her 24 points. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), the tournament’s leading blocker, turned in seven kills on 17 errorless swings, five blocks and two aces for 14 points. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) contributed six kills on 11 attacks and three blocks for nine points. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) and Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) had matching eight points with six kills and two blocks apiece. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) rounded out the scoring with a block.
Glass provided 33 running sets on 80 attempts leading the U.S. to a .355 hitting efficiency with only five attack errors. Tom contributed a team-leading nine excellent service attempts on 28 attempts, while Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) added six excellent service receptions on 14 attempts without an error and a team-leading three digs.
“China is a very tough team,” U.S. captain Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.) said. “We played very well today. I think we will keep the way up.”
McCutcheon started Tom and Larson at outside hitter, Akinradewo and Bown at middle blocker, Hooker at opposite and Glass at setter. Sykora was the designated libero for the match. Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) was a serving sub in the second set.
The U.S. held a 16-4 block advantage over China despite having only one block through the first set. The Americans also held a 44-42 margin in kills as both teams served four aces. Team USA committed 18 errors in the match compared to China’s 13. The U.S. held China to a 37.2 kill percent and .301 hitting efficiency. China held a 29-9 dig advantage and totaled 38 excellent service receptions on 64 attempts for a 59.4 percent. The Americans had a 32.3 excellent service reception on 65 attempts, but still hit for a high hitting efficiency (.355).
China’s Yimei Wang led her squad with 14 kills and an ace for 15 points, while Ynwen Ma added 10 points in the loss.
“The USA is a mature team, not only in defense but in offense as well,” China Head Coach Wang Baoquan said. “Despite the loss, we played good volleyball, especially in attack. We had a chance to win, but we couldn't grasp it because of poor receiving.”
China’s captain Wei Qiuyue conquered with her coach.
“The USA is a strong team,” Qiyue said. “In fact, we had a chance to win, but we couldn't make it. They put us under great pressure at the net.”
Earlier today in Final Round action, Poland (1-3, 4 points) won its first match of the Final Round with a 25-15, 21-25, 25-23, 25-22 victory over Japan (2-2, 4 points) and Brazil (2-2, 8 points) swept Italy (1-3, 4 points) 25-18, 25-13, 25-16.
Earlier today in Final Round action, Poland (1-3, 4 points) won its first match of the Final Round with a 25-15, 21-25, 25-23, 25-22 victory over Japan (2-2, 4 points). Brazil (2-2, 8 points) swept Italy (1-3, 4 points) 25-18, 25-13, 25-16 to stay in contention for the gold medal.
Just two weeks ago, Team USA’s chances of reaching the World Grand Prix Final Round seemed remote based on its 1-2 record and eighth place in the standings following the first weekend in Poland. However, the Americans caught fire in Thailand starting with a four-set victory over Italy followed by wins over Thailand and Puerto Rico. This past weekend, the U.S. carried the momentum into Hong Kong, beginning with a three-set win over Germany to avenge a four-set loss in the opening weekend. Team USA allowed Thailand to score just 48 points in a three-set win on Aug. 21. In front of over 10,000 fans on Aug. 22, the Americans won their sixth straight match over the host Chinese in four sets to complete a run from eighth place to second place.
For the latest news on the FIVB World Grand Prix, visit the U.S. Women’s National Team FIVB World Grand Prix event web site at usavolleyball.org/events/3056. The page includes archived press releases, schedule and results involving all 12 World Grand Prix teams, photos, statistics and match videos by Universal Sports.
The U.S. scored four unanswered points to take a 5-2 advantage as Akinradewo scored a kill and ace around a Larson kill and China attack error. China scored the first two points out of the first technical timeout to cut the deficit to 8-7. Akinradewo served an ace after a Hooker kill to yield a 12-9 Team USA advantage, but China immediately scored two points to slice the deficit to 12-11. Hooker and Larson connected for consecutive kills to produce a 14-11 advantage and China timeout. Out of the break, Larson converted an out-of-system spike and Hooker served an ace to send the U.S. to a 16-11 lead at the second technical timeout. China came out of the break on a 5-1 run that included an ace to slice the gap to one point at 17-16. China leveled the set at 18-all on a U.S. attack error, then went ahead 19-18. Team USA returned to the lead at 20-19 with a Tom and Hooker kill on consecutive plays. The Americans extended their lead to 23-21 with a Hooker kill and Bown block leading to a China timeout. The U.S. gained set points at 24-21 as China hit an error after a tough Akinradewo serve, then Hooker finished set with a cross-court winner and her ninth point of the set. Team USA had three aces in the opening set.
The U.S. scored three unanswered points early in the second set to take a 3-1 lead after Bown block around two China errors. China answered with consecutive points to tie the set at 3-all, then served an ace to gain the lead back at 4-3. Hooker put up consecutive blocks after a China service error to push the U.S. in front 11-9 and prompting a China timeout. Out of the break, Tom connected for a back-row kill and China hit long to extend the lead to 13-9. China cut the deficit to a single point at 15-14 before Hooker slammed a back-row kill for a 16-14 U.S. lead at the second technical timeout. China tied the set with an ace at 16-all, then served another ace to take the lead at 19-18. China increased its advantage to 23-21 with a block and the U.S. called a timeout. Bown hit a slide for a kill and Glass put up a block to tie the set at 23-all leading to a China timeout. Team USA swung the lead to 25-24 with a Tom kill and Akinradewo block. The USA closed out the set with an Akinradewo kill and China error to win 27-25. Hooker totaled six points in the second set as the Americans tallied eight blocks. China committed eight errors in the set.
The U.S. went up 2-0 to start the third set with an Akinradewo kill and block. After 15 side outs, the U.S. rolled off three straight points with a Hooker kill, China error and Bown block to give the U.S. a 12-8 advantage. China cut off two from the deficit at 13-11 with consecutive points, then tied the set at 15-all with three unanswered points. China moved in front after winning a lengthy rally at 17-16 after winning the first two points out of the second technical timeout. Akinradewo won a long rally on the next play with a kill and Hooker followed with a cross-court winner to swing the lead back to the U.S. at 18-17. Team USA extended its advantage to 22-19 with a kill and ace from Hooker around a Larson block leading to a China timeout. Hooker hit a back-row kill to reach match points at 24-21, then Akinradewo put up her fifth block of the match to win the set at 25-22. Hooker tallied nine points in the third set and Akinradewo added six points. Team USA was credited with seven blocks in the set.
Volleyball fans across the world will be able to watch three FIVB World Grand prix matches a week as FIVB TV announced on Aug. 5 that it will stream matches on the Internet. One match per day from the three preliminary rounds as well as all matches form the Final Round will be streamed live on www.laola1.tv/en/int/fivb/video/203---.html. The USA-Italy match on Aug. 13 and the USA-China contest on Aug. 22 were part of the coverage. As a note, the FIVB TV matches cannot be viewed in most locations within the United States based on negotiated broadcast rights.
Fans in the United States can watch all remaining USA matches on Universal Sports (www.universalsports.com), on a tape delayed same-day coverage. Selected matches will also be shown on Universal’s television channel. All matches will be on-demand after they take place. To find out if Universal is in your home area and its daily schedule, visit universalsports.com/tv-listings/index.html.
For more information on the U.S. Women's National Team, visit its home page at click here.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Hometown, College)
1 - Ogonna Nnamani (OPP, 6-1, Bloomington, Ill., Stanford)
2 - Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, Leland, Mich., Penn State)
5 - Stacy Sykora (L, 5-10, Burleson, Texas, Texas A&M)
6 - Nicole Davis (L, 5-4, Stockton, Calif., Southern California)
7 - Heather Bown (MB, 6-3, Yorba Linda, Calif., Hawaii)
8 - Cynthia Barboza (OH, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Stanford)
9 - Jennifer Tamas (MB, 6-4, Milpitas, Calif., Pacific)
11 - Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Nebraska)
14 - Nicole Fawcett (OPP, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State)
15 - Logan Tom (OH, 6-1, Salt Lake City, Utah, Stanford)
16 - Foluke Akinradewo (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford)
17 - Nellie Spicer (S, 5-9, Barrington, Ill., UCLA)
18 - Megan Hodge (OH, 6-3, Durham, N.C., Penn State)
19 - Destinee Hooker (OPP, 6-4, San Antonio, Texas, Texas)
Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Assistant Coach: Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Jim Stone (Columbus, Ohio)
Technical Coordinator: Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer/Medical Support: Jill Wosmek (Silver Lake, Minn.)
Team Leader for Poland/Thailand: Reed Sunahara (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Team Leader for Hong Kong/Ningbo: Laurel Iversen (Kalaheo, Hawaii)
FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round Standings
USA 4-0 (10 points)
Brazil 2-2 (8 points)
China 2-2 (6 points)
Japan 2-2 (4 points)
Poland 1-3 (4 points)
Italy 1-3 (4 points)
Final Round (Ningbo, China * Ningbo Beilun Gymnasium)
Aug. 25: USA def. Poland 13-25, 18-25, 28-26, 25-19, 15-12
Aug. 25: Japan def. Brazil 13-25, 25-23, 18-25, 25-22, 15-13
Aug. 25: Italy def. China 25-20, 25-16, 25-21
Aug. 26: USA def. Italy 25-23, 25-20, 25-14
Aug. 26: Brazil def. Poland 25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17
Aug. 26: China def. Japan 29-27, 23-25, 25-20, 25-19
Aug. 27: Japan def. Italy 23-25, 25-14, 26-28, 25-20, 17-15
Aug. 27: USA def. Brazil 22-25, 25-19, 30-28, 17-25, 15-13
Aug. 27: China def. Poland 25-19, 25-19, 25-17
Aug. 28: Poland def. Japan 25-15, 21-25, 25-23, 25-22
Aug. 28: Brazil def. Italy 25-18, 25-13, 25-16
Aug. 28: USA def. China 25-21, 27-25, 25-22
Aug. 29: Japan vs. USA, 1 p.m. (10 p.m. Pacific Time on Aug. 28)
Aug. 29: Italy vs. Poland, 3:30 p.m. (12:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 29: China vs. Brazil, 7 p.m. (4 a.m. Pacific Time)
FIVB World Grand Prix Final Preliminary Standings (Aug. 6-22)
Brazil (24 Points) 8-1
USA (21 Points) 7-2
Poland (21 Points) 7-2
Japan (19 Points) 6-3
Italy (19 Points) 6-3
China (19 Points) 6-3
Netherlands (13 Points) 5-4
Dominican Republic (7 Points) 3-6
Germany (7 Points) 2-7
Thailand (6 Points) 2-7
Puerto Rico (4 Points) 1-8
Chinese Taipei (0 Points) 1-8
NOTE: Matches won 3-0 or 3-1 earn the winners 3 points; Matches won 3-2 earn the winner 2 points and the loser 1 point
2010 FIVB World Grand Prix Schedule
Pool A (Sao Carlos, Brazil * Ginasio Nilton Olaio Filho)
Aug. 6: Brazil def. Chinese Taipei 25-15, 25-19, 25-12
Aug. 6: Japan def. Italy 30-28, 27-29, 25-20, 25-13
Aug. 7: Brazil def. Japan 25-20, 25-19, 25-20
Aug. 7: Italy def. Chinese Taipei 25-15, 25-20, 25-19
Aug. 8: Italy def. Brazil 25-22, 25-21, 18-25, 25-19
Aug. 8: Japan def. Chinese Taipei 25-16, 25-16, 25-16
Pool B (Gdynia, Poland * Gdynia Competition Hall)
Aug. 6: USA def. Dominican Republic 26-24, 22-25, 25-14, 25-19
Aug. 6: Poland def. Germany 25-18, 16-25, 25-22, 26-24
Aug. 7: Poland def. Dominican Republic 25-23, 25-16, 25-14
Aug. 7: Germany def. USA 25-23, 25-22, 16-25, 25-23
Aug. 8: Poland def. USA 16-25, 26-24, 25-19, 25-23
Aug. 8: Dominican Republic def. Germany 25-19, 22-25, 31-29, 16-15, 19-17
Pool C (Chengdu, China * Sichuan Provincial Sports Bureau)
Aug. 6: Netherlands def. Thailand 25-22, 25-22, 25-23
Aug. 6: China def. Puerto Rico 25-20, 25-18, 25-22
Aug. 7: Netherlands def. Puerto Rico 25-9, 25-12, 25-21
Aug. 7: China def. Thailand 25-16, 25-16, 25-22
Aug. 8: China def. Netherlands 19-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-21
Aug. 8: Puerto Rico def. Thailand 25-22, 25-23, 25-21
Pool D (Bangkok, Thailand * Keelawes 2)
Aug. 13: USA def. Italy 26-28, 26-24, 25-23, 25-15
Aug. 13: Thailand def. Puerto Rico 25-16, 25-19, 25-16
Aug. 14: Italy def. Puerto Rico 25-12, 25-17, 25-18
Aug. 14: USA def. Thailand 25-18, 25-21, 25-13
Aug. 15: USA def. Puerto Rico 21-25, 25-22, 25-12, 25-15
Aug. 15: Italy def. Thailand 21-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-20
Pool E (Macau, China * Forum de Macau)
Aug. 13: Brazil def. Dominican Republic 25-14, 25-18, 25-14
Aug. 13: China def. Netherlands 25-16, 25-19, 25-16
Aug. 14: Brazil def. Netherlands 25-21, 21-25, 25-15, 26-24
Aug. 14: Dominican Republic def. China 25-20, 20-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-9
Aug. 16: Netherlands def. Dominican Republic 25-23, 25-20, 17-25, 23-25, 15-7
Aug. 16: Brazil def. China 25-12, 25-19, 25-19
Pool F (Okayama, Japan * Okayama Momotaro Arena)
Aug. 13: Poland def. Chinese Taipei 25-16, 25-19, 25-15
Aug. 13: Japan def. Germany 26-28, 25-17, 25-20, 25-11
Aug. 14: Germany def. Chinese Taipei 25-19, 25-14, 25-19
Aug. 14: Japan def. Poland 25-19, 25-21, 19-25, 25-16
Aug. 15: Poland def. Germany 25-23, 25-23, 29-31, 25-20
Aug. 15: Japan def. Chinese Taipei 28-26, 25-15, 25-11
Pool G (Hong Kong, China * Hong Kong Coliseum)
Aug. 20: USA def. Germany 25-15, 25-18, 25-13
Aug. 20: China def. Thailand 16-25, 27-25, 25-23, 25-15
Aug. 21: USA def. Thailand 25-16, 25-16, 25-16
Aug. 21: China def. Germany 25-14, 25-19, 28-26
Aug. 22: Thailand def. Germany 20-25, 25-16, 25-16, 25-22
Aug. 22: USA def. China 25-20, 25-10, 22-25, 25-22
Pool H (Taipei, Chinese Taipei * Taiwan University Gym)
Aug. 20: Brazil def. Puerto Rico 25-18, 25-13, 25-20
Aug. 20: Poland def. Chinese Taipei 25-19, 25-18, 25-9
Aug. 21: Poland def. Puerto Rico 25-20, 25-20, 25-14
Aug. 21: Brazil def. Chinese Taipei 25-15, 25-17, 25-16
Aug. 22: Brazil def. Poland 25-16, 27-25, 25-16
Aug. 22: Chinese Taipei def. Puerto Rico 27-29, 25-21, 18-25, 25-23, 17-15
Pool I (Tokyo, Japan * Yoyogi National Stadium)
Aug. 20: Italy def. Netherlands 29-27, 25-16, 25-15
Aug. 20: Japan def. Dominican Republic 25-15, 23-25, 31-29, 25-20
Aug. 21: Netherlands def. Dominican Republic 25-19, 25-22, 25-20
Aug. 21: Italy def. Japan 25-23, 27-25, 21-25, 25-23
Aug. 22: Dominican Republic def. Italy 23-25, 32-30, 25-22, 22-25, 15-13
Aug. 22: Netherlands def. Japan 25-19, 22-25, 38-36, 16-25, 15-11