U.S. Women's National Team Journal with Joan Powell
July 5, 2008 * Taipei * FIVB World Grand Prix
A duplicate day from yesterday prepared us for our rematch with Turkey. While the team was getting their shoes on and preparing to stretch, I walked a couple blocks to Chiang Kai-Shek’s memorial. It was magnificent. I took my camera and walked up to the temple area. I had seen a post card, but had no idea I would be able to see it.
Back to work and some serious floor wiping as the team worked out for almost two hours at the practice site without air condition.
During my run today, I stumbled upon the Grand Hotel. Doctor Ho commented on it from the bus one day. He said that he and his family stayed there when he was a youngster. It was breathtaking. I also came upon a memorial for fallen soldiers. The sign outside asked the question something like: “Do you know the sacrifices made during the establishment of the Republic of China?” The sign went on to say that this memorial was to honor the spirits of the fallen soldiers. It too was a highlight.
Back to volleyball . . .
USA was victorious tonight over Turkey: 25-16, 25-20, 20-25, 25-17. With a little lull in the third set, we dominated by out-blocking and out-hitting our opponent. Interestingly enough, I thought in the first set, “This is not the same team that beat us earlier in the WGP, nor the team that played Italy so tough last night."
Rotation 1 was submitted throughout the match: Robin Ah Mow-Santos, Kim Willoughby, Danielle Scott-Arruda, Taayiba Haneef-Park, Logan Tom, Heather Bown and of course “Steady Eddie” Nicole Davis as libero.
We established and maintained the lead in the first, second and fourth sets. It was a different story in the third set. Turkey came alive even though their hopes for a trip to Japan next week were dashed.
Some changes were made in the third with Barboza in for Robyn and Berg in for Taayiba and Kim Glass saw some action for Logan Tom, but to no avail. It was as if we just had to get that set out of our system and move on to the fourth set.
And that we did! It was all USA. The double sub entered at 21-14 along with Foluke in for Bown at 23-15. Foluke was dished the quick at 24-17 – set and match.
In the press conference, the Turkish coach (from Italy), praised the Americans' serving, blocking and defense. He too, saw a completely different team on the floor tonight and even apologized in his broken English. “Jenny” Lang Ping helped Alessandro Chiappini’s answer to a question by conversing in Italian so he could say that his team lacked “the will to win and concentration."
Jenny traded compliments to her coaching friend telling the press corpse that the USA had to prepare for the Turk’s strong hitters. She was pleased with her team’s blocking tonight. She also admitted that the USA needs to control their unforced errors; she commented on the 10 hitting errors in set 3 and said that that was way too many.
Tomorrow it’s Italy!!
Team Leader, U.S. Women's National Team at World Grand Prix