Team USA Evens China Tour Record with 3-2 Win Over China Army

March 26, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bill.kauffman@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 26, 2008) – Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) scored five of her match-high 20 points in the deciding fifth set in leading the U.S. Women’s National Training Team to a 23-25, 25-17, 26-24, 21-25, 15-13 victory over the China Army Club Team on Wednesday at Changshu.

Team USA, now 2-2 on its eight-match exhibition tour of China, won both matches against the China Army Club Team that finished second in the Chinese volleyball league. The Americans continue their tour on March 28 versus Hangzhou Club at Hangzhou at 7:30 p.m. China Time.

Team USA’s three-week training tour of China was designed to allow the coaches to evaluate a younger group of players in preparation for Olympic Games roster selections. The U.S. qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games, held Aug. 8-24 in Beijing, by finishing with a bronze medal at the 2007 FIVB World Cup.

Team USA started middle blockers Akinradewo and Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.), outside hitters Juliann Faucette (San Diego) and Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), opposite Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn) and setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.). Team captain Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) served as the libero for the match. Destinee Hooker (San Antonio) entered as a sub in the third set and started the final two sets. Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) started the fourth and fifth sets in place of Busse after entering as a sub in the third set. Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.) entered as a sub in the fourth set.

“Both teams struggled today in their serve-and-pass game,” U.S. Assistant Coach Tom Hogan said. “The difference between the two teams is that our serving game was more consistent and aggressive. The team adjusted well to the changes made by the Army Team and once again our young players gained valuable international experience.”

Akinradewo scored her 20 points with 18 kills on 24 attacks as part of a 75 kill percent and .708 attack percentage, while adding two blocks in the victory. Faucette notched 17 points with 14 kills on 34 swings to go with two blocks and an ace. Paolini, playing her first match on the tour, totaled 10 points with five kills, four aces and a block in just three sets of action. Klineman contributed six kills, an ace and a block for eight points, while Hooker charted seven points all on kills in the final three sets. Busse, with her first significant court time on the China tour due to injury, tallied six points with five kills and a block. Stalls added three kills and a block in the final three sets. McGinnis rounded out the scoring with two blocks. Davis charted 11 of the team’s 38 digs. She also tallied a 48 excellent serve-reception percent and 74 positive serve-receive percent during the victory.

Juliann Faucette. Photo copyrighted by USA Volleyball

“We played the best we've played as a team so far (on the China tour),” Akinradewo said. “There was a lot of energy and we were playing a lot for each other. We know what to expect. We were a lot more communicative. I was excited to make it to five sets because we made it to five sets against Tianjin and lost.”

China Army held a 10-6 margin in aces, but he U.S. took advantage of 21 service errors by the host team and an 11-4 block advantage. The Americans also out-dug China Army 38-26. The passing helped the U.S. to a 45 kill percent compared to China Army’s 39 kill percent.

“I felt like we really came together really well,” Paolini said.

Trailing 5-4 in the opening set, Team USA scored five unanswered points starting with a China Army service error leading to an Akinradewo kill, a backrow kill and ace from Klineman and a kill from Faucette for a 9-5 advantage. China Army chipped away at the lead and moved to within one at 10-9. Faucette chalked up back-to-back kills to push the margin back to three points, 12-9. The U.S. netted consecutive points with a Faucette block and China Army miscue to put the score at 17-13. China Army followed with four straight points to knot the score at 17-all, then went ahead at 19-18. The U.S. regained the lead at 22-21 with kills from Paolini and Klineman. However, China Army scored the final three points of the set to win 25-23.

The U.S. opened the second set strong with a 4-0 advantage as Busse notched two kills around a Paolini ace and China Army error. However, the host team rallied to close to within one point at 7-6. Team USA answered with a 6-2 run that included aces by Faucette and Paolini, along with a Busse block to put the Americans up 13-8. The U.S. stretched its advantage to 18-11 as Akinradewo and Faucette scored kills to start a 3-0 run. Faucette nailed a kill followed by a Klineman block to provide the U.S. an eight-point advantage at 22-14. Akinradewo ended the set at 25-17 with a kill off the quick attack.

Both squads traded the first 12 points of the third set until the U.S. rolled off three straight points to take an 8-6 advantage into the first technical timeout with kills from Busse and Paolini around a China Army error. The lead switched back to China Army at 10-9 and moved to a 13-10 host advantage on a 3-0 run. Trailing 15-11, the U.S. climbed back into the set with a 5-1 run to tie the stanza at 16-all as Texas trio Paolini, Faucette and Hooker all put up a point during the spurt. Hooker and Akinradewo scored consecutive points to yield a 20-19 American lead, which was extended to a two-point advantage at 23-21 on a China Army attack error. However, China Army scored the next three points to earn a set-point opportunity at 24-23. Faucette answered with a kill to save the set, then added another kill to turned the favor to the United States’ corner at 25-24. Stalls immediately end the set at 26-24 with a kill on the first available chance.

China Army grabbed the first two-point cushion of the fourth set at 6-4 and increased its advantage to 10-7. Hooker and Akinradewo supplied consecutive kills to cut the gap to 11-10. Team USA used a 3-0 run with a kill and block from Stalls around a Hooker kill to assume a 15-13 edge. The momentum swung to China Army with a 4-0 run at 17-15. After a Hooker ace and host miscue tied the score at 17-all, China Army scored five of the next six points to take a commanding 22-18 lead and sided out the rest the set for a 25-21 victory.

China Army used the momentum from the fourth set to take an early 3-1 lead in the tiebreaker, but it committed consecutive errors to tie the score at 3-all. Trailing 4-3, Team USA went on a convincing 6-0 run to take a 9-4 advantage as Akinradewo turned in three kills around a McGinnis block and Hooker backrow kill. China Army moved to within three at 11-8. Despite two kills from Hughes, China Army continued to put the pressure on the U.S. and closed to within one at 14-13 by saving two match points. Akinradewo scored her fifth point of the fifth set with a quick attack kill for the match at 15-13.

For additional information on the U.S. Women’s National Team, check the team’s home page at http://www.usavolleyball.org/National/wnthome.asp.

Team USA Tour of China Match Information
March 21: Team USA lost to Tianjin club at Tianjin (25-22, 25-21, 25-21)
March 22: Team USA lost to Tianjin club at WuQing (23-25, 21-25, 25-16, 25-21, 15-9)
March 24: Team USA def. Chinese Army Club at YiYang (21-25, 25-21, 25-19, 26-24)
March 26: Team USA def. Chinese Army Club at ChangShu (23-25, 25-17, 26-24, 21-25, 15-13)
March 28: Team USA vs. Hangzhou in Hangzhou, 7:30 p.m.
March 29: Team USA vs. Hangzhou in FuYang, 7:30 p.m.
April 1: Team USA vs. TBA in Nanjing, Time TBA
April 2: Team USA vs. TBA in Nanjing, Time TBA

U.S. Women’s National Training Team Roster on China Tour
# - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 - Juliann Faucette (OH, 6-2, San Diego, Calif., Texas)
2 - Destinee Hooker (OH, 6-4, San Antonio, Texas, Texas)
3 - Therese Crawford (OH, 5-11, Kalamazoo, Mich., Hawai'i)
4 - Alix Klineman (OH, 6-4, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Stanford)
5 - Angie Pressey (OH, 5-8, Lake Mary, Fla., California)
6 - Foluke Akinradewo (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford)
7 - Tracy Stalls (MB, 6-4, Denver, Colo., Nebraska)
9 - Lauren Paolini (MB, 6-5, Ann Arbor, Mich., Texas)
11 - Heather Hughes (OPP, 6-2, Fallbrook, Calif., Loyola Marymount)
13 - Nellie Spicer (S, 5-9, Barrington, Ill., UCLA)
15 - Nicole Davis (L, 5-6, Stockton, Calif., Southern California)
16 - Lindsey Hunter (S, 5-10, Papillion, Neb., Missouri)
17 - Angie McGinnis (S, 5-11, Fraser, Mich., Florida)
18 - Cassie Busse (OPP, 6-1, Prior Lake, Minn., Minnesota)
Head Coach: “Jenny” Lang Ping
Assistant Coaches: Sue Woodstra, Li Yong, Tom Hogan
Technical Coordinator: Diane French

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