U.S. Women Win Marathon Match over Dominican

Aug. 07, 2009, 6:25 a.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 7, 2009) – The U.S. Women’s National Team got 20 points from Nancy Metcalf and 17 from Foluke Akinradewo as it defeated Dominican Republic 3-2 (25-18, 25-19, 23-25, 21-25, 23-21) in an FIVB World Grand Prix match on Friday in Miao Lie in Chinese Taipei.

The U.S. Women open the second round of pool play at 1-0 and 2-2 overall. Dominican Republic is 0-1 in pool and 1-3 overall. Team USA will continue pool play on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. local time against Netherlands in Miao Lie.

The match began under the threats of heavy rain and strong wind brought by Typhoon in Miaoli, Taiwan and ended 2 hours, 19 minutes later thanks to the marathon fifth-set tiebreaker. Team USA fought off match point five times in the tiebreaker.

Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) finished with a match-high 18 kills (on 44 attempts with six errors) and two blocks. Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) added 12 kills (on 19 attempts with no errors), four blocks and an ace.

“It was an exciting match for us,” Metcalf said. “And it is important for us to know that we can fight and fight and fight to win.”

Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) scored 13 points on eight kills, three blocks and two aces. Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah) tallied 13 points on 11 kills and two blocks. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) totaled 12 points on eight kills, one block and a match-high three aces.

The teams were well-matched, statistically. The Dominican out-blocked Team USA 15-14, but the United States had nine aces as compared to two for the Dominican. The U.S. Women converted 36.75 percent of their kill attempts into points (61 of 166) while the DR completed 35.62 percent (52 of 146).

Serve receive was key for the U.S. Women, who were credited with 39 excellent receptions and three faults on 96 attempts (37.5 percent) as compared to 24 excellent receptions and 12 faults on 102 attempts (11.76) for the DR. Libero Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) recorded 16 excellent receptions and one fault on 36 attempts along with seven digs and four faults on 37 attempts. Larson had 15 excellent receptions and one fault on 32 attempts.

Bethania De La Cruz de Pena paced Dominican Republic with 18 points on 15 kills and three blocks.

Among other U.S. scorers, Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) had four points on three kills and one block. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) added two points on two aces. Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) scored twice on one kill and one block and Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) had one point on one ace.

U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) started Larson and Richards at outside hitter, Crimes and Akinradewo at middle blocker, Metcalf at opposite, Thompson at setter and Sykora at libero and did not change the starters. Fawcett, McGinnis, Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) and Barboza all played as substitutes.

Thompson was credited with 37 running sets and one fault on 107 attempts.

Three kills from Metcalf and a kill and two blocks by Akinradewo helped the U.S. Women to a 7-7 tie in the first set. A Crimes kill gave Team USA the 8-7 edge at the first technical timeout (TTO) and a second Crimes kill put it up by two points. With the U.S. Women still leading by two at 11-9, Team USA scored two straight points on an ace from McGinnis and a kill by Richards to go up 13-9. Trailing 11-15, the Dominican went on a 4-0 run to tie the score at 15-all. But another Crimes kill gave Team USA the 16-15 advantage at the second TTO. The U.S. Women scored three more straight points, including two aces by Thompson, to lead 19-15 and the Dominican team never threatened again.

The U.S. Women fell behind 1-5 in the second set, but used three kills from Richards along with one each from Akinradewo and Larson to trail by two, 6-8, at the first TTO. The U.S. Women were trailing 8-10 when they started a 7-0 run, including a block and two kills by Akinradewo. They continued to lead 16-12 at the second TTO and went on to win the set 25-19.

Team USA’s momentum carried into the third set as it led 8-6 at the first TTO and 16-12 at the second. However, the Dominicans’ offense turned up the heat and they eventually tied the score at 20-20. McCutcheon called timeout and a Dominican service error put the United States ahead 21-20. But with the U.S. Women leading 22-21, the Dominican Republic scored three straight points on two kills and a block to reach set point. A Larson kill made it 24-23, but a quick kill from Elisa Eve gave the Dominicans the set.

The United States went ahead 3-0 to open the fourth set on a kill by Metcalf and two aces by Larson. The Dominicans tied it at 3-3 and the two teams battled back and forth. With the U.S. ahead 9-8, the Dominican Republic scored the next seven points, including three kills and a block by Marifranchi Rodriquez to take a 15-9 lead. Team USA closed the gap to within three at 17-20. But the Dominican scored three more straight points to lead 23-17. With the Dominican Republic at set point at 24-18, the U.S. scored three straight points, including a kill by Larson and block from Metcalf, but an Eve block gave the DR the 25-21 victory.

The United States looked to be in good shape in the tiebreaker, leading 8-2 at the crossover. But with the U.S. leading 9-3, the Dominican scored five straight points, four of which were the result of U.S. errors. The U.S. maintained the lead at 11-8, but the Dominicans scored three straight points to tie it and the battle was on. Team USA reached match point first on a kill by Richards that made it 15-14. But the Dominican tied it with a block and then reached on a U.S. attack error. Team USA fought that off with a kill from Akinradewo and fought off two more match points. Team USA gained the advantage at 19-18, but the Dominicans tied it on a De La Cruz kill and took yet another match point at 20-19 on a U.S. attack error. The DR reached match point one more time at 21-20, but the United States tied the score on a Metcalf kill. The U.S. Women reached match point on a Dominican attack error and won the match on a block by Richards.

More information and photos are available on the FIVB Grand Prix web site.

The U.S. Women's Grand Prix media guide is available on the USA Volleyball web site.

2009 FIVB World Grand Prix
Aug. 7-9 in Miao Lie in Chinese Taipei

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Hometown, College)
1 - Nicole Fawcett (OPP/OH, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State)
4 C - Angela McGinnis (S, 5-11, Fraser, Mich., Florida)
5 – Stacy Sykora (L, 5-10, Burleson, Texas, Texas A&M)
6 - Nicole Davis (L, 5-6, Stockton, Calif., Southern California)
8 - Cynthia Barboza (OH, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Stanford)
9 - Alexis Crimes (MB, 6-3, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Long Beach State)
10 - Kristin Richards (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford)
11 - Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Nebraska)
12 - Nancy Metcalf (OPP, 6-1, Hull, Iowa, Nebraska)
13 - Tracy Stalls (MB, 6-4, Denver, Colo., Nebraska)
15 - Courtney Thompson (S, 5-7, Kent, Wash., Washington)
18 - Foluke Akinradewo (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford)

Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Assistant Coach: Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Beth Launiere (Salt Lake City, Utah) – at Brazil and Chinese Taipei
Assistant Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.) – at Thailand and Finals
Technical Coordinator/Team Leader: Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek

Schedule and Results for U.S. Women's National Team

Pool A - at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Maracanazihno Gym)
July 31: Germany def. USA, 25-15, 25-15, 25-16
Aug. 1: USA def. Puerto Rico, 21-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-14, 15-13
Aug. 2: Brazil def. USA 25-18, 25-22, 25-13

Pool D - at Li Miao, Chinese Taipei (Miao Li Country Gymnasium)
Aug. 7: USA def. Dominican Republic, 25-18, 25-19, 23-25, 21-25, 23-21
Aug. 8: vs. Netherlands, 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 9: vs. Germany, 4:30 p.m.

Pool I - at Bangkok, Thailand (Keelawes Gym)
Aug. 14: vs. Russia, 2 p.m.
Aug. 15: vs. Puerto Rico, 2 p.m.
Aug. 16: vs. Thailand, 4:30 p.m.