U.S. Women Lose to Poland at World Grand Prix

Aug. 08, 2010, 1:32 p.m. (ET)

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

U.S. Press Kit for FIVB World Grand Prix

Unofficial DataVolley Stats - Official FIVB Stats

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 8, 2010) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team lost to Poland 16-25, 26-24, 25-19, 25-23 on Sunday afternoon during the opening weekend of preliminary pool play of the 18th FIVB World Grand Prix in Gdynia, Poland.

Team USA, which dropped to 1-2 in this year’s World Grand Prix, travels next week to Bangkok, Thailand, for the second preliminary round weekend and will challenge Italy on Aug. 13, Thailand on Aug. 14 and Puerto Rico on Aug. 15. The U.S. concludes pool play in Hong Kong with matches against Germany on Aug. 20, Thailand on Aug. 21 and China on Aug. 22.

The U.S. built a quick 5-1 lead in the opening set and cruised to a 25-16 victory as it did not commit a single error in the opener. Poland rallied from a 24-20 deficit in the second set to score the final six points to win 26-24. Poland’s momentum continued early in the third set with a 5-1 lead and the hosts eased to a 25-19 victory. Poland used a 5-0 run to rally from a 14-10 deficit in the fourth set and battled to a 25-23 victory as the lead changed three times in the late stages.

“Congratulations to Poland,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “It was a good match in a great atmosphere. Polish fans are amazing, they are very passionate. We lost because we are not experienced. I hope we will learn from this weekend and improve a lot. We are trying to form our team right now.”

The U.S. had balanced scoring for the match as all five starting hitters had at least 11 points. Destinee Hooker (San Antonio) led the Americans for the third straight match with 19 points on 16 kills via 43 attacks and three blocks. Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) added 11 kills and three blocks for 14 points. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) chipped in eight kills on 14 errorless swings and a match-high four blocks for 12 points. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) contributed eight kills, all three American aces and a block for 12 points. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) rounded out the scoring with eight kills on 14 attacks and three blocks for 11 points.

Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) provided 41 running sets on 95 total set attempts. Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) contributed a team-high 19 digs and four excellent service receptions on 11 attempts. Hodge and Glass added 16 digs apiece, while Hodge had a team-high six excellent service receptions.

“I'm really proud of my teammates, they played very well,” said U.S. captain Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.) “Now we are going to go to the locker room and think about what we can do to get this 'W' – win. We have to figure out the way to put together all the good things that happened here this weekend. We love how passionate Poland is for volleyball. Polish fans cheering in unison, singing the anthem in unison - it is very inspiring.”

McCutcheon started Larson and Hodge at outside hitter, Akinradewo and Bown at middle blocker, Hooker at opposite and Glass at setter. Davis was the designated libero for the match. Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) was a sub in all four sets, while Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.) and Nellie Spicer (Barrington) were part of a double-switch in the third set.

Poland held a 67-51 advantage in kills and a 7-3 margin in aces. Poland converted 43.2 percent of its attacks into points with a .271 hitting efficiency. The U.S. converted 36.4 percent of its attacks into points as part of a .279 hitting efficiency. Team USA had a 14-9 advantage in blocks and held its errors to nine for the four-set match. Poland committed 23 errors in the match. Poland also had a 116-94 dig advantage.

Katarzyna Skowronska-Dolata paced Poland with 21 points via 17 kills, two blocks and two aces. Karolina Kosek added 16 kills, two aces and a block for 19 points, while Anna Baranska provided 18 points on 15 kills, two blocks and an ace.

“We are very happy about the victory,” Skowronska-Dolata said. “We knew it wouldn't be an easy game, that the Americans are a strong team, who play very well technically. They caused us some problems with flat balls right above the net. We are happy to win the group and we hope that after the long journey to Japan we will win the next one as well. We are in the stage of training where we are treating everything as an occasion to harmonize our team. I think traveling and time differences will bother us a little, but we are professionals, and we have to deal with it. Of course we are tired, we won't be walking around smiling and full of energy, because we are in the middle of the season. We have to give a 100 percent on the court. At the end of the second set, when we were losing 20-24 we had very good service and spikes. Moments like these show that with maximum concentration we are able to win. It is a shame that we let the situation like this happen.”

“We are very happy that we won three games here,” Poland Head Coach Jerzy Matlak said. “In first two sets today we were losing because of our mistakes, but we have managed to win with our problems. We played great at the end of the second set and from that moment it was easier. Situations like these give us a lesson – nothing is impossible, you can't give up after losing first set. The girls showed us, that despite all the mistakes, anything is possible. I am scared to think what will happen when we won't have all those troubles. Our chances for World Grand Prix Final Round are now bigger than three days ago. Now my players will get free evening, but tomorrow we are going to Japan.”

In other World Grand Prix action today, Italy (2-1) surprised defending champion Brazil (2-1) with a 25-22, 25-21, 18-25, 25-19 victory and Japan (2-1) topped Chinese Taipei (0-3) 25-16, 25-16, 25-16 at Sao Carlos, Brazil, in Pool A. China (3-0) downed Netherlands (2-1) 19-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-21 and Puerto Rico (1-2) beat Thailand (0-3) 25-22, 25-23, 25-21 at Chengdu, China, in Pool C. Later today, Germany (1-1) takes on Dominican Republic (0-2) in Poland to wrap up Pool B.

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 http://www.laola1.tv/en/int/fivb/video/203---.html. USA matches will be shown twice during the World Grand Prix, including the Aug. 13 match against Italy and the Aug. 22 match versus China. This weekend’s matches on FIVB TV are Poland versus Germany on Aug. 6, Thailand versus China on Aug. 7 and Brazil versus Italy on Aug. 8.

In addition, fans can watch all three USA matches this weekend live on Universal Sports (www.universalsports.com), while the next six matches played in Thailand and Hong Kong will be available tape delayed for 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, click here.

For more information on the FIVB World Grand Prix, click here. For more information on the U.S. Women's National Team, click here.

The U.S. scored the first two points of the opening set with an Akinradewo kill and Glass service winner at 2-0. Team USA increased its advantage to 5-1 following an Akinradewo kill, Poland error and Larson ace leading to a Polish timeout. The teams traded the next 16 points until Bown and Hodge put up consecutive blocks to push the U.S. advantage to 14-9 leading to a second Poland timeout. Out of the break, Bown hit consecutive kills to extend the American advantage to 16-9 at the second technical timeout. Larson followed a Poland service error with a kill to increase the American advantage to 18-10. Poland scored its first point off its serve at 22-16. However, the U.S. would score the final three points on a kill and block by Bown and a Poland hitting error on match point at 25-16. Bown, Akinradewo and Hodge all had four points for the U.S. in the opening set as the Americans did not commit an error. Team USA also had a 3-0 advantage in blocks.

Poland picked up a two-point cushion early in the second set at 3-1, then extended its lead to three points at 5-2 on an ace. Poland went into the first technical timeout leading 8-4 on its second ace of the set. The U.S. went on a 5-0 scoring run with a kill from Hodge and blocks from Hooker and Akinradewo surrounded by Poland errors to assume a 10-9 advantage. Team USA stretched its lead to two points with an Akinradewo block and Larson ace at 12-10. Poland bounced back to tie the set at 12-all. Bown connected for a kill going into the second technical timeout and Larson scored consecutive kills following the break to yield an 18-15 American lead and forcing Poland to call timeout. Team USA jumped its lead to four points at 20-16 with a Larson kill and Hooker block. Poland narrowed the gap in half with an ace at 22-20 leading to a USA timeout. The Americans responded with a Hooker kill and Poland error to reach set point at 24-20. Poland saved two set points to close to 24-22 resulting in a USA timeout. Poland continued the comeback and tied the set at 24-all with the fourth set point saved coming on an ace. Poland then went on to win 26-24 with its sixth straight point. Hooker had six points in the second set to pace the Americans in the set, but Poland’s four aces kept it in the set despite its eight errors leading to USA points.

Poland continued its momentum by jumping to a 5-1 advantage in the third set as the American serve-reception accounted for three Poland points. Poland jumped its margin to five points at 13-8 following a U.S. attack error, then increased the advantage to 18-11 with three unanswered points. Akinradewo stuff blocked a Poland attack after a Poland error to slice the deficit to five points at 18-13. Hooker connected for consecutive kills to whittle the gap to four points at 21-17, but Poland answered with consecutive points to take a 23-17 advantage. Poland traded points to reach a 25-19 victory. Hooker totaled five points in the third set in which Poland had two aces and two blocks.

Poland scored three unanswered points to break a 2-all tie and gain a 5-2 advantage. The U.S. answered with kills from Larson and Hooker to move to within one at 5-4. Poland scored back-to-back points to assume a 7-4 lead. Akinradewo connected for two quick kills and Hooker slammed a kill to tie the set at 7-all. Larson found open court for an ace yielding a U.S. 8-7 lead at the first technical timeout. Out of the break, Hodge added to the run of five points with a block at 9-7. Akinradewo and Hodge turned in kills around a Poland error putting the U.S. up 12-8 forcing a Poland timeout. Poland cut its deficit in half with consecutive points at 12-10. Bown answered with a kill and block to push the margin back to four points at 14-10. However, Poland pushed back to score the next five points to take a 15-14 advantage. Team USA responded with a Hodge kill and Larson block to reach the second technical timeout leading 16-15. Out of the break, Poland scored the next two points to take a 17-16 lead. The U.S. went back in front 20-19 on a Hooker kill and Poland hitting error. Team USA increased its lead to 22-20 with a Hodge kill and Hooker block. Poland came back with the next two points to tie the set at 22-all, then put up a block after a U.S. timeout to take 23-22 lead. Poland reached match point at 24-22 before Hodge saved one match point with a block. However, Poland was not denied on its second chance with a kill at 25-23. Hooker and Hodge each scored five points in the fourth set and the U.S. has six blocks in the set. Poland turned in five blocks in the fourth set and had just two errors.

U.S. Women’s National Team Preliminary Roster for FIVB World Grand Prix
# - 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)
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/Japan: Laurel Iversen (Kalaheo, Hawaii)

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: Germany vs. Dominican Republic, 7:15 p.m.

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 vs. 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 vs. Italy, 3 p.m.
Aug. 13: Thailand vs. Puerto Rico, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 14: Puerto Rico vs. Italy, 2 p.m.
Aug. 14: USA vs. Thailand, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 15: USA vs. Puerto Rico, 3 p.m.
Aug. 15: Italy vs. Thailand, 5:30 p.m.

Pool E (Macau, China * Forum de Macau)
Aug. 13: Brazil vs. Dominican Republic, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 13: China vs. Netherlands, 9 p.m.
Aug. 14: Brazil vs. Netherlands, 2 p.m.
Aug. 14: China vs. Dominican Republic, 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 15: Netherlands vs. Dominican Republic, 1 p.m.
Aug. 15: China vs. Brazil, 3:30 p.m.

Pool F (Okayama, Japan * Okayama Momotaro Arena)
Aug. 13: Chinese Taipei vs. Poland, 3 p.m.
Aug. 13: Japan vs. Germany, 6 p.m.
Aug. 14: Germany vs. Chinese Taipei, 2 p.m.
Aug. 14: Japan vs. Poland, 5 p.m.
Aug. 15: Germany vs. Poland, 2 p.m.
Aug. 15: Japan vs. Chinese Taipei, 5 p.m.

Pool G (Hong Kong, China * Hong Kong Coliseum)
Aug. 20: USA vs. Germany, 3 p.m.
Aug. 20: China vs. Thailand, 8 p.m.
Aug. 21: USA vs. Thailand, 1:15 p.m.
Aug. 21: China vs. Germany, 3:45 p.m.
Aug. 22: Germany vs. Thailand, 1:15 p.m.
Aug. 22: USA vs. China, 3:45 p.m.

Pool H (Taipei, Chinese Taipei * Taiwan University Gym)
Aug. 20: Brazil vs. Puerto Rico, 3:30 p.m.
Aug. 20: Poland vs. Chinese Taipei, 7 p.m.
Aug. 21: Puerto Rico vs. Poland, 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 21: Chinese Taipei vs. Brazil, 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 22: Brazil vs. Poland, 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 22: Chinese Taipei vs. Puerto Rico, 4:30 p.m.

Pool I (Tokyo, Japan * Yoyogi National Stadium)
Aug. 20: Italy vs. Netherlands, 3:30 p.m.
Aug. 20: Japan vs. Dominican Republic, 6:30 p.m.
Aug. 21: Dominican Republic vs. Netherlands, 2 p.m.
Aug. 21: Japan vs. Italy, 7 p.m.
Aug. 22: Dominican Republic vs. Italy, 2 p.m.
Aug. 22: Japan vs. Netherlands, 5 p.m.

Final Round (Ningbo, China * Ningbo Beilun Gymnasium)
Aug. 25-29: Teams TBA