U.S. Women Block Italy in FIVB World Grand Prix

Aug. 13, 2010, 7:24 a.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. 13, 2010) – Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) each turned in a team-high of 19 points with nine blocks apiece in leading the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team to a 26-28, 26-24, 25-23, 25-15 victory over Italy on Friday afternoon during Pool D action of the 18th FIVB World Grand Prix in Bangkok, Thailand.

Team USA, now 2-2 in this year’s World Grand Prix, continues Pool D action against host Thailand on Aug. 14 at 3:30 a.m. Pacific Time and Puerto Rico on Aug. 15 at 1 a.m. Pacific Time. Italy, ranked seventh in the world by the FIVB, is now 2-2 in the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix. The fourth-ranked Americans will conclude preliminary round in Hong Kong with matches against Germany on Aug. 20, Thailand on Aug. 21 and China on Aug. 22.

The U.S. rallied from a 16-12 deficit in the opening set and had one set point opportunity before Italy won 28-26 on its third set-point chance. In contrast to the first set, Team USA lead 16-12, but weathered a late Italian rush that took it into the lead at 23-22 only to have the Americans win 26-24. In the second set, the U.S. put up nine blocks as part of the victory. The Americans pushed out to a 5-1 lead in the third set, but Italy came back to tie the set at 22-all before the U.S. closed with three of the final four points for a 25-23 victory. Team USA overcame an early 4-1 deficit in the fourth set and used a 6-0 scoring run to break away from a slim 10-9 advantage en route to a 25-15 victory.

“I’m happy to win the match,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “We could control the game. Logan Tom is very helpful for the win. I wish our team could make it to the Final six teams. Now, we have to focus on the next match against hosts Thailand."

The U.S. had all five of its starting hitters score at least 11 points and four with at least 16 points. Bown tallied nine kills on 21 attacks and an ace in addition to her nine blocks for 19 points. Hooker, who has led the U.S. in scoring in each of the first four matches of the FIVB World Grand Prix, had 10 kills on 33 swings to go with her nine blocks for 19 points. Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah), who has not played with the U.S. Women’s National Team since leading the Americans to the silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games, added 17 kills on 46 swings and an ace for 18 points. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) chipped in 11 kills on 37 attacks and five blocks for 16 points. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) added five kills on 16 swings, five blocks and an ace for 11 points. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) rounded out the scoring with a kill from her setter position.

Glass handled 80 running sets on 119 total attempts to put the U.S. offense into motion. Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) turned in a team-high 17 digs, while Larson and Hooker added six digs. Tom had 16 excellent receptions on 24 attempts for a 62.5 excellent percent with just one error. Larson and Sykora each had 18 excellent receptions on 30 and 33 attempts, respectively.

“It’s a tough match and we have to play hard against them,” U.S. captain Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.) said. “We did a good job in defense and blocking.”

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. Barboza was a serving sub in all four sets.

Team USA dominated the net as it possessed a 28-7 block advantage. Both teams were credited with three aces and Italy held a slim 57-53 advantage in kills. Italy also benefited from 23 U.S. errors while holding its own miscues to 18. The U.S. had a .242 hitting efficiency with a 32.9 kill percent, while Italy had a .208 hitting efficiency and 32.9 kill percent. Italy held a 51-44 advantage in digs. Both teams were evenly matched on service reception as the U.S. had a 55.7 excellent reception percent to Italy’s 55.6 excellent reception percent.

Serena Ortolani paced Italy with 23 points, while Antonella Del Core added 13 points. Francesca Piccinini and Simona Gioli contributed 11 points in the loss.

“Congratulations to the USA,” Italy captain Eleonora Lo Bianco said. “They played very well. Their blocking and defense are excellent. We played badly on services. I think we have many things to improve on for our next matches.”

“It’s a good match,” Italy Head Coach Massimo Barbolini said. “I totally agreed with what my captain had said. The USA excelled on blocking and defense. We tried to play well little by little. I think we have to play with more rhythms. However, this is the very first match against strong teams in the second week. I admit that I'm worrying about our chance to make top six for the Finals in Ningbo, China. We have to win the remaining two matches."

Later today, Thailand (0-3) hosts Puerto Rico (1-2) in Bangkok in Pool D play. In Pool E, Brazil (3-1) topped Dominican Republic (1-3) 25-14, 25-18, 25-14 and China (3-0) will challenge Netherlands (2-1) at Macau, China. Earlier today, Poland (4-0) defeated Chinese Taipei (0-4) 25-16, 25-19, 25-15 and Japan (3-1) downed Germany (1-3) 26-28, 25-17, 25-20, 25-11 in Pool F at Okayama, Japan.

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. The USA-Italy match was shown live, while the USA-China contest on Aug. 22 rounds out the preliminary round coverage.

In addition, fans 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, click here.

For more information on the FIVB World Grand Prix, click here. For more information on the U.S. Women's National Team, visit its home page by clicking here.

The U.S. scored four unanswered points on Tom’s serve to take a 5-2 advantage after a Hooker kill, two straight Italian errors and a Hooker block. Italy cut the gap to one point at 6-5 on an ace. Italy took the lead back at 12-10 on four consecutive points forcing USA to call a timeout after an ace. Italy stretched its lead to 14-11 on two straight points and went into the second technical timeout leading by four at 16-12. The U.S. cut the gap in half on back-to-back kills from Tom and Bown at 16-14. Team USA whittled the gap down to a single point at 20-19 following kills from Akinradewo and Hooker leading to an Italian timeout. The Americans tied the set at 20-all on an Italian error out of the break. The U.S. saved a set point and gained the lead back at 25-24 following kills from Tom and Akinradewo. Italy saved a set point and returned to the lead at 26-25. Italy won the set 28-26 on its third set point opportunity. Hooker paced the U.S. with six points, while Akinradewo and Tom each had four points. The Americans had five blocks in the period to Italy’s four.

Italy scored the first three points of the second set that included two attacks hit long. Hooker and Bown picked up consecutive blocks to cut the lead to 3-2. The U.S. tied the set at 6-all on a Tom kill and Italian error. Italy regained its two-point cushion at 9-7 with points on each side of the first technical timeout. Team USA answered with a Hooker block and Italian error to knot the score at 9-all. Akinradewo then served an ace that caught the line and Larson followed with an ace to give the U.S. an 11-9 advantage forcing an Italian timeout. Out of the break, Bown and Larson formed a blocking wall to increase the margin to 12-9. Bown added another block to push the gap to four points at 13-9. Italy sliced the gap to 14-12, but the U.S. answered with an Italian error and Bown overpass kill to go into the second technical timeout leading 16-12. Italy came out of the break with three straight points to cut the margin to three points at 16-15 prompting a U.S. timeout. Italy tied the set on a block at 18-all. The U.S. regained a two-point edge at 20-18 on a Hooker kill and Akinradewo block. Team USA grabbed a three-point margin at 22-19 as Tom and Larson hammered consecutive kills leading to an Italian timeout. Italy tied the set at 22-all with a block and ace forcing a USA timeout. Italy went into the lead at 23-22 on a USA error. However, U.S. responded with a Bown kill and combined block from Bown and Larson to reach set point at 24-23. Team USA won the set on its second set-point chance after a Tom kill and Bown block at 26-24. Bown scored seven points in the second set with four blocks. The Americans had nine blocks in the period.

The U.S. scored the first four points of the third set with kills from Akinradewo, Bown, Tom and Larson leading to an early Italian timeout. Team USA extended its lead to 6-1 with a Bown kill and Italian error. Italy responded with three unanswered points to close to 6-4. Akinradewo put up a block and Hooker followed with a kill to push the U.S. lead to 11-7. Italy closed to one at 12-11 on a 4-1 scoring run. Team USA reached the second technical timeout leading 16-14 after a Tom kill. The Americans established a three-point cushion at 18-15 with kills from Tom and Larson. Italy moved to within one at 19-18 leading to a U.S. timeout. Italy tied the set at 22-all prompting a U.S. timeout. The U.S. responded with a Tom kill and Akinradewo overpass for a kill to yield set points at 24-22. Tom finished out the set at 25-23 with a kill. Bown, Larson and Tom all had five points in the third set as the U.S. continued a balanced offense. The Americans picked up six additional blocks in the set.

Italy gained the first three points of the fourth set for the early lead. Larson cut into the lead with a kill and service winner at 5-4. Bown tied the set at 5-all with a block and followed with an overpass kill for the U.S. 6-5 lead. Tom scored the Americans’ fifth straight point with a kill at 7-5. Out of the first technical timeout, Bown served an ace to extend the U.S. lead to 9-6. Italy answered with two straight points on U.S. errors to close to 9-8. Hooker turned in a kill and block on consecutive plays, then Tom pounded a back-row kill to increase the U.S. margin to four points at 13-9. Out of an Italian timeout, Akinradewo added to the lead with an overpass kill and Hooker followed with a block and Tom ace to give the U.S. a 16-9 advantage at the second technical timeout. Larson picked up consecutive points with a kill and winning joust at the net to create an eight-point U.S. margin at 18-10. Tom nailed a kill and Italy sent an attack wide to give the U.S. a 23-14 lead. Hooker put up a block to give the U.S. match points at 24-14 and she ended the match with a exclamation point kill at 25-15. Tom and Hooker each provided the U.S. six points in the fourth set as the Americans added eight blocks in the set.

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

FIVB World Grand Prix Standings - (through Aug. 13/updated at end of day)
China (12 Points) 4-0
Poland (12 Points) 4-0
Brazil (9 Points) 3-1
Japan (9 Points) 3-1
USA (6 Points) 2-2
Italy (6 Points) 2-2
Netherlands (6 Points) 2-2
Germany (4 Points) 1-3
Thailand (3 Points) 1-3
Puerto Rico (3 Points) 1-3
Dominican Republic (2 Points) 1-3
Chinese Taipei (0 Points) 0-4
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 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 def. Dominican Republic 25-14, 25-18, 25-14
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: 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 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