U.S. Women Top Puerto Rico at World Grand Prix

Aug. 15, 2010, 7:05 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. 15, 2010) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team overcame a slow start and used a balanced offense to defeat NORCECA rival Puerto Rico 21-25, 25-22, 25-12, 25-15 Sunday evening during Pool D action of the 18th FIVB World Grand Prix in Bangkok, Thailand.

Team USA, now 4-2 in this year’s World Grand Prix and in fifth place with 12 points, travels to Hong Kong for the final preliminary round weekend. The U.S. plays Germany on Aug. 20 at midnight Pacific Time, Thailand on Aug. 21 (10:15 Pacific Time on Aug. 20) and China on Aug. 22 at 12:45 a.m. Pacific Time.

At the conclusion of next weekend’s preliminary round, the top five teams in the overall standings plus China advance to the six-team FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round to be held Aug. 25-29 at Ningbo, China.

Puerto Rico overcame an early 7-2 deficit in the opening set by surging to a 9-8 advantage and pushed out to a 25-21 victory. Team USA used a 5-0 scoring run with three blocks to break a 17-all tie in the second set en route to winning 25-22.The U.S. used a 11-3 scoring run in the middle stages of the third set to take an 18-8 lead and cruised to a 25-12 victory. The Americans used a 12-5 scoring run in the fourth set to take a 22-13 lead and 25-15 victory as Puerto Rico scored only once on its own serve.

“I’m proud that my team won all the matches here,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “We threw in emotion and energy to deal with the first set against Puerto Rico. We had much pressure on the first-set loss. However, we had a good game plan. To our credits, we fought hard and we played as a team. That's important factor for our win.”

All five U.S. starting hitters scored at least 12 points in the match. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) charted six kills on 21 attacks to go with a team-high eight blocks for a team-high 14 points. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) and Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) each scored eight kills, three blocks and two aces for 13 points. Akinradewo converted eight of her 14 attacks into points. Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) contributed 11 kills and a block for 12 points, while Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) added eight kills and four blocks for 12 points. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) added a block and ace for two points, while Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.) rounded out the scoring with a block.

Glass ran the U.S. offense with 52 running sets on 96 attempts. Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) had a team-high 12 digs and nine excellent receptions on 15 attempts. Larson and Tom each had nine excellent receptions on 24 attempts apiece. Larson chipped in seven digs and Tom added six.

“Puerto Rico's serves are great,” Tom said. “We just tried to improve our game. It’s hard to play them in the first two sets, but we pulled our game and did our best. This is my first time to join the team. It’s the head coach’s decision I skipped the first leg and instead came here to join the team.”

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.

Team USA out-blocked Puerto Rico 21-4 as both teams had 41 kills and five aces. Puerto Rico held a 37-32 advantage in digs and had a 38.8 excellent service reception percent on 38-of-85. The U.S. converted 27 of 64 service receptions into excellent passes for a 34.4 percent. Neither team hit exceptionally well as the U.S. converted 28.5 percent of its attacks into points with a .188 hitting efficiency, while Puerto Rico had a .115 hitting efficiency with a 26.1 kill percent. The Americans committed just 24 errors while Puerto Rico gave the U.S. 29 points on miscues.

For the latest news on the FIVB World Grand Prix, visit the U.S. Women’s National Team FIVB World Grand Prix event web site at usavolleyball.org/events/3056. The page includes archived press releases, schedule and results involving all 12 World Grand Prix teams, photos, statistics and match videos by Universal Sports.

Sarai Alvarez led Puerto Rico’s offense with 16 points on 14 kills and two aces, while Alexandra Oquendo added 10 points.

“Congratulations to the USA,” Puerto Rico captain Vilmarie Mojica said. “We played well only in the first two sets. The USA is a very strong team. They played quite well with good blocking.”

“I would like to say congratulations to the USA,” Puerto Rico Assistant Coach Yarelis Rodriguez said. “We did a good job in the first two sets, but it's something else in the remaining two sets. In the first two sets, we played fast and beat their blocking effectively. From then on, our game was very disappointing. We had a problem on attacking.”

Earlier today, Poland (5-1) stopped Germany (2-4) 25-23, 25-23, 29-31, 25 -20 and Japan (5-1) handled Chinese Taipei (0-6) 28-26, 25-15, 25-11 in Pool F action at Okayama, Japan. Later today, Italy (3-2) takes on Thailand (1-4) in Pool D at Bangkok, Thailand. Pool E matches scheduled to be played Sunday at Macau – Netherlands (2-3) versus Dominican Republic (2-3) and Brazil (4-1) versus host China (4-1) – have been postponed until Monday out of respect to nearly 2,000 people who have died in mudslides in the country. China held a day of mourning on Sunday.

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 on Aug. 13 was shown live as part of the package, while the USA-China contest on Aug. 22 rounds out the preliminary round coverage. As a note, the FIVB TV matches cannot be viewed in most locations within the United States based on negotiated broadcast rights.

Fans in the United States 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. To view video archived Team USA matches during the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix, click here.

For more information on the FIVB World Grand Prix, visit usavolleyball.org/events/ 3056. For more information on the U.S. Women's National Team, visit its home page by clicking here.

The U.S. gained an early 4-1 lead in the opening set with blocks from Glass, Hooker and Larson around a Puerto Rico error. Team USA increased its lead to 6-2 with an Akinradewo ace after a Puerto Rico service error leading to a Puerto Rico timeout. The Americans stretched the lead to 7-2 out of the break with a third Puerto Rico error. Puerto Rico scored five straight points – including back-to-back aces – to tie the set at 7-all. Puerto Rico scored back-to-back points out of the first technical timeout to take a 9-8 advantage. Puerto Rico extended its advantage to two points at 13-11 prompting a USA timeout. Puerto Rico inched its advantage to four points at 16-12 at the second technical timeout with three unanswered points. Out of the break, Bown put up a block after a Puerto Rico service error to cut the deficit in half at 16-14. A Puerto Rico ace as part of three unanswered points put the score at a 20-15. Tom connected for back-to-back kills after a Hooker kill to slice the deficit to two points at 21-19 leading to a Puerto Rico timeout. Out of the break, Puerto Rico scored consecutive points to return to a four-point edge at 23-19. An Akinradewo kill and Puerto Rico error closed the U.S. to within two at 23-21. Puerto Rico scored the final two points of the set to win 25-21. Bown had four points to lead the U.S. in the first set, including three of the team’s six blocks. Puerto Rico held a 14-7 advantage in kills in the opening set.

Destinee Hooker gave the U.S. a 3-1 lead in the second set with an ace after a Larson kill. Akinradewo served an ace to yield a 9-6 advantage, but Puerto Rico scored the next two points to close back to one at 9-8. Team USA took a four-point cushion at 12-8 with a Bown block and service winner by Hooker. Puerto Rico responded with consecutive points to cut the deficit in half at 12-10. Puerto Rico moved to within one at 14-13, then tied the set at 17-all on an ace. Team USA regained a three-point edge at 20-17 with a Hooker kill and blocks from Nnamani and Bown on three straight plays leading to a Puerto Rico timeout. Out of the break, Larson added a fourth straight point with a block followed by a Puerto Rico error at 22-17. Puerto Rico chipped away at the lead with three straight points to close to 22-20. The U.S. sided out the rest of the set to win 25-22. Larson and Hooker provided four points for the U.S. in the second set as the Americans turned in four blocks.

Larson put up a block after a Puerto Rico error to give Team USA an early 2-0 start to the third set, but Puerto Rico quickly tied the set at 2-all. The Americans gained a 5-2 lead with a Bown block and Larson kill after a Puerto Rico error leading to a Puerto Rico timeout. Out of the break Puerto Rico scored consecutive points to close to 5-4. Bown put up a block after a Puerto Rico error to yield a 7-4 U.S. lead. Bown and Glass combined for a block followed by a Puerto Rico error and Akinradewo kill to lift the U.S. in front 10-5. Tom added a fourth straight point with a kill down the line at 11-5. Larson and Tom collected back-to-back kills and Puerto Rico committed an error to push the American lead to 16-8 at the second technical timeout. Out of the break, Hooker put up a block and Larson hammered a kill to send the score to 18-8. Team USA upped its lead to 21-9 with a Hooker kill and two Puerto Rico errors on consecutive plays. Larson and Bown pocketed consecutive kills to increase the American lead to 23-10 and the U.S. finished out the set with an Akinradewo kill at 25-12. Larson provided the U.S. five points in the third set, while Tom, Akinradewo and Bown all had four points. Team USA had six blocks in the set and committed just four errors.

Team USA gained the first two-point cushion of the fourth set with a Bown kill and Akinradewo block at 5-3. Puerto Rico came back to tie the set 5-all on the next two point. The American regained their two-point edge with a Glass ace after a Puerto Rico error. Larson and Tom downed kills on consecutive plays at 12-9. Akinradewo and Tom scored consecutive kills to extend the Team USA lead to 15-11.The Americans reached the second technical timeout leading 16-11 after a Puerto Rico error gave the U.S. its third straight point. Out of the break, Akinradewo put up a block formed with Hooker to give the Americans a 17-12 advantage. Akinradewo crushed a quick set for a kill and Puerto Rico hit wide on the next play to increase the American margin to seven points at 20-13. Out of a Puerto Rico timeout, Hooker slammed a kill and Bown put up a block to stretch the lead to 22-13. Team USA ended the set with a kill and block from Bown at 25-15. Akinradewo tallied four points for the U.S. in the fourth set as the Americans turned in five additional blocks.

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 (updated through Aug. 15)
Japan (15 Points) 5-1
Poland (15 Points) 5-1
China (13 Points) 4-1 – match versus Brazil postponed until Aug. 16
Brazil (12 Points) 4-1 – match versus China postponed until Aug. 16
USA (12 Points) 4-2
Italy (12 Points) 4-2
Germany (7 Points) 2-4
Netherlands (6 Points) 2-3 – match versus Dominican Republic postponed until Aug. 16
Dominican Republic (4 Points) 2-3 – match versus Netherlands postponed until Aug. 16
Thailand (3 Points) 1-5 - not counting Aug. 15 match with Italy
Puerto Rico (3 Points) 1-5
Chinese Taipei (0 Points) 0-5
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 def. Puerto Rico 23-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-19
Aug. 14: Italy def. Puerto Rico 25-12, 25-17, 25-18
Aug. 14: USA def. Thailand 25-18, 25-21, 25-13
Aug. 15: USA def. Puerto Rico 21-25, 25-22, 25-12, 25-15
Aug. 15: Italy def. Thailand 21-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-20

Pool E (Macau, China * Forum de Macau)
Aug. 13: Brazil def. Dominican Republic 25-14, 25-18, 25-14
Aug. 13: China def. Netherlands 25-16, 25-19, 25-16
Aug. 14: Brazil def. Netherlands 25-21, 21-25, 25-15, 26-24
Aug. 14: Dominican Republic def. china 25-20, 20-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-9
Aug. 16: Netherlands vs. Dominican Republic, 1 p.m. (postponed from Aug. 15
Aug. 16: China vs. Brazil, 3:30 p.m. (postponed from Aug. 15)

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 def. Chinese Taipei 25-19, 25-14, 25-19
Aug. 14: Japan def. Poland 25-19, 25-21, 19-25, 25-16
Aug. 15: Poland def. Germany 25-23, 25-23, 29-31, 25-20
Aug. 15: Japan def. Chinese Taipei 28-26, 25-15, 25-11

Pool G (Hong Kong, China * Hong Kong Coliseum)
Aug. 20: USA vs. Germany, 3 p.m. (midnight PT)
Aug. 20: China vs. Thailand, 8 p.m. (5 a.m. PT)
Aug. 21: USA vs. Thailand, 1:15 p.m. (10:15 p.m. PT on Aug. 20)
Aug. 21: China vs. Germany, 3:45 p.m. (12:45 a.m. PT)
Aug. 22: Germany vs. Thailand, 1:15 p.m. (10:15 p.m. PT on Aug. 21)
Aug. 22: USA vs. China, 3:45 p.m. (12:45 a.m. PT)

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