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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 20, 2010) – Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) scored a match-high 20 points to lead the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team to a 25-15, 25-18, 25-13 victory over Germany on Friday afternoon in Hong Kong during Pool G of the 18th FIVB World Grand Prix.
Team USA, now 5-2 in this year’s FIVB World Grand Prix and in third place with 15 points (although two teams could move ahead based on results later today), plays Thailand on Aug. 21 (10:15 a.m. Pacific Time on Aug. 20) and China on Aug. 22 at 12:45 a.m. Pacific Time in the final weekend of preliminary round matches.
Not only did the U.S. open the third weekend of preliminary pool matches with a win, it also qualified for the FIVB Final Round to be held Aug. 25-29 in Ningbo, China, thanks to an Italian 29-27, 25-16, 25-15 victory Netherlands earlier today. Italy has a 5-2 record and 15 points in the World Grand Prix to also qualify for the Final Round. Heading into today’s action, the Americans needed to defeat Germany in three or four sets and have the Italians do the same against Netherlands to earn their berth to clinch a spot in the six-team round robin FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round.
The U.S. used a 7-1 scoring run against Germany to break from an early 7-5 lead in the opening set to win 25-15. Team USA broke an 11-all tie with a 7-2 scoring run in the second set and cruised to a 25-18 victory. The Americans scored eight unanswered points to take a commanding 16-7 lead in the third set and clinched the match with a 25-13 victory.
With the victory, Team USA broke a three-match losing streak to Germany during FIVB World Grand Prix action dating back to 2009. The Germans won both meetings in 2009, along with a four-set victory on Aug. 7 in this year’s event. The U.S. did defeat Germany in pool play during this year’s Montreux Volley Masters event held in Switzerland.
“Our team played very well today,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “We were strong in tactics and technical skills. We are making improvement from weekend to weekend. We are very happy with the victory today and it is time to get ready for tomorrow’s match. The team had a strong evolution after the match against Thailand and Italy last week. Thailand is a very challenging team. They are very fast and play with a different system and combination. However, if we play strong tomorrow, we are confident that we will have a good chance to win. Winning Germany in this match is very important for us as Germany still has the chance to get into the finals.”
Hooker, who is playing in her first-ever international tournament with the U.S. Women’s National Team, scored her 20 points on 17 kills via 31 attacks and three blocks. Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah), who was not part of the U.S. roster that played Germany in the opening weekend of the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix, contributed eight kills on 18 attacks, four blocks and two aces for 14 points. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) chipped in eight kills on 15 errorless attacks and an ace for nine points. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) added four kills, one block and one ace for six points. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) recorded three kills and two blocks for five points. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) rounded out the scoring with two blocks, one kill and one ace for four points from her setting position.
Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) topped the U.S. in digs with nine, while Larson had 23 excellent service receptions on 30 errorless attempts. Glass provided the Americans with 29 running sets on 74 attempts leading to a .409 hitting efficiency.
“Our goal is to get better individually and as a team,” said Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.), who is serving as team captain for the U.S. during the FIVB World Grand Prix. “We will try our best to have a strong week in Hong Kong.”
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. Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) came as a serving specialist all three sets.
Like all seven U.S. matches in this year’s World Grand Prix, the Americans held a dominating 12-3 block advantage over the Germans. Team USA also held a 5-0 advantage in aces as the service game kept Germany from running in-system most of the match. The U.S. committed just eight errors the entire match while Germany gave away 17 points on errors. Team USA converted 46.6 percent of its attacks into kills, while Germany was limited to a 36.5 kill percent and .177 hitting efficiency thanks to 18 attack errors.
Germany was led by Margareta Kozuch’s 17 points, which were all on kills. Corina Ssuschke added seven kills and two of Germany’s three blocks for nine points in the loss.
“Congratulations to the USA team,” Germany Head Coach Guidetti Giovanni said. “They performed very well. We did not play that badly today, and have actually played better than we did in Japan. Our volleyball skill is yet to be improved, and we have to work harder to strengthen our physical condition. In order to prepare for the next match against China, we will watch videos, and one or two sets of live matches at the Coliseum. We have played against China in Russia before, we played quite well and we do hope to play even better.”
During the match, the Americans were being watched by its former head coach – “Jenny” Lang Ping, who led the team to the 2008 Olympic Games silver medal in her hometown of Beijing.
In other completed matches today, Brazil (6-1, 18 points) topped Puerto Rico (1-6, 3 points) 25-18, 25-13, 25-20. In other matches today, China (4-2, 13 points) plays Thailand (1-5, 3 points) in Pool G in Hong Kong, Japan (5-1, 15 points) hosts Dominican Republic (2-4, 5 points) in Pool I at Tokyo and Chinese Taipei (0-6, 0 points) hosts Poland (5-1, 15 points) in Pool H at Taipei, Chinese Taipei.
The U.S. has not reached the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round since 2008 when it finished fourth. It has not reached the World Grand Prix podium since bronze medal finishes in 2003 and 2004. The Americans have won the World Grand Prix in 1995 and 2001, their only other podium finishes.
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 by clicking here. The page includes archived press releases, schedule and results involving all 12 World Grand Prix teams, photo galleries, statistics and match videos by Universal Sports.
The U.S. opened the first set with a 2-0 lead with a Bown kill and Akinradewo block that Germany could not cover. After a Hooker kill, Tom served an ace to extend the U.S. lead to 5-2. Larson slammed a kill off the block and served an ace around a Germany net violation to increase Team USA’s advantage to 10-5 leading to a Germany timeout. Out of the break, Germany committed a back-row attack error to send the score to 11-5. Tom stuffed a German attack and Germany committed an attack error after a Hooker back-row kill to yield a 14-6 U.S. lead. Germany cut the gap to 14-8 with back-to-back points. Team USA took back the two points with consecutive kills by Akinradewo and Hooker to give the Americans a 16-8 margin at the second technical timeout. Out of the break, Germany scored consecutive points to chip the score to 16-10. Hooker and Tom turned in consecutive kills to extend the U.S. margin back to eight points at 19-11. Germany responded with consecutive points to narrow the gap to 19-13. Bown put up a block after a Hooker kill to lead the U.S. to a 21-13 advantage. Larson connected for consecutive kills and Tom put up a block to send the U.S. to a 24-14 advantage. The U.S. ended the set at 25-15 on a Germany service error. Hooker finished the set with a team-high six points, while Tom added five points and a team-high two blocks. The U.S. tallied three blocks and three aces in the set victory while committing just three errors in the set.
Team USA picked up an early 4-2 lead in the second set with consecutive kills from Tom, Hooker and Larson. Germany tied the set at 5-all with consecutive points leading to a quick USA timeout. Out of the break, Germany grabbed the lead at 6-5. Team USA responded with a block and overpass kill by Bown to go into the first technical timeout leading 8-7. The teams traded points until Tom followed a Hooker kill with an ace giving the U.S. a 13-11 advantage. Hooker followed with a block at 14-11 prompting Germany to call timeout. Larson slammed and Bown slammed kills around a Glass block to present the Americans an 18-13 margin prompting Germany to call timeout. Germany responded with two quick points out of the break to narrow the gap to three points at 18-15. Tom and Hooker snuck in roll shot attacks for kills and Germany committed an attack error to lift the U.S. in front 21-15. Team USA reached set points at 24-17 on a Glass joust at the net. Germany saved one set point, but Hooker finished off the set with a kill at 25-18. The U.S. tallied six blocks in the second and Hooker scored a team-high eight points. Tom added six points.
The U.S. put together four unanswered points starting with two Germany errors followed by an Akinradewo block and Larson kill at 6-2. Germany trimmed the gap in half at 7-5 with consecutive points. Germany came out of the first technical timeout with consecutive points to cut the gap to one point at 8-7. Bown responded with a kill and block on consecutive plays to return the U.S. in front by three at 10-7. Out of a Germany timeout, Tom slammed two kills around a Germany error to extend the American lead to 13-7. Hooker, Larson and Bown added kills to run the scoring streak to eight points on Larson’s serve to reach the second technical timeout leading 16-7. The U.S. lead reached 10 points at 19-9 with consecutive kills by Tom and Hooker, then Germany and two errors to give the Americans a 21-9 lead. Germany cut the gap back to 10 points at 22-12 with consecutive points. Team USA won the set with a Hooker block and Germany attack error at 25-13. Hooker scored six points in the third set to lead the way for the U.S., which committed just three errors in the set.
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 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.
For more information on the U.S. Women's National Team, visit its home page by clicking here.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for FIVB World Grand Prix Pool G (Hong Kong)
# - 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/Final Round: Laurel Iversen (Kalaheo, Hawaii)
FIVB World Grand Prix Standings
Brazil (18 Points) 6-1
Japan (15 Points) 5-1 – Aug. 20 vs. Dominican Republic
Poland (15 Points) 5-1 – Aug. 20 vs. Chinese Taipei
USA (15 Points) 5-2
Italy (15 Points) 5-2
China (13 Points) 4-2 – Aug. 20 vs. Thailand
Netherlands (8 Points) 3-4
Germany (7 Points) 2-5
Dominican Republic (5 Points) 2-4 – Aug. 20 vs. Japan
Thailand (3 Points) 1-5 – Aug. 20 vs. China
Puerto Rico (3 Points) 1-6
Chinese Taipei (0 Points) 0-5 – Aug. 20 vs. Poland
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 25-16, 25-19, 25-16
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 def. Dominican Republic 25-23, 25-20, 17-25, 23-25, 15-7
Aug. 16: Brazil def. China 25-12, 25-19, 25-19
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 def. Germany 25-15, 25-18, 25-13
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 def. Puerto Rico 25-18, 25-13, 25-20
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 def. Netherlands 29-27, 25-16, 25-15
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