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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 22, 2010) – Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) scored a personal international career-high 25 points in leading the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team to a 25-20, 25-10, 22-25, 25-22 victory over China on Sunday afternoon during Pool G of the 18th World Grand Prix in Hong Kong.
Team USA, which finished the three-weekend, nine-match preliminary round with a 7-2 record and in second place, moves on to the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round set for Aug. 25-29 at Ningbo, China. China finished the preliminary round with a 6-3 record and will also compete in the Final Round.
The Final Round, which the U.S. qualified for after the seventh preliminary match, is a six-team round-robin format.
Team USA, which has reached the medal podium in both its earlier tournaments in 2010, has not played in the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round since 2008 when it finished fourth. The Americans, who have won six straight matches in this year’s World Grand Prix, have not reached the World Grand Prix podium since bronze medal finishes in 2003 and 2004. The U.S. won the World Grand Prix in 1995 and 2001, its only other podium finishes.
Brazil finished the preliminary round in first place with an 8-1 record and 24 points, followed by the Americans in second place. Poland finished with an identical 7-2 record and 21 points as the United States, but finished third due to a lower point scored ratio. Japan, Italy and China all finished with 6-3 record and 19 points, but Japan held the point ratio advantage to gain fourth place followed by Italy in fifth place and China in sixth place. During the preliminary round, the U.S. defeated Final Round participants China and Italy, while losing to Poland.
The U.S. used a key 6-2 scoring run in the opening set to grab a 16-11 advantage and went on to win 25-20 with four blocks in the set. Team USA produced an 11-2 scoring run to reach a 15-5 advantage in the second set and cruised to a 25-10 victory. The U.S. rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the third set, but China came back from a 16-10 deficit to win 25-22 thanks to scoring eight of the final 10 points of the frame. Team USA battled back from a 20-17 deficit in the fourth set by winning the final eight of 10 points to win 25-22.
“We expected a difficult game and China did not disappoint us,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “They started a bit slow today, but set three and set four were a real battle. Our athletes are very happy to play against such great player. Both teams are of a close caliber. The large and cheering fans gave us certain pressure. It is a different, but the team needs to learn to adapt. But it would be good preparation for next week in Ningbo. We will meet again next week in the finals; the winner of next match depends on which team performs better.”
Hooker tallied 20 kills on 44 attacks with a 45.5 kill percent, three blocks and two aces to reach her 25 points. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) chipped in 11 kills on 18 swings, four blocks and an ace for 16 points. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) charted nine kills on 16 attacks and three blocks for 12 points. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) contributed eight kills on 18 attacks, one block and an ace for 10 points. Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) added five kills and three aces for eight points, while Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) rounded out the scoring with two kills, a block and an ace for four points from her setter position.
Glass tallied 22 running sets on 84 attempts. Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) tallied a team-high eight digs, while Tom added seven digs in the victory. Larson provided 18 excellent service receptions on 27 errorless attempts, while Tom matched her total on 28 attempts.
“It was a tough fight,” said Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.), who is the U.S. captain for the FIVB World Grand Prix. “China is one of the best teams in the world, no doubt. Their serving and attack are both at the back line. It is challenging to score. We are happy to deal with such good players. We hope to become better players and perform to our best potential when we meet China in the finals again.”
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.) was a sub in all four sets as a server. Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) was a sub in the first set.
The U.S. held a 55-45 advantage in kills and 8-5 margin in aces. Team USA had a 45.1 kill percent with just four attack errors leading to a .352 hitting efficiency. China managed to convert just 33.8 percent of its attacks for kills and had a .158 hitting efficiency due to 24 attack errors. For the first time during the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix, the Americans did not have an advantage in blocks as both teams stuffed 12 opponent attacks. The U.S. held a 29-24 dig margin and received serve with a 52.8 excellent percent. China managed to return serve with a 38.6 excellent service reception percent.
Earlier this year, the Chinese defeated the Americans in the Montreux Volley Masters gold-medal match on June 13 in Switzerland. China is ranked second in the world by the FIVB, while the U.S. is ranked fourth.
“Our team started a bit slow today,” China Head Coach Wang Baoquan said. “The players did not play very well today. USA is a strong team. Our team still needs to work harder. The third and fourth sets were better, but still not good enough. During times when the team is behind on the scores, our play was quite disorganized. Both digging and passing still need improvement. Due to bad passing, the team failed to attack and gain points.”
Yimei Wang produced 17 points on 13 kills, two blocks and two aces to lead China, while Liyi Chen added 10 points on seven kills, two blocks and an ace.
In final preliminary round matches completed today, Dominican Republic (3-6, 7 points) edged Italy (6-3, 19 points) 23-25, 32-30, 25-22, 22-25, 15-13 and Netherlands (5-4, 13 points) topped Japan (6-3, 19 points) 25-19, 22-25, 38-36, 16-25, 15-11 in Pool I at Tokyo. Thailand (2-7, 6 points) handled Germany (2-7, 7 points) 20-25, 25-16, 25-16, 25-22 in Pool G at Honk Kong, while Brazil (8-1, 24 points) defeated Poland (7-2, 21 points) 25-16, 27-25, 25-16 in a battle of the top two teams in the preliminary round. Later today, Puerto Rico (1-7, 3 points) plays Chinese Taipei (0-8, 0 points).
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.
The U.S. scored three unanswered points with kills from Bown and Akinradewo followed by a China error to go up 7-4. China responded with two quick points, including an ace, to close to 7-6. The Americans regained a three-point cushion at 9-6 with an Akinradewo and Hooker kill. China served an ace to move to within one at 10-9. Akinradewo and Bown answered with consecutive kills to push the American lead to 12-9. Hooker served an ace after a China attack error to extend Team USA’s advantage to 14-10 prompting a Chinese timeout. The U.S. reached the second technical timeout leading 16-11 after a Larson kill – the first point by an American outside hitter in the match – and an overpass kill by Bown. China cut the gap to three with consecutive points at 18-15. However, consecutive Chinese errors pushed the American margin back to five points at 20-15 leading to China’s second timeout of the set. Team USA jumped its lead to 22-16 with a Hooker kill and block, but China scored the next three points capped by an ace to close to 22-19. The U.S. finished out the set at 25-20 on a China service error and Bown block. Hooker had six points in the opening set, while Akinradewo and Bown both added five points.
Team USA took an early 4-2 lead in the second set after kills from Hooker and Larson, then extended the margin to 7-3 with kills from Hooker and Akinradewo around a China error. Team USA went into the first technical timeout leading 8-3 after a Glass block. The U.S. increased its lead to seven points at 12-5 with two kills from Akinradewo around a back-row kill from Tom, her first point of the match. Out of a Chinese timeout, Hooker added a fourth straight point with a kill, then China hit wide to give the U.S. a fifth straight point at 14-5. Tom scored an ace for the sixth straight point at 15-5. Larson and Hooker pocketed consecutive kills and Hooker added a block to extend the U.S. lead to 18-6. Out of a China timeout, Larson pounded a kill to yield a 19-6 advantage. China broke the run with a kill and ace to cut the deficit to 19-8. Hooker answered with a kill and Bown put up a block to put the lead back to 13 points at 21-8. Hooker followed a China service error with a kill off the block to produce a 23-9 lead. Bown hammered a slide for a kill and China hit wide on the next play to produce the final set score of 25-10. Hooker led the U.S. with seven points in the second set in which the team had three blocks.
China took an early 4-1 lead in the third set with four unanswered points leading to a USA timeout. Out of the break, China added a fifth straight point for a 5-1 advantage. Bown slammed a slide for a kill after a China service error and Hooker served an ace to cut the gap to 5-4. Larson tied the score with a kill at 5-all. Akinradewo turned in a kill and block on back-to-back plays and Glass served an ace to give the U.S. a 10-8 lead. Hooker added a fourth straight point with a kill at 11-8 leading to a China timeout. Out of the break, China hit wide to end a sloppy rally to extend the U.S. lead to 12-8. China answered with the next two points to cut the gap in half at 12-10. Tom followed a Hooker kill with an ace to jump the lead back to four at 14-10. Akinradewo added a block and China hit wide for a fourth straight U.S. point going into the second technical timeout up 16-10. China came out of the break with five of the next six points to close to two points at 17-15 leading to a Team USA timeout. China won a lengthy rally to move to within one point at 20-19, tied the set at 21-all and went ahead 22-21. China reached set points at 24-21 as part of a 5-0 scoring run. Hooker scored a team-high eight points for the U.S. in the third set, while Akinradewo added four points.
Larson put up a block after China could not handle a Bown block on consecutive points to give the U.S. a 4-2 lead in the fourth set, only to have China come back to take a 5-4 lead. Bown scored a kill and block on consecutive plays and Larson added a kill to yield a 7-5 American lead. Tom added a fourth straight point with a block giving the U.S. an 8-5 lead at the first technical timeout. China moved to within a point at 11-10 after a U.S. attack error. The U.S. scored back-to-back points with a Hooker kill and Chinese error to regain a three-point edge at 13-10, but China tied the set at 15-all with consecutive blocks on back-row U.S. attacks. China then went into the second technical timeout leading 16-15 as the Americans could not control the serve. Team USA responded out of the break with a Tom kill and Akinradewo overpass kill to put the U.S. in front 17-16. China bounced back with three straight points of its own to take a 19-17 advantage. Out of a U.S. timeout, the Chinese added another point with a setter dump at 20-17. Team USA answered with kills from Akinradewo and Hooker to move to within one at 20-19. Out of the Chinese timeout, the U.S. tied the set at 20-all on a China attack error. The Americans gained the lead back at 22-21 with a Tom kill and Chinese attack into the net leading to a timeout. Tom added an ace in the run out of the break to produce a 23-21 margin for the U.S. Team USA ended the set with a Hooker kill and Akinradewo ace on match point 25-22. Tom scored five points to pace the U.S. in the fourth 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 and the USA-China contest on Aug. 22 were part of the 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 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/Ningbo: Laurel Iversen (Kalaheo, Hawaii)
FIVB World Grand Prix Standings
Brazil (24 Points) 8-1
USA (21 Points) 7-2
Poland (21 Points) 7-2
Japan (19 Points) 6-3
Italy (19 Points) 6-3
China (19 Points) 6-3
Netherlands (13 Points) 5-4
Dominican Republic (7 Points) 3-6
Germany (7 Points) 2-7
Thailand (6 Points) 2-7
Puerto Rico (3 Points) 1-7 - Aug. 22 vs. Chinese Taipei
Chinese Taipei (0 Points) 0-8 - Aug. 22 vs. Puerto Rico
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 def. Thailand 16-25, 27-25, 25-23, 25-15
Aug. 21: USA def. Thailand 25-16, 25-16, 25-16
Aug. 21: China def. Germany 25-14, 25-19, 28-26
Aug. 22: Germany vs. Thailand, 1:15 p.m. (10:15 p.m. PT on Aug. 21)
Aug. 22: USA def. China 25-20, 25-10, 22-25, 25-22
Pool H (Taipei, Chinese Taipei * Taiwan University Gym)
Aug. 20: Brazil def. Puerto Rico 25-18, 25-13, 25-20
Aug. 20: Poland def. Chinese Taipei 25-19, 25-18, 25-9
Aug. 21: Poland def. Puerto Rico 25-20, 25-20, 25-14
Aug. 21: Brazil def. Chinese Taipei 25-15, 25-17, 25-16
Aug. 22: Brazil def. Poland 25-16, 27-25, 25-16
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 def. Dominican Republic 25-15, 23-25, 31-29, 25-20
Aug. 21: Netherlands def. Dominican Republic 25-19, 25-22, 25-20
Aug. 21: Italy def. Japan 25-23, 27-25, 21-25, 25-23
Aug. 22: Dominican Republic def. Italy 23-25, 32-30, 25-22, 22-25, 15-13
Aug. 22: Netherlands def. Japan 25-19, 22-25, 38-36, 16-25, 15-11
Final Round (Ningbo, China * Ningbo Beilun Gymnasium) – Team distribution 2-6 based on final Preliminary Round ranking minus China)
Aug. 25: 2 vs. 5, 1 p.m. (10 p.m. Pacific Time on Aug. 24)
Aug. 25: 3 vs. 4, 3:30 p.m. (12:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 25: China vs. 6, 7:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 26: 2 vs. 4, 1 p.m. (10 p.m. Pacific Time on Aug. 25)
Aug. 26: 3 vs. 6, 3:30 p.m., 12:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 26: China vs. 5, 7:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 27: 5 vs. 6, 1 p.m. (10 p.m. Pacific Time on Aug. 26)
Aug. 27: 2 vs. 3, 3:30 p.m. (12:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 27: China vs. 4, 7:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 28: 2 vs. 6, 1 p.m. (10 p.m. Pacific Time on Aug. 27)
Aug. 28: 4 vs. 5, 3:30 p.m. (12:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 28: China vs. 3, 7:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 29: 4 vs. 6, 1 p.m. (10 p.m. Pacific Time on Aug. 28)
Aug. 29: 3 vs. 5, 3:30 p.m. (12:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 29: China vs. 2, 7:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. Pacific Time)