U.S. Women Rally Past Poland at Grand Prix

Aug. 25, 2010, 4:11 a.m. (ET)

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

Unofficial DataVolley Stats - Official FIVB Stats

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 25, 2010) – Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) scored six of her match-high 19 points in the fifth set to lead the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team's rally from two sets down to defeat Poland 13-25, 18-25, 28-26, 25-19, 15-12 Wednesday during the opening day of the 18th FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round at Ningbo, China.

The Americans, who scored just 31 points in the first two sets and battled back from four match points in the third set to stay in the match, won their seventh consecutive match including six during the FIVB World Grand Prix preliminary round. Team USA faces Italy on Aug. 26 at 1 p.m. (10 p.m. Pacific Time on Aug. 25) in its next match. On the middle day of competition, the Americans challenge two-time defending champion Brazil at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 27 (12:30 a.m. Pacific Time) before playing host China on Aug. 28 at 7:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. Pacific Time). The FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round is a five-day, six-team round-robin event being played Aug. 25-29.

Poland gained an early 8-4 lead in the opening set and reached a double-digit lead at 19-9 before finishing with a 25-13 victory. Poland led the U.S. 19-12 in the second set and maintained the seven-point advantage for a 25-18 victory. Team USA overcame deficits of 14-10 and 24-22 to win the third set 28-26 by saving four set points. The Americans rolled out to a 10-4 lead in the fourth set and led by as many as 10 points before finishing with a 25-19 victory. USA scored three straight points to break a 10-all tie in the fifth set en route to completing the comeback with a 15-12 victory.

“We started very slowly, partly due to our own problems, partly due to the pressure from Poland,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon said. “They got some really good players in attacking. The third set was the turning point. I am happy that we are playing more like a team. It's a good lesson for us.”

Akinradewo tallied 14 kills and a match-high five blocks to reach her match-high 19 points. Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) produced 15 kills and three blocks for 18 points, including all three consecutive points after the score was tied 10-all in the fifth set. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) chipped in six kills and three blocks for nine points, while Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.) came off the bench to score eight points on six kills and two blocks. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) charted five kills, two aces and a block for eight points. Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) tallied three kills and two blocks for Team USA, while Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) charted two kills in a reserve role. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) rounded out the American scoring with an ace.

“It was a tough match,” U.S. captain Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.) said. “Poland is a very offensive team. We are happy to be able to play in the Final Round of the Grand Prix. We are ready to play our best level.”

Tom totaled a team-high nine digs and nine excellent service receptions on 28 attempts. Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) added seven digs and nine excellent service receptions on 21 errorless attempts. Glass was credited with 29 running sets on 104 attempts.

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. Nnamani subbed into the second set and started the final three frames at opposite in place of Hooker. Hodge came off the bench in the first two sets, while Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) subbed into the second and third sets. Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) was a sub in the third and fifth sets.

The U.S. held a convincing 16-9 block advantage over Poland. Poland held a slim 4-3 margin in aces and a 60-51 lead in kills. Team USA gave Poland 34 points on errors, but only four in the final two sets. Half of the Americans’ errors were due to 17 service errors. Poland also won the dig battle with a 27-21 margin and had 43 excellent service receptions on 81 attempts. Conversely, the U.S. passed with just 31 excellent service receptions on 96 attempts. Team USA converted 34.9 percent of its attacks into kills with a .185 hitting efficiency, while Poland had a .206 hitting efficiency leading to a 38.7 kill percent.

Anna Baranska led Poland with 17 kills and a block for 18 points, while Karolina Kosek added 14 kills, two aces and a block for 17 points.

“It's really a pity, because we almost won the match,” Poland Head Coach Jerzy Matlak said. “We will try to find our problems and hope to play better tomorrow.”

Later today, preliminary round leader Brazil takes on Japan at 3:30 p.m. local time (12:30 a.m. Pacific Time), followed by host China versus Italy at 7:30 p.m. local time (4:30 a.m. Pacific Time).

Just two weeks ago, Team USA’s chances of reaching the World Grand Prix Final Round seemed remote based on its 1-2 record and eighth place in the standings following the first weekend in Poland. However, the Americans caught fire in Thailand starting with a four-set victory over Italy followed by wins over Thailand and Puerto Rico. This past weekend, the U.S. carried the momentum into Hong Kong, beginning with a three-set win over Germany to avenge a four-set loss in the opening weekend. Team USA allowed Thailand to score just 48 points in a three-set win on Aug. 21. In front of over 10,000 fans on Aug. 22, the Americans won their sixth straight match over the host Chinese in four sets to complete a run from eighth place to second place.

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 to finish the World Grand Prix preliminary round, 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.

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.

Poland gained the first two-point cushion of the opening set at 3-1 and extended its margin to four points at 7-3 with three unanswered points. Poland stretched its lead to 10-5 before American blocks by Hooker and Larson cut the deficit to 10-7. Poland answered with back-to-back points at 12-7 leading to a USA timeout. Poland scored a third and fourth straight point out of the break for a 14-7 advantage. Poland increased its margin to seven points at 15-8 on consecutive USA errors. Poland reached a 19-9 lead with four straight points including an ace. Hooker scored consecutive kills to cut the deficit to 21-13, but Poland answered with three straight points to reach set points at 24-13. Poland finished out the set with a kill at 25-13. Hooker led the U.S. with four points in the opening set in which Poland gained 10 points on American errors.

Poland scored three straight points to gain a 4-2 advantage in the second set, then increased the margin to three points at 6-3. Poland scored a point on both sides of the first technical timeout to go up 9-5. Team USA cut the deficit to 10-8 with an Akinradewo kill and block. Poland scored three unanswered points to go into the second technical timeout leading 16-11, then scored the first point out of the break for a 17-11 advantage. The Poland lead reached seven points at 19-12 after consecutive points. Tom slammed a kill and Akinradewo followed with a block to slice the deficit to 19-14. Poland scored three straight points push the lead to 23-15. Hooker and Akinradewo followed a Tom kill with a block apiece to slice the deficit to 23-18. Poland scored the final two points of the set capped with an ace at 25-18. Akinradewo scored a team-high six points in the set, while Tom added five points. Poland scored 10 points in the set on USA errors.

Tom scored consecutive points to open the third set for a 2-0 USA advantage. Poland came back to tie the set at 3-all. Poland went in front for the first time in the third set at 6-5. Poland reached the first technical timeout with a two-point cushion at 8-6. The U.S. tied the set at 10-all on consecutive Polish errors. Poland answered with four consecutive points capped by an ace to take a 14-10 advantage. Akinradewo followed a Polish service error with a kill to slice the deficit to 14-12. Tom served a liner that Poland couldn’t handle cleanly to pull the U.S. to within one at 14-13 leading to a Poland timeout. Poland regained a three-point edge at 18-15 with consecutive points leading to a Team USA timeout. Bown slammed an overpass for a kill after a Poland service error to close to 18-17. The Americans tied the set at 22-all with consecutive blocks from Akinradewo and Nnamani. Poland answered with consecutive points to reach match points at 24-22. Tom slammed consecutive kills to save two match points and tie the set at 24-all. Team USA saved two additional match points and went into the lead with an Akinradewo block at 27-26, then won the set at 28-26 with a Polish attack error. Tom scored seven points in the third set for the U.S. to offset 10 American errors. Team USA scored six points on blocks and nine on Poland errors.

The U.S. scored three unanswered points to take a 5-2 lead in the fourth set with an Akinradewo kill between two Polish errors. Nnamani and Larson connected for consecutive kills at 7-3. Team USA went up 10-4 with an Akinradewo and consecutive Poland attacks into the net prompting a Poland timeout. Poland came back close to 11-7 with consecutive points. Bown and Akinradewo pocketed back-to-back kills off slides to push the American lead back to six points at 14-8 prompting a Poland timeout. Out of the break, Poland hit long and Bown served an ace to yield a 16-8 USA lead at the second technical timeout. Out of the technical break, Poland committed an attack error and Bown served a second ace in the 6-0 scoring run. Poland answered with four straight points to slice the deficit to 18-12 prompting USA to call a timeout. Larson slammed a back-row kill and Tom put up a block to produce a 20-12 advantage for the U.S. Poland answered with back-to-back points to return to within six at 20-14. Poland closed to 21-17 with three straight points leading to a USA timeout. Poland scored a fourth straight point out of the break to move to within three at 21-18. USA responded with a Nnamani kill and two Poland errors to reach set points at 24-18. Team USA finished out the set with a Larson kill at 25-19 to force the tiebreaker. Bown connected for six points in the fourth set and the U.S. gained nine points off Poland errors. Team USA committed just three errors in the set after 10 in each of the first three sets.

Akinradewo scored three consecutive kills to give the U.S. a 4-2 lead in the fifth set. Glass then served an ace at 5-2 leading to a Poland timeout. Poland came back out of the break with consecutive points to slice the gap to a single point at 5-4. Akinradewo answered with a kill and block to move the American lead back to three at 7-4. Poland answered with three unanswered points to tie the set at 7-all. Tom scored a kill and block on consecutive plays to push the American lead to two points at 12-10 leading to a Poland timeout. Out of the break, Tom smash an overpass for a kill at 13-11. Akinradewo ended the set with a power slam at 15-12.

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, visit universalsports.com/tv-listings/index.html.

For more information on the U.S. Women's National Team, visit its home page at click here.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round
# - 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)

Final Round (Ningbo, China * Ningbo Beilun Gymnasium)
Aug. 25: USA def. Poland 13-25, 18-25, 28-26, 25-19, 15-12
Aug. 25: Brazil vs. Japan, 3:30 p.m. (12:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 25: China vs. Italy, 7:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 26: USA vs. Italy, 1 p.m. (10 p.m. Pacific Time on Aug. 25)
Aug. 26: Poland vs. Brazil, 3:30 p.m., 12:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 26: China vs. Japan, 7:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 27: Japan vs. Italy, 1 p.m. (10 p.m. Pacific Time on Aug. 26)
Aug. 27: Brazil vs. USA, 3:30 p.m. (12:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 27: China vs. Poland, 7:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 28: Poland vs. Japan, 1 p.m. (10 p.m. Pacific Time on Aug. 27)
Aug. 28: Brazil vs. Italy, 3:30 p.m. (12:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 28: China vs. USA, 7:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 29: Japan vs. USA, 1 p.m. (10 p.m. Pacific Time on Aug. 28)
Aug. 29: Italy vs. Poland, 3:30 p.m. (12:30 a.m. Pacific Time)
Aug. 29: China vs. Brazil, 7:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. Pacific Time)

FIVB World Grand Prix Final Preliminary Standings (Aug. 6-22)
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 (4 Points) 1-8
Chinese Taipei (0 Points) 1-8
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: Thailand def. Germany 20-25, 25-16, 25-16, 25-22
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, 25-20v 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 def. Puerto Rico 27-29, 25-21, 18-25, 25-23, 17-15

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