U.S. Women Edge Brazil in Grand Prix Final Round

Aug. 27, 2010, 7:10 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. 27, 2010) – Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) totaled a match-high 23 points to help the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team defeat Brazil 22-25, 25-19, 30-28, 17-25, 15-13 on Friday afternoon during the third day of 18th FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round competition in Ningbo, China. Brazil, the reigning Olympic Games champion, is the two-time defending FIVB World Grand Prix champions and has won the event eight times.

Team USA, now 3-0 in the Final Round with seven points and on an overall nine-match win streak, faces host China on Aug. 28 at 7:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. Pacific Time) in next match. The Americans conclude the Final Round on Aug. 29 at 1 p.m. (11 p.m. Pacific Time on Aug. 28). USA is the only undefeated team in the Final Round as it defeated Poland in five sets on Aug. 25 and Italy in three sets on Aug. 26.

Brazil, which went 8-1 during the nine-match World Grand Prix preliminary round to earn the top spot, is now 1-2 in the Final Round with five points in the standings. The FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round is a five-day, six-team round-robin event being played Aug. 25-29.

Since the 2008 Olympic Games gold-medal match in which Brazil defeated the U.S. in four sets, the teams have now faced each other five times. Brazil won all four meetings in 2009. In September 2010, the U.S. will embark on a friendly training tour of Brazil. Entering this year’s Final Round, Brazil had won eight of 12 previous World Grand Prix matches with the United States. Team USA had last defeated Brazil in a pre-Olympic exhibition match on June 13, 2008. The last time the U.S. defeated Brazil in an FIVB event was a five-set match during the 2007 FIVB World Cup. Although specifics have not been set such as cities and dates, the plan is for the U.S. to tour Brazil in four exhibition matches between Sept. 20 and Sept. 30.

Brazil used a 6-1 scoring run to comeback from a 13-11 deficit in the opening set to win 25-22. Team USA evened the match with a 25-19 victory in the second set in which it used a 5-0 scoring run to gain a 12-6 advantage and benefited from eight Brazil errors. Despite opening the third set with a 4-0 lead, the U.S. needed to rally from a 16-13 deficit and overcome two sets points to win 30-28 on its fourth set attempt. Brazil evened the match with a 25-17 victory in the fourth set in which it broke a 7-all tie with three unanswered points and never trailed after that point. The tiebreaking set was tied seven times and the Americans broke the final tie at 13-all with by scoring the final two points. Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas), who served an ace on set point to win the marathon third-set, scored four of her 18 points in the final period to help Team USA to the victory.

“It was a very difficult match,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “Both teams played hard. There are some great hits, some great rallies. It was very close. I'm very happy, but we understand that we have a lot to do. Brazil taught us a lot tonight.”

Akinradewo reached her match total with 16 kills on 28 attempts and team-leading seven blocks. She converted 57.1 percent of her attacks as part of a .536 hitting efficiency. Hooker, who had just four points after the second set, charted 17 kills on 45 swings and an ace in the victory. Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) charted 14 kills on a team-high 50 attacks and two blocks for 16 points. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) added 11 kills on 26 attacks, four blocks and an ace for 16 points. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) was credited with eight kills and an ace for nine points. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) charted two kills and a block for three points. Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.) rounded out the scoring with a kill.

Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) charted a team-high 12 digs while adding 12 excellent service reception attempts on 19 errorless chances. Tom was credited with 24 excellent service receptions on 52 attempts, while Larson added 15 excellent receptions on 30 attempts. Hooker and Larson chipped in nine digs. Glass set the Team USA offense with 88 running sets on 150 attempts.

“A five-setter against Brazil was really tough,” USA captain Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.) said. “But before the match we knew it would be a close match. We played really hard tonight. We will come back tomorrow and try to play the best volleyball.”

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 serving sub in the first, fourth and fifth sets. Nnamani and Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) were put into the third set as part of a double-switch.

The teams nearly mirrored one another in the final stats as both teams had 14 blocks and three aces. The USA had a slim 69-66 advantage in kills, while Brazil had a four-point differential in opponent errors (27-23). The Americans held a 51.0 excellent service reception percent (52-102) with three errors, while Brazil had a 54.0 excellent reception percent (54-100). Brazil totaled a 44-38 dig advantage in the match. One area the USA held a key advantage was hitting efficiency as Brazil charted a .272 hitting efficiency with 17 attack errors. Glass set the Americans to a .322 hitting efficiency and 39.0 kill percent with just 12 attack errors.

Sheilla Castro led a five Brazilians in double-figure scoring with 22 points, while Thaisa Menezes chipped in 19 points including seven blocks. Brazil captain Fabiana Claudino contributed 17 points in the loss.

“The game was very close and very balanced,” Brazil Head Coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes said. “I am impressed by the Americans’ determination. But, despite the loss, I am proud of my team.”

Earlier today, Japan (2-1, 4 points) defeated Italy (1-2, 4 points) 23-25, 25-14, 26-28, 25-20, 17-15 in Final Round action. After the USA victory over Brazil, host China (2-1, 6 points) defeated Poland (0-3, 2 points) 25-19, 25-19, 25-17. 

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.

Brazil started the opening set with a 2-0 lead, but the U.S. answered with three straight points to take a 3-2 advantage with a Brazilian service error, Bown ace and Tom kill. Brazil responded with two points to reverse the lead into its favor at 4-3. Team USA returned to the lead at 6-4 with two kills from Tom around a Brazil error. Team USA advanced the lead to 8-5 at the first technical timeout with consecutive blocks from Akinradewo. Brazil cut the gap to one point at 11-10 with a block, then tied the set at 13-all. Out of a USA timeout, Brazil scored two additional points to gain a 15-13 advantage. Brazil increased its margin to three points 17-14 with points on each side of the second technical timeout. Brazil stretched its lead to 21-17 with a block prompting a Team USA timeout. Akinradewo nailed consecutive kills to cut the deficit in half at 23-21 leading to a Brazil timeout. Brazil traded points the rest of the set for a 25-22 victory. Akinradewo collected a team-high seven points to lead the U.S. Brazil earned seven of its points on USA errors compared to four of its own.

The U.S. started the second set with a 2-0 lead with kills from Bown and Tom, only to have Brazil answer with two straight points to tie the set at 2-all. Team USA gained a three-point edge at 7-4 with an Akinradewo kill, Bown block and Larson kill. Brazil brought itself back to one at 7-6 with consecutive kills. However, the Americans went up four at 10-6 with a Larson kill and consecutive Brazil attack errors leading into a timeout. Out of the break, Brazil committed another attack error and Larson tallied a kill of the block to extend the USA lead to 12-6. Brazil stopped the 5-0 run with a 4-1 scoring run of its own to slice the deficit to 13-10 into a USA timeout. Brazil moved to within two at 15-13. Team USA extended its lead to 19-13 with a Hooker kill, Akinradewo block, Brazil error and Akinradewo kill. The U.S. reached a seven-point cushion at 21-14 with consecutive Brazil errors. Brazil scored the next two points, including an ace at 21-16. Team USA moved in front 23-16 with a Hooker kill and Brazil error. Brazil saved two sets points before falling 25-19. Akinradewo scored a team-high five points in the second set and the Americans picked up eight points on Brazil errors.

Team USA jumped to a 4-0 lead in the third set with two kills each from Tom and Bown. Brazil narrowed its early deficit to 5-4 with three consecutive points, then tied the set at 8-all with two points out of the first technical timeout. Brazil gained its first lead of the set at 12-11, then extended the margin to 14-11 as part of a 4-0 scoring run. Larson scored consecutive kills out of the second technical timeout and Hooker slammed a kill to tie the set at 16-all. Brazil answered with consecutive kills of its own to push ahead 18-16. Team USA leveled the score at 19-all with two Tom kills leading to a Brazil timeout. Nnamani subbed into the match and slammed a kill followed by a Larson ace to yield a 21-19 USA advantage. However, Brazil scored three unanswered points out of a timeout to resume a 22-21 advantage. Tom put up a kill and block to give the USA set point at 24-23, but Brazil came back to take the lead 25-24. Akinradewo scored back-to-back blocks to give the USA set point at 26-25. Brazil turned to the lead at 28-27 with a block. Hooker and Tom scored consecutive kills to give the USA set point at 29-28, then Hooker served an ace at 30-28. Tom scored eight points in the set, while Hooker collected six points. The U.S. scored five points on blocks.

Brazil earned a 4-1 lead to open the fourth set prompting a USA timeout. Hooker pounded consecutive kills and Larson found empty court for a point to tie the set at 6-all. Brazil scored three consecutive points to break a 7-all tie and go up 10-7. Brazil jumped its lead to four points at 13-9 and went into the second technical timeout with consecutive points leading 16-11. Brazil scored a third straight point out of the break to go up 17-11. Team USA cut the deficit to 17-13 with a Larson kill and Bown block. Brazil increased the advantage to 20-14 on a USA service error and its own ace to force an American timeout. Brazil’s lead went to seven at 21-14 with a USA error, then gained set points at 24-17 with back-to-back points. Brazil finished off the set immediately at 25-17 with an overpass kill. Akinradewo collected four points in the fourth set to lead the USA, while Brazil picked up seven errors on American errors.

Akinradewo started the fifth set with a block off a strong Tom serve to give the U.S. an early 1-0 advantage. Team USA went up 5-3 on consecutive blocks from Bown and Glass prompting a Brazil timeout. Brazil leveled the score at 5-all with two points out of the break leading to a USA timeout. Hooker scored consecutive kills to yield an 8-6 USA advantage as the teams switched sides of the court in the tiebreaker. Brazil answered with consecutive points to level the set at 8-all. Hooker smashed a kill and Brazil hit wide twice in a row to produce a 12-9 American advantage and Brazil timeout. Out of the break, Brazil connected for consecutive kills to cut the deficit to 12-11 and USA called a timeout. Larson broke the scoring run with a kill and pushing the USA advantage to 13-11. Brazil tied the set at 13-all with a block. USA reached match point at 14-13 with a service error and Bown put up a block to end the match at 15-13. Hooker powered down four points in the deciding set. The USA had three blocks in the shortened set and committed just one error to Brazil’s five.

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)

FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round Standings
USA 3-0 (7 points)
China 2-1 (6 points)
Brazil 1-2 (5 points)
Japan 2-1 (4 points)
Italy 1-2 (4 points)
Poland 0-3 (2 points)

Final Round (Ningbo, China * Ningbo Beilun Gymnasium) - Current Standings
Aug. 25: USA def. Poland 13-25, 18-25, 28-26, 25-19, 15-12
Aug. 25: Japan def. Brazil 13-25, 25-23, 18-25, 25-22, 15-13
Aug. 25: Italy def. China 25-20, 25-16, 25-21
Aug. 26: USA def. Italy 25-23, 25-20, 25-14
Aug. 26: Brazil def. Poland 25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17
Aug. 26: China def. Japan 29-27, 23-25, 25-20, 25-19
Aug. 27: Japan def. Italy 23-25, 25-14, 26-28, 25-20, 17-15
Aug. 27: USA def. Brazil 22-25, 25-19, 30-28, 17-25, 15-13
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, 25-20
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 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