U.S. Women Top Thailand in World Opener

Oct. 29, 2010, 5:43 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. (Oct. 29, 2010) - Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) scored a personal international-best 28 points in helping the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team open the 2010 FIVB World Championship with a 23-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-21 victory over Thailand on Friday afternoon in Matsumoto, Japan.

Team USA, ranked second in the world by the FIVB, continues first-round Pool C action on Saturday afternoon against Croatia at 1 p.m. Japan Time (9 p.m. Pacific Time on Oct. 29). The Americans face Germany on Oct. 31 at 6 p.m. Japan Time (2 a.m. Pacific Time) before an off-day on Nov. 1. The U.S. concludes the first round with a Nov. 2 match against Kazakhstan at 6:45 p.m. Japan Time (2:45 a.m. Pacific Time) and versus NORCECA rival Cuba on Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. (2 a.m. Pacific Time).

Thailand jumped to a 4-1 lead in the opening set, but needed a 4-0 scoring run to overcome an 18-16 deficit en route to a 25-23 victory with 10 American errors. The U.S. used a 10-3 scoring run to break free from a slim 7-6 lead in the second set as it went on to win 25-18 to tie the match at one set apiece. Team USA earned an early 5-1 lead in the third set, but it was an 8-1 scoring run that proved the difference in taking a 23-15 lead and 25-17 victory. Hooker scored 11 of her 28 points in the fourth set as the Americans scored the final four points of the set to win 25-21.

"I'm disappointed about the way we started the match, but not surprised," U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. "We just had some problems managing our side of the court and made a lot of uncharacteristic errors. As the match wore on we focused on the things we could control and started to play better and got into a better rhythm. Were we perfect? No. Can we play better? Yes. I'm optimistic we'll do better tomorrow. Thailand has a number of highly skilled players and they are well-coached. It was a very good team out there. We're taking things point-by-point and day-by-day. It's a very long tournament. Our focus now is on Croatia and winning the first point tomorrow. There's always pressure on every team; that's part of playing in the World Championship."

All five starting USA hitters reached double-figure scoring. Hooker converted 61.9 percent of her 42 attacks for points to go with a block and ace to reach her 28 points. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) tallied 10 kills and three blocks for 13 points, while Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) added 10 kills and two blocks for 12 points. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) totaled 12 points with nine kills and three blocks. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) had a match-high six blocks to go with four kills for 10 points. Alisha Glass rounded out the scoring with two blocks and a kill for three points.

Glass set the USA to a 50.0 kill percent with a .400 hitting efficiency (60-12-120) as she totaled 44 running sets. Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) contributed a team-high 15 digs, while Larson added six digs and a team-high 20 excellent service receptions on 30 attempts. Tom provided 16 excellent service receptions on 27 attempts.

"Thailand is a tough team to play because they are so good defensively," U.S. captain Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.) said. "We will try to focus on our serve and pass game for the rest of this tournament. We're trying to get into a rhythm in this first series and we had some ups and downs. We must try to be better at the service line."

McCutcheon started Tom and Larson at outside hitter, Akinradewo and Bown at middle blocker, Hooker at opposite and Glass at setter. Sykora was the libero during the match.

The U.S., which defeated Thailand twice in the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix on its way to win the gold medal in August, used its size advantage to yield a 17-6 block advantage and 60-47 kill margin. The U.S. also managed a 37-34 edge in digs. Those totals helped the Americans overcome Thailand’s 4-1 edge in aces. Thailand also benefited from 23 USA errors to its own 20. Team USA had a 58.90 percent on service receptions to Thailand’s 64.7 percent.

"Defensively, we were OK today," McCutcheon said. "It was more an issue of unforced errors at the beginning. Offensively, Thailand plays fast and have hitters with a wide range and good arms and they do things differently from what we are used to seeing. They are a good, skillful team and they will cause somebody some problems here."

Thailand was led by Onuma Sittirak’s 18 points with 17 kills and an ace. Pleumjit Thinkaow added 11 points in the loss.

"It's great for our team to play one of the best teams in the world," Thailand coach Kitattipong Radchatagriengkai said. "We are trying to do our best, step by step, point by point and follow our game plan. The USA is very good and we learned many things."

The FIVB World Championship first round has six teams in four pools playing a round-robin schedule with the top four teams in each pool advancing to the second round for crossover play. The U.S. is grouped in Pool C at Matsumoto with Cuba, Germany, Kazakhstan, Thailand and Croatia. In the second round, Pool C crosses over with Pool B (Brazil, Italy, Netherlands, Kenya, Puerto Rico and Czech Republic) to form Pool F in Nagoya. The semifinals and finals will be played in Tokyo on Nov. 13-14.

Earlier today, Germany topped Kazakhstan 25-21, 25-14, 25-16 in Pool C action while Cuba challenges Croatia later today in Matsumoto. In today’s results in Pool A played in Tokyo, Peru defeated Algeria 25-16, 25-12, 25-18 and Serbia beat Costa Rica 25-15, 25-18, 25-14. In Pool B at Hamamatsu, Brazil swept Kenya 25-15, 25-16, 25-11 and Netherlands handled Czech Republic 26-24, 25-20, 25-14. In Pool D at Nagoya, Russia defeated Dominican Republic 21-25, 25-9, 25-17, 25-11 and Korea slipped past Canada 25-19, 25-19, 25-14. In today’s evening matches, host Japan starts against Poland in Pool A, Italy takes on Puerto Rico in Pool B and China challenges Turkey in Pool D.

Thailand scored the first two points of the match and grabbed a 4-1 advantage in the opening set. Akinradewo scored a kill and block on consecutive plays and Thailand hit wide to tie the set at 5-all. Larson put up a block and slammed a kill yielding an 8-7 American advantage at the first technical timeout. Thailand answered with back-to-back points out of the break to regain a 9-8 lead. After a Thailand error, Larson tapped an attack off the Thailand block and Hooker turned a back-row kill to produce an 11-9 U.S. lead going into a Thailand timeout. Thailand came back to knot the score at 13-all. Hooker and Larson connected for consecutive kills to extend the USA lead to 18-16. However, Thailand answered with three unanswered points to take a 19-18 advantage forcing a USA timeout. Out of the break, Thailand increased its lead to 20-18 on a USA blocking error. Thailand traded points the rest of the set to take a 25-23 victory. Larson led the USA in the first set with seven points, but the USA had 10 errors to Thailand’s three.

Hooker and Tom picked up consecutive kills to start the second set and Thailand hit long to give the USA a 3-0 lead. Thailand came back with consecutive points to narrow the gap to 3-2. Tom put up a block after a Hooker kill to push the American lead to 5-2. Thailand moved to within one at 7-6 on back-to-back points. Team USA responded with a Hooker kill and consecutive blocks from Bown to produce a 10-6 edge. The U.S. lead was stretched to five points at 12-7 with a Hooker kill and Thailand error. Tom, Larson and Hooker connected for back-to-back kills to increase the American lead to 16-9 at the second technical timeout. Out of the break, Thailand hit wide to extend the gap to eight points at 17-9. Thailand used a 4-1 scoring run to reduce its deficit to 19-14. Hooker and Larson answered with back-to-back kills regain a seven-point cushion at 21-14. Bown pocketed consecutive kills to jump the lead to 23-15. The U.S. finished set at 25-17 on a Glass kill. Hooker ended the second set with six points in leading the Americans, who limited their errors to just four in the second set. Bown added five points and two of the team’s three blocks.

Tom notched a kill and block on consecutive plays early in the third set and Thailand followed with back-to-back errors to yield a 5-1 American advantage. Thailand cut the deficit in half at 6-4 with consecutive points. Akinradewo and Hooker slammed consecutive kills to push the Americans to an 8-4 lead at the first technical timeout. Thailand chipped the lead down to a single point at 11-10. Team USA answered with a Hooker kill and Akinradewo block to jump back three-point cushion at 13-10, but Thailand again came back to within one at 14-13. Tom hammered a kill and Thailand hit wide on consecutive plays to extend the USA lead to 18-14. Larson and Bown put up a block after a Hooker kill and Thailand followed with an error to increase the American advantage to 22-15. Hooker ended a five-point scoring run with an ace at 23-15. Bown stuffed a Thailand attack for the set victory at 25-17 after a Larson kill. Hooker notched six points in the third set and the Americans took advantage of eight Thailand errors. USA had five blocks in the third set.

Thailand gained an early 3-1 lead in the fourth set, but a service error and attack error tied the set at 3-all. Thailand built a three-point cushion at 11-8 after an ace and block leading to a USA timeout. Akinradewo put up a block after a Hooker kill to narrow the gap to one at 12-11. Team USA tied the set at 13-all with a Larson kill and Hooker block. Thailand answered with back-to-back points to resume a two-point cushion at 15-13. The U.S. swung the momentum to its favor with two Hooker blocks around a Glass block to yield a 16-15 American lead at the second technical timeout. USA gained a key two-point edge at 23-21 with a Hooker kill and Bown block leading to a Thailand timeout. Out of the break, USA knocked down two more blocks from Bown and Larson to win 25-21. Hooker scored 11 points in the fourth set as the Americans blocked seven Thailand attacks.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for FIVB World Championship
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Hometown, College)
1 - Ogonna Nnamani (OPP, 6-1, Bloomington, Ill., Stanford)
2 - Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, Leland, Mich., Penn State)
4 - Lindsey Berg (S, 5-8, Honolulu, Hawaii, Minnesota)
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)
12 - Nancy Metcalf (OPP, 6-1, Hull, Iowa, Nebraska)
15 - Logan Tom (OH, 6-1, Salt Lake City, Utah, Stanford)
16 - Foluke Akinradewo (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford)
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: Paula Weishoff (Irvine, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer/Medical Support: Jill Wosmek (Silver Lake, Minn.)
Team Doctor: Dr. William Briner
Team Manager: Ken Sullivan

FIVB World Championship First Round Pools with FIVB World Ranking
(first three countries by seed, then next three based on drawing of lots)
Pool A (Tokyo): Japan (5), Serbia (9), Poland (8), Peru (17), Algeria (14), Costa Rica (31)
Pool B (Hamamatsu): Brazil (1), Italy (4), Netherlands (10), Kenya (35), Puerto Rico (13), Czech Republic (38)
Pool C (Matsumoto): USA (2), Cuba (6), Germany (15), Kazakhstan (16), Thailand (12), Croatia (45)
Pool D (Nagoya): China (3), Russia (7), Korea (21), Dominican Republic (11), Turkey (22), Canada (24)

First Round Schedule

First Round Schedule

Pool A:
Oct. 29: Peru def. Algeria 25-16, 25-12, 25-18
Oct. 29: Serbia def. Costa Rica 25-15, 25-18, 25-14
Oct. 29: Poland vs. Japan, 18:45
Oct. 30: Costa Rica vs. Algeria, 12:30
Oct. 30: Serbia vs. Poland, 15:00
Oct. 30: Japan vs. Peru, 18:00
Oct. 31: Peru vs. Serbia, 12:30
Oct. 31: Poland vs. Costa Rica, 15:00
Oct. 31: Algeria vs. Japan, 18:00
Nov. 2: Serbia vs. Algeria, 13:00
Nov. 2: Poland vs. Peru, 15:30
Nov. 2: Costa Rica vs. Japan, 18:45
Nov. 3: Peru vs. Costa Rica, 12:30
Nov. 3: Algeria vs. Poland, 15:00
Nov. 3: Japan vs. Serbia, 18:00

Pool B:
Oct. 29: Brazil def. Kenya 25-15, 25-16, 25-11
Oct. 29: Netherlands def. Czech Republic 26-24, 25-20, 25-14
Oct. 29: Puerto Rico vs. Italy, 18:45
Oct. 30: Czech Republic vs. Brazil, 13:00
Oct. 30: Kenya vs. Puerto Rico, 15:30
Oct. 30: Netherlands vs. Italy, 18:00
Oct. 31: Puerto Rico vs. Czech Republic, 13:00
Oct. 31: Italy vs. Kenya, 15:30
Oct. 31: Brazil vs. Netherlands, 18:00
Nov. 2: Brazil vs. Puerto Rico, 13:30
Nov. 2: Netherlands vs. Kenya, 16:15
Nov. 2: Czech Republic vs. Italy, 18:45
Nov. 3: Puerto Rico vs. Netherlands, 13:00
Nov. 3: Kenya vs. Czech Republic, 15:30
Nov. 3: Italy vs. Brazil, 18:00

Pool C:
Oct. 29: Germany def. Kazakhstan 25-21, 25-14, 25-16
Oct. 29: USA def. Thailand, 16:15 23-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-21
Oct. 29: Croatia vs. Cuba, 18:45
Oct. 30: USA vs. Croatia, 13:00
Oct. 30: Thailand vs. Kazakhstan, 15:30
Oct. 30: Cuba vs. Germany, 18:00
Oct. 31: Kazakhstan vs. Cuba, 13:00
Oct. 31: Croatia vs. Thailand, 15:30
Oct. 31: USA vs. Germany, 18:00
Nov. 2: Croatia vs. Germany, 13:30
Nov. 2: Thailand vs. Cuba, 16:15
Nov. 2: USA vs. Kazakhstan, 18:45
Nov. 3: Kazakhstan vs. Croatia, 13:00
Nov. 3: Germany vs. Thailand, 15:30
Nov. 3: USA vs. Cuba, 18:00

Pool D:
Oct. 29: Russia def. Dominican Republic 21-25, 25-9, 25-17, 25-11
Oct. 29: Korea def. Canada 25-19, 25-19, 25-14
Oct. 29: Turkey vs. China, 18:45
Oct. 30: Russia vs. Turkey, 13:00
Oct. 30: Dominican Republic vs. Korea, 15:30
Oct. 30: China vs. Canada, 18:00
Oct. 31: Turkey vs. Dominican Republic, 13:00
Oct. 31: Canada vs. Russia, 15:30
Oct. 31: Korea vs. China, 18:00
Nov. 2: Turkey vs. Canada, 13:30
Nov. 2: Russia vs. Korea, 16:15
Nov. 2: Dominican Republic vs. China, 18:45
Nov. 3: Canada vs. Dominican Republic, 13:00
Nov. 3: Korea vs. Turkey, 15:30
Nov. 3: China vs. Russia, 18:00

Second Round (Nov. 6-10) - teams play opposite pool in crossover
Pool E (Tokyo): 1A, 1D, 2A, 2D, 3A, 3D, 4A, 4D
Pool F (Nagoya): 1B, 1C, 2B, 2C, 3B, 3C, 4B, 4C

Semifinals and Finals (Nov. 13-14 in Tokyo)