U.S. Women Head to Japan Undefeated

Aug. 09, 2011, 12:36 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Associate Director, Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bill.kauffman@usav.org

U.S. Women's Press Kit for FIVB World Grand Prix

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 10, 2011) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team started its title defense of the FIVB World Grand Prix, the premier annual international women’s volleyball tournament, on a strong note this past weekend in Luohe, China.

The U.S., ranked second in the FIVB world ranking, won all three of its matches and earned eight group points in the first preliminary round weekend. The U.S. opened the tournament with a hard-fought 25-22, 25-20, 23-25, 20-25, 15-10 victory over Serbia on Aug. 5. The Americans handed Kazakhstan a 25-15, 25-21, 25-12 loss on Aug. 6. Team USA dominated No. 6 ranked China 25-20, 25-17, 25-16 to close out Pool D.

“We improved every match (in Pool D) and this is our best game in this round,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said in regards to defeating host China in three sets. “Now we focus on Japan. We will immediately prepare for the next round in Japan.”

The U.S. returns to FIVB World Grand Prix action next weekend in Pool H held at Komaki, Japan. The Americans will face NORCECA rival Dominican Republic on Aug. 12 at 3 p.m. (11 p.m. Pacific Time on Aug. 11), host Japan on Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. (2 a.m. Pacific Time) and Serbia on Aug. 14 at 3 p.m. (11 p.m. Pacific Time on Aug. 13). The matches, as well as the first three matches held in China, can be viewed online at universalsports.com.

“We have achieved our goal to get better and better each game,” U.S. Women’s National Team captain Jennifer Tamas following the team’s 3-0 start. “We did better than Friday and Saturday. We are hoping we can do it as well in Japan as here.”

Team USA is in fourth place in the FIVB World Grand Prix standings through the first preliminary round weekend. Russia (9 points, 3-0 record) leads the 16-team tournament, followed by Brazil (9, 3-0) and Italy (9, 3-0). Serbia (7, 2-1), which lost to the U.S. in the first round and will have a second meeting to conclude Pool H in Japan, is in fifth place followed by Japan (6, 2-1). Dominican Republic (3, 1-2), the Americans’ other opponent in Pool H, is in 10th place.

The Americans have now won 14 consecutive FIVB World Grand Prix matches counting the final 11 victories in last year’s event. In the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix, the U.S. battled back from a 1-2 start to the tournament and closed out the preliminary phase with a 7-2 record.

Through the first weekend, United States’ Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) ranks as the fourth-best scorer in the event with 50 points (40 kills, 7 blocks, 3 aces). Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix most valuable player, is tied for 15th in scoring with 42 points (25 kills, 14 blocks, 3 aces). Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) has scored 41 points (31 kills, 3 blocks, 7 aces) for 17th place. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) ranks 24th in scoring with 35 points (22 kills, 10 blocks, 3 aces), while Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) is 32nd in scoring with 31 points (18 kills, 2 blocks, 11 aces).

Hooker ranks 14th in Best Spiker with a 39.60 kill percent, while Hodge is 21st in the same category with a 36.47 kill percent. Akinradewo holds a 59.52 kill percent on 42 attempts which would lead all players, but does not meet the FIVB minimum requirement.

The U.S. has three of the top 15 blockers in the tournament. Akinradewo ranks second in Best Blocker with 1.27 blocks per set, while Bown averages 0.91 per set for fifth place. Hooker is ranked 15th with a 0.64 block average.

Larson leads the Best Server category with a 1.00 service ace average based on 11 aces in 11 sets. Hodge has added a 0.64 service ace average for fifth place. Akinradewo, Lindsey Berg (Honolulu), Bown and Hooker all average 0.27 aces per set for 25th place.

During the FIVB World Grand Prix preliminary phase, each country has the option to substitute two players on its 14-player roster prior to the start of each weekend, so long as the new players were on the original 20-player preliminary roster.

Dominican Republic had mixed results in the first preliminary weekend held in Poland as it lost to Italy in four sets, defeated host Poland in five sets and lost to Argentina in five sets. Dominican Republic is led by Prisilla Rivera’s 44 points for 13th-best in the tournament.

Japan lost its 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix opening match in a three-set match against top-ranked Brazil before coming back to defeat both Korea and Germany in three sets. Japan is led by Saori Sakoda, who has compiled 45 points to rank ninth in scoring and is converting attacks at a 48.31 percent for second-best. Japan’s setter Yoshie Takashita ranks second in Best Setter with 7.11 running sets average.

Serbia bounced back from a tournament-opening five-set loss to the United States to defeat China in four sets and Kazakhstan in three sets in China. Serbia’s Sanja Malagurski is the second-leading scorer in the tournament with 55 points.

U.S. Women’s National Team Preliminary Roster for FIVB World Grand Prix
# - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 – Kristin Richards (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford) #
2 – Danielle Scott-Arruda (MB, 6-2, Baton Rouge, La., Long Beach State)
3 - Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Opp, 6-7, Laguna Hills, Calif., Long Beach State)
4 – Lindsey Berg (S, 5-8, Honolulu, Hawaii, Minnesota) #
5 - Tamari Miyashiro (L, 5-7, Kaneohe, Hawaii, Washington) #
6 - Nicole Davis (L, 5-4, Stockton, Calif., Southern California) #
7 - Heather Bown (MB, 6-3, Yorba Linda, Calif., Hawaii) #
8 - Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, Leland, Mich., Penn State) #
9 - Jennifer Tamas (MB, 6-4, Milpitas, Calif., Pacific) #
10 - Kim Glass (OH, 6-2, Lancaster, Pa., Arizona) #
11 - Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Nebraska) #
12 - Nancy Metcalf (Opp, 6-1, Hull, Iowa, Nebraska) #
13 - Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, Hopewell, Pa., Penn State) #
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 - Mary ‘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) #
20 - Angie Forsett (OH, 5-8, Lake Mary, Fla., California)
KEY: # - Weekend 1 Roster; $ - Weekend 2 Roster; ^ - Weekend 3 Roster; * - Final Round Roster

Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Assistant Coach: Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Paula Weishoff (Irvine, Calif.)
Assistant Coach/Technical Coordinator: Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer/Medical Support: Jill Wosmek (Silver Lake, Minn.)
Team Manager: Ken Sullivan

Preliminary Round Standings (Through First Weekend)
Russia – 9 Points, 3-0 Record
Brazil – 9 Points, 3-0 Record
Italy – 9 Points, 3-0 Record
United States – 8 Points, 3-0 Record
Serbia – 7 Points, 2-1 Record
Japan – 6 Points, 2-1 Record
Thailand – 5 Points, 2-1 Record
Cuba – 4 Points, 1-2 Record
Poland – 4 Points, 1-2 Record
Dominican Republic – 3 Points, 1-2 Record
China – 3 Points, 1-2 Record
Korea – 3 Points, 1-2 Record
Argentina – 2 Points, 1-2 Record
Germany – 0 Points, 0-3 Record
Kazakhstan – 0 Points, 0-3 Record
Peru – 0 Points, 0-3 Record
NOTE: 3 points awarded for 3-0 or 3-1 win; 2 Points awarded for 3-2 win; 1 Point awarded for 3-2 loss

Pool A at Bydgoszsz, Poland (Luczinczka Hall)
Aug. 5: Poland def. Argentina 25-20, 25-17, 25-22
Aug. 5: Italy def. Dominican Republic 25-18, 22-25, 25-18, 25-17
Aug. 6: Dominican Republic def. Poland 21-25, 25-17, 26-24, 23-25, 18-16
Aug. 6: Italy def. Argentina 25-17, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18
Aug. 7: Italy def. Poland 25-12, 21-25, 26-24, 25-14
Aug. 7: Argentina def. Dominican Republic 20-25, 25-22, 25-19, 23-25, 15-11

Pool B at Nakhonpathom, Thailand (Nakhonpathom Gym)
Aug. 5: Russia def. Cuba 24-26, 25-18, 25-23, 25-20
Aug. 5: Thailand def. Peru 25-20, 25-13, 25-16
Aug. 6: Russia def. Peru 25-12, 25-9, 25-14
Aug. 6: Thailand def. Cuba 23-25, 17-25, 28-26, 25-23, 15-10
Aug. 7: Cuba def. Peru 26-24, 25-19, 25-22
Aug. 7: Russia def. Thailand 25-18, 25-19, 27-25

Pool C at Busan, Korea (Sajik Indoor Gymnasium)
Aug. 5: Brazil def. Japan 25-18, 25-16, 25-21
Aug. 5: Korea def. Germany 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 25-20
Aug. 6: Japan def. Korea 25-20, 25-21, 25-22
Aug. 6: Brazil def. Germany 25-21, 23-25, 25-15, 25-23
Aug. 7: Brazil def. Korea 25-17, 25-20, 25-22
Aug. 7: Japan def. Germany 25-22, 25-13, 25-19

Pool D at Luohe, China (Luohe Sports Center)
Aug. 5: USA def. Serbia 25-22, 25-19, 23-25, 20-25, 15-10
Aug. 5: China def. Kazakhstan 25-18, 25-23, 25-16
Aug. 6: USA def. Kazakhstan 25-15, 25-21, 25-12
Aug. 6: Serbia def. China 25-21, 23-25, 25-21, 25-18
Aug. 7: USA def. China 25-20, 25-17, 25-16
Aug. 7: Serbia def. Kazakhstan 25-19, 25-15, 25-22

Pool E at Zielona Gora, Poland (Sortowo Widowiskowa Hall)
Aug. 12: Poland vs. Argentina, 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 12: Cuba vs. Korea, 7 p.m.
Aug. 13: Poland vs. Korea, 3:30 p.m.
Aug. 13: Cuba vs. Argentina, 6 p.m.
Aug. 14: Poland vs. Cuba, 3:30 p.m.
Aug. 14: Korea vs. Argentina, 6 p.m.

Pool F at Almaty Kazakhstan (Baluan Sholak Sports Palace)
Aug. 12: Kazakhstan vs. Italy, 3:15 p.m.
Aug. 12: Thailand vs. Brazil, 6 p.m.
Aug. 13: Brazil vs. Kazakhstan, 3:15 p.m.
Aug. 13: Italy vs. Thailand, 6 p.m.
Aug. 14: Kazakhstan vs. Thailand, 3:15 p.m.
Aug. 14: Italy vs. Brazil, 6 p.m.

Pool G at Quanzhou, China (Straits Sports Center Quanzhou)
Aug. 12: Germany vs. Russia, 4 p.m.
Aug. 12: China vs. Peru, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 13: Peru vs. Russia, 4 p.m.
Aug. 13: China vs. Germany, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 14: Peru vs. Germany, 4 p.m.
Aug. 14: China vs. Russia, 7:30 p.m.

Pool H at Komaki, Japan (Park Arena Komaki)
Aug. 12: USA vs. Dominican Republic, 3 p.m.
Aug. 12: Japan vs. Serbia, 6 p.m.
Aug. 13: Serbia vs. Dominican Republic, 3 p.m.
Aug. 13: USA vs. Japan, 6 p.m.
Aug. 14: Japan vs. Dominican Republic, 1 p.m.
Aug. 14: USA vs. Serbia, 3 p.m.

Pool I at Hong Kong (Hong Kong Coliseum)
Aug. 19: Kazakhstan vs. Poland, 7 p.m.
Aug. 19: China vs. Dominican Republic, 9:30 p.m.
Aug. 20: Dominican Republic vs. Poland, 3 p.m.
Aug. 20: China vs. Kazakhstan, 9:30 p.m.
Aug. 21: Dominican Republic vs. Kazakhstan, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 21: China vs. Poland, 8 p.m.

Pool J at Hong Kong (Hong Kong Coliseum)
Aug. 19: Italy vs. Peru, 1 p.m.
Aug. 19: USA vs. Germany, 3 p.m.
Aug. 20: Germany vs. Peru, 1 p.m.
Aug. 20: USA vs. Italy, 7 p.m.
Aug. 21: USA vs. Peru, 11 a.m.
Aug. 21: Germany vs. Italy, 1 p.m.

Pool K at Bangkok, Thailand (Keelawes 1)
Aug. 19: Cuba vs. Brazil, 2 p.m.
Aug. 19: Thailand vs. Argentina, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 20: Brazil vs. Argentina, 2 p.m.
Aug. 20: Cuba vs. Thailand, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 21: Argentina vs. Cuba, 3 p.m.
Aug. 21: Brazil vs. Thailand, 5:30 p.m.

Pool L at Tokyo, Japan (Ariake Coliseum)
Aug. 19: Russia vs. Korea, 3 p.m.
Aug. 19: Japan vs. Serbia, 6 p.m.
Aug. 20: Russia vs. Serbia, 3 p.m.
Aug. 20: Japan vs. Korea, 6 p.m.
Aug. 21: Serbia vs. Korea, 3 p.m.
Aug. 21: Japan vs. Russia, 6 p.m.

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