U.S. Women Down Brazil for Key World Cup Win

Nov. 04, 2011, 8:11 a.m. (ET)

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

Unofficial DataVolley Stats * Official FIVB Stats

U.S. Women's Press Kit

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 4, 2011) - Using a balanced offense of five double-figure scorers, the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team defeated Brazil 25-22, 17-25, 27-25, 25-19 in scoring a key victory between the top two teams in the world on Friday to open the 2011 FIVB World Cup at Nagano, Japan.

The match pitted second-ranked Team USA against top-ranked Brazil for the fourth time in 2011, but this match held added significance since the FIVB World Cup is the first 2012 Olympic Games qualification event. The three teams reaching the World Cup medal podium on Nov. 18 will earn berths into the 2012 Olympic Games.

The U.S. used a 10-5 scoring run in the opening set to take a 13-9 advantage and went on to win 25-22. Brazil gained a 20-14 advantage in the second set with a 6-1 scoring run before scoring five of the final six points for a 25-17 victory. The Americans rallied from a 17-14 deficit in the third set to knot the score at 22-all, then saved two set points before capturing the victory 27-25. Team USA used a 4-0 run to propel to an 8-5 lead in the fourth set and never looked back in winning 25-19.

“First of all, I’m happy to have won tonight,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “I agree with Ze Roberto (Brazil head coach) that the level wasn’t the best, but I’m proud of our leadership, especially their ability to compete with composure at the end of the sets when the plays needed to be made to try and help turn the match. Both teams applied a lot of service pressure and reception was good. It was a battle for a while and then things kind of broke down; it was wide open for a while, but very happy for my players for their ability to make a couple of plays when it counted and I think in the fourth set we held that advantage and performed at a better level.”

Earlier this year, Brazil defeated the U.S. in a five-set match at the Pan American Cup on July 5 and in a four-set victory during the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round pool play on Aug. 26. However, the U.S. came back to defeat Brazil in straight sets on Aug. 28 in the World Grand Prix gold-medal match.

The FIVB World Cup is a 12-team field competing in a round-robin format resulting in 11 matches over a 15-day period. The U.S. continues World Cup first-round action on Saturday against Serbia at 3 p.m. Japan Time (11 p.m. Pacific Time on Friday), followed by a Sunday contest against Korea at 6:20 p.m. Japan Time (2:20 a.m. Pacific Time). For the full FIVB World Cup schedule, visit the U.S. Women’s tournament event page at usavolleyball.org/events/8883.

"Serbia’s another strong team," McCutcheon said. "It’s surprising that we would play the two strongest teams right at the beginning of the tournament, but that’s the luck we have and we have to make the most of the situation. Serbia has a different style and tactics and we will do our best to play a good match tomorrow."

Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) collected a team-high 17 points with 14 kills and three of the Americans’ six aces in the match. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) added 11 kills on 19 attacks and four blocks for 15 points. Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) chipped in 12 kills, one block and one ace for 14 points. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) contributed 11 kills and an ace for 12 points. Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.), playing in her first match for the U.S. since 2009, came off the bench to start in the third set and tallied eight kills on 15 swings and two blocks for 10 points. Scott-Arruda was named the match’s most impressive player honor by the local organizers.

Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) tallied two kills and a two blocks for four points, while Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) added three points with two kills and an ace.

“First, this tournament is the most difficult tournament of all over the four years, other than the Olympics, and to play one of the other best teams in the world in the first match is a struggle,” Berg said. “Both teams probably didn’t play their best tonight, but we’re ecstatic to have gotten this win and will try to build on this. Now we’re going to think about tomorrow and will leave this one behind.”

Berg totaled 53 assists to set the U.S. to a 38.5 kill percent and .295 hitting efficiency (60-14-156). Meanwhile, Brazil converted at a higher 41.2 kill percent but its .294 hitting efficiency (63-18-153) essentially matched the Americans due to 18 errors.

“You have to understand the two teams are very close and the margins were very small,” McCutcheon said. “We came out and did some things and they made some adjustments, and then the third set was a battle and we were fortunate to make a couple of plays at the end that changed the match. It could easily have gone a different way. Brazil is a very good team, and that was the difference – one or two plays.”

Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) contributed a team-high 16 digs and 25 excellent receptions on 38 attempts. Larson provided 14 excellent receptions on 22 errorless attempts, in addition to 11 digs. Tom contributed the other 14 excellent receptions for the Americans on 26 errorless attempts.

“I don’t think either team played their best because it’s always difficult to get into your rhythm right away,” Berg said. “For the USA, it’s just continuing to get into our rhythm. We get better every game, so to come out of this game with a victory not playing our best is a positive for us. I see it only getting better for us. We also have three or four people on the bench who can perform and it’s amazing to have that many people on the bench who can come in and win a game for us. Danielle Scott-Arruda came in and changed the game for us today.”

McCutcheon started Berg at setter, Tom and Larson at outside hitter, Akinradewo and Bown at middle blocker and Hooker at opposite. Davis was the designated libero for the match. Scott-Arruda started the third and fourth sets in place of Bown. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) and Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) were subs in the first and third sets.

The U.S. out-blocked Brazil 9-5 and held a 6-0 advantage in aces. Brazil held a slim 63-60 margin in kills and limited its errors to 19 to the Americans’ 23. The Americans produced a 60.5 excellent reception percent to the Brazilians’ 58.2 percent. Brazil edged the Americans in digs 54-51.

Sheilla Castro and Fernanda Rodrigues each scored 18 points for Brazil in the loss, while Paula Pequeno added 11 points.

At the most recent FIVB World Cup in 2007, the Americans battled back from a two-set deficit to the South Americans to win in five. However, Brazil earned the 2007 FIVB World Cup silver medal and the Americans finished third as both qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games. At the Beijing Games, Brazil edged the Americans in a four-set gold-medal match.

Earlier today in Nagano, Serbia defeated Korea 27-25, 25-22, 25-22 and Germany topped Kenya 25-19, 25-14, 25-8. To open the first round in Nagano, China handled Algeria 25-13, 25-14, 25-19, Argentina rallied past Dominican Republic 18-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-22 and Italy edged host Japan 25-20, 23-25, 25-18, 25-15.

Additional information on the U.S. Women’s National Team can be found in its FIVB World Cup press kit by clicking here.

Bown scored consecutive kills and Larson rolled a back-row attack for a point to yield a 6-4 American advantage in the opening set. Tom added a fourth straight point with a kill ending a long rally at 7-4. Brazil sliced the deficit to one at 7-6 after consecutive U.S. errors. Team USA stretched the lead to 10-7 with back-to-back kills from Hooker and Akinradewo. Brazil answered with a kill and American error to close to 10-9, but it committed a service error and attack error to push Team USA in front 12-9. Hooker added a kill to produce a 13-9 American advantage at Brazil’s first timeout. The U.S. reached the second technical timeout leading 16-11 after back-to-back kills from Larson and Tom. Team USA increased the lead to 18-12 with a Hooker kill and Brazil attack error, prompting Brazil to call its second timeout. Brazil scored the first two points of the break to narrow the gap to 18-14. Tom and Akinradewo pounded consecutive kills to extend the American advantage to 22-16. Brazil fought to within four at 23-19 with back-to-back points. The U.S. ended the set at 25-22 with a Bown block after Brazil saved three set points. Hooker led the U.S. with five points, while Tom and Akinradewo totaled four points each in the opening set.

Brazil scored three unanswered points to take a 6-3 advantage in the second set. Team USA closed to 9-8 with a Hooker kill and Brazil attack error. Akinradewo ended a long rally with a kill to knot the score at 9-all. Brazil regained a two-point edge at 13-11 with back-to-back points on long rallies. Out of a U.S. timeout, Brazil increased its lead to 14-11 following an American error. Larson and Tom provided back-to-back kills to close the gap to 14-13, only to have Brazil go into the second technical timeout leading 16-13 following a block. Brazil added to the lead at 17-13 with a kill out of the break and extended the advantage to 20-14 as part of a 6-1 scoring run. Akinradewo scored a kill and block on back-to-back plays to cut the deficit to 20-16. Brazil captured an eight-point edge at 24-16 with four consecutive points. Brazil ended the set at 25-17. Akinradewo totaled four points to lead the Americans in the second set.

After trading the first seven points of the third set, the U.S. scored three straight points on Brazil errors and Scott-Arruda slammed a second contact for a 7-4 American advantage. Brazil scored consecutive points to close to 7-6. Brazil scored the first two points out of the first technical timeout to knot the score at 8-all. Brazil notched three straight points to obtain a 11-9 advantage. Team USA tied the set at 13-all with a Larson kill and Hooker ace. Brazil answered with two quick points to a produce a 15-13 lead. Brazil increased its lead to 17-14 out of the second technical timeout. Team USA responded with a Scott-Arruda block and Brazil error to close to 17-16. The U.S. leveled the score at 19-all with an Akinradewo block and Hooker kill prompting a Brazil timeout. Brazil scored the first two points out of the break to regain a two-point cushion at 21-19. Hooker collected a kill and ace to level the score at 22-all. Team USA saved two set points and took a 26-25 lead with a Tom block. Berg immediately served an ace to win the set 27-25. Hooker scored nine points in the third set, while Scott-Arruda contributed four points.

Team USA scored the first two points of the fourth set with an Akinradewo kill and Tom ace, but Brazil answered with the next four points to swing the lead to its side at 4-2. Akinradewo and Scott-Arruda collected kills to level the score at 4-all. Larson downed a kill after a Brazil error to push the U.S. in front 6-5, then Berg added to the lead at 7-5 with a joust at the net. Hooker served an ace to extend the scoring run to four points and an 8-5 lead at the first technical timeout. Akinradewo picked up a block after a Brazil service error to stretch the American lead to 12-8. Team USA reached the second technical timeout leading 16-11 following kills from Larson and Scott-Arruda. The U.S. lead reached 18-12 at a Brazil timeout after Scott-Arruda followed a Brazilian error with a kill. Out of the break, Scott-Arruda earned a block and Larson served an ace to widen the gap to 20-12. Tom scored a fifth straight point with a kill off the block at 21-12. Brazil scored three consecutive points to narrow the deficit to 21-15, then moved to within five at 23-18. The U.S. traded points to the 25-19 victory, ending on a Brazil service error. Scott-Arruda finished the third set with six points.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for FIVB World Cup
# - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 - Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, Leland, Mich., Penn State)
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)
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 - Tamari Miyashiro (L, 5-7, Kaneohe, Hawaii, Washington)
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.)
Assistant Coach/Technical Coordinator: Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer/Medical Support: Jill Wosmek (Silver Lake, Minn.)
Team Doctors: Dr. Lori Boyajian-O’Neill and Dr. William Briner, Jr.
Scouts: Guiseppe Vinci, Jenni Hirneisen
Nutritionist: Shawn Dolan
Chiropractor: Dustin Glass
Team Manager: Ken Sullivan (Laguna Beach, Calif.)

FIVB World Cup Standings
Team – Record – Points
USA – 1-0 – 3 points
Italy – 1-0 – 3 points
Germany – 1-0 – 3 points
China – 1-0 – 3 points
Serbia – 1-0 – 3 points
Argentina – 1-0 – 3 points
Japan – 0-1 – 0 points
Brazil – 0-1 – 0 points
Dominican Republic – 0-1 – 0 points
Korea – 0-1 – 0 points
Algeria – 0-1 – 0 points
Kenya – 0-1 – 0 points
POINTS NOTE: 3 points for 3-0 or 3-1 win, 2 points for 3-2 win; 1 point for 3-2 loss; 0 points for 3-0 or 3-1 loss

FIVB Women’s World Cup Schedule

First Round Site A (at Hiroshima Sun Plaza)
Nov. 4: China def. Algeria 25-13, 25-14, 25-19
Nov. 4: Argentina def. Dominican Republic 18-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-22
Nov. 4: Italy def. Japan 25-20, 23-25, 25-18, 25-15
Nov. 5: Algeria vs. Dominican Republic, 11 a.m.
Nov. 5: Italy vs. China, 3 p.m.
Nov. 5: Japan vs. Argentina, 6:20 p.m.
Nov. 6: Dominican Republic vs. Italy, 11 a.m.
Nov. 6: Argentina vs. Algeria, 3 p.m.
Nov. 6: China vs. Japan, 6:20 p.m.

First Round Site B (at Nagano White Ring)
Nov. 4: Serbia def. Korea 27-25, 25-22, 25-22
Nov. 4: Germany def. Kenya 25-19, 25-14, 25-8
Nov. 4: USA def. Brazil 25-22, 17-25, 27-25, 25-19
Nov. 5: Korea vs. Germany, 11 a.m.
Nov. 5: Serbia vs. USA, 3 p.m. (11 p.m. PT on Nov. 4)
Nov. 5: Brazil vs. Kenya, 6:20 p.m.
Nov. 6: Kenya vs. Serbia, 11 a.m.
Nov. 6: Germany vs. Brazil, 3 p.m.
Nov. 6: USA vs. Korea, 6:20 p.m. (2:20 a.m. PT)

Second Round Site A (at Hiroshima Sun Plaza)
Nov. 8: China vs. Dominican Republic, 11 a.m.
Nov. 8: Italy vs. Argentina, 3 p.m.
Nov. 8: Japan vs. Algeria, 6:20 p.m.
Nov. 9: Argentina vs. China, 11 a.m.
Nov. 9: Algeria vs. Italy, 3 p.m.
Nov. 9: Dominican Republic vs. Japan, 6:20 p.m.

Second Round Site B (at Toyama City Gymnasium)
Nov. 8: USA vs. Kenya, 11 a.m. (6 p.m. PT on Nov. 7)
Nov. 8: Korea vs. Brazil, 3 p.m.
Nov. 8: Serbia vs. Germany, 6:20 p.m.
Nov. 9: Kenya vs. Korea, 11 a.m.
Nov. 9: Brazil vs. Serbia, 3 p.m.
Nov. 9: USA vs. Germany, 6:20 p.m. (1:20 a.m. PT)

Third Round Site A (Sapporo Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center)
Nov. 11: Italy vs. Korea, 11 a.m.
Nov. 11: China vs. Brazil, 3 p.m.
Nov. 11: Japan vs. Serbia, 7:20 p.m.
Nov. 12: Italy vs. Brazil, 11 a.m.
Nov. 12: China vs. Serbia, 3 p.m.
Nov. 12: Japan vs. Korea, 6:20 p.m.
Nov. 13: Italy vs. Serbia, 11 a.m.
Nov. 13: China vs. Korea, 3 p.m.
Nov. 13: Japan vs. Brazil, 6:20 p.m.

Third Round Site B (at Okayama Momotaro Arena)
Nov. 11: Dominican Republic vs. Kenya, 11 a.m.
Nov. 11: Algeria vs. Germany, 3 p.m.
Nov. 11: USA vs. Argentina, 6:20 p.m. (1:20 a.m. PT)
Nov. 12: Dominican Republic vs. Germany, 11 a.m.
Nov. 12: Argentina vs. Kenya, 3 p.m.
Nov. 12: USA vs. Algeria, 6:20 p.m. (1:20 a.m. PT)
Nov. 13: Argentina vs. Germany, 11 a.m.
Nov. 13: Algeria vs. Kenya, 3 p.m.
Nov. 13: USA vs. Dominican Republic, 6:20 p.m. (1:20 a.m. PT)

Fourth Round Site A (at Tokyo Yoyogi National Stadium)
Nov. 16: USA vs. China, 11 a.m. (6 p.m. PT on Nov. 15)
Nov. 16: Italy vs. Germany, 3 p.m.
Nov. 16: Japan vs. Kenya, 6:20 p.m.
Nov. 17: China vs. Kenya, 11 a.m.
Nov. 17: USA vs. Italy, 3 p.m. (10 p.m. PT on Nov. 16)
Nov. 17: Japan vs. Germany, 6:20 p.m.
Nov. 18: Italy vs. Kenya, 11 a.m.
Nov. 18: China vs. Germany, 3 p.m.
Nov. 18: USA vs. Japan, 6:20 p.m. (1:20 a.m. PT)

Fourth Round Site B (at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium)
Nov. 16: Dominican Republic vs. Serbia, 11 a.m.
Nov. 16: Algeria vs. Korea, 3 p.m.
Nov. 16: Argentina vs. Brazil, 6:20 p.m.
Nov. 17: Dominican Republic vs. Korea, 11 a.m.
Nov. 17: Algeria vs. Brazil, 3 p.m.
Nov. 17: Argentina vs. Serbia, 6:20 p.m.
Nov. 18: Algeria vs. Serbia, 11 a.m.
Nov. 18: Dominican Republic vs. Brazil, 2 p.m.
Nov. 18: Argentina vs. Korea, 5 p.m.