Associate Director, Communications
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 12, 2011) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team has been named the United States Olympic Committee’s (USOC) Team of the Month for August. In addition, Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) finished third in voting for USOC Female Athlete of the Month.
The U.S. Women won the 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix, the premier annual women’s international volleyball tournament, to defend its title from a year ago. Team USA defeated top-ranked Brazil in three sets in the gold-medal match on Aug. 28. The Americans finished the preliminary round with an 8-1 record and in second-place in the 16-team tournament. During the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round, the U.S. Women swept Japan and Italy in pool play before a four-set loss to Brazil as both teams had already secured semifinal berths. Team USA topped Serbia 3-0 in the semifinal round before its 26-24, 25-20, 25-21 victory over Brazil in the gold-medal match. The Americans, ranked second in the world by the FIVB, won 10 of its 14 tournament matches in straight sets with an overall 12-2 record. Along with its victory over No. 1 Brazil, the U.S. posted two victories each over No. 4 Japan, No. 5 Italy and No. 6 Serbia.
The U.S. roster that competed in the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round included middle blockers Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.), Christa Harmotto (Hopewell, Pa.) and Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.). Outside hitters were Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.), Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.), Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) and Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah). Setters were Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) an Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.), while opposites were Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) and Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa). The libero were Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) and Tama Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii).
Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) serves as the head coach for the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team and his assistants are Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.), Paula Weishoff (Irvine, Calif.) and Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.). Jill Wosmek is the athletic trainer for the team, while Ken Sullivan (Laguna Beach, Calif.) served as the team leader for the FIVB World Grand Prix.
“As a team, it is a great honor to be recognized among so many great teams representing their country,” said Tamas, the U.S. captain. “We have been working so hard this year as we progress toward our goal of qualifying for the Olympic Games. To be recognized by both the USOC and fans in the voting process makes this progress we are making really special.”
Hooker was named the most valuable player of the 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix. She finished the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round with 101 points for second in overall scoring. She totaled 90 kills, eight blocks and three aces, according to official FIVB stats. Hooker also ranked fourth in Best Spiker with a 42.1 kill percent (90 kills on 214 attacks), 11th in Best Blocker with 0.44 blocks per set and 13th in Best Server with -.17 aces per set. The Final Round consisted of three pool play matches, the semifinals and medal matches.
During the entire tournament counting the nine preliminary round matches, Hooker totaled 228 points (199 kills, 21 blocks, 8 aces). She converted 44.3 percent of her attacks with a .356 hitting efficiency.
“I give all the credit to my teammates,” Hooker said in reference to earning the most valuable player award at the FIVB World Grand Prix. “My individual awards and honors do not mean as much to me in comparison as to how well our team does. The main outcome was winning the World Grand Prix for the second year in a row. As a team, we played well all the way to the end. In the end it was nice to have revenge wins versus Serbia and Brazil after losing to them earlier in four sets.”
The U.S. Women’s National Team is currently in Caguas, Puerto Rico, getting set to compete in the 2011 NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship. The top two teams in the nine-team tournament advance to the FIVB World Cup, which is the first 2012 Olympic Games qualification event with the three podium finishers earning tickets to London. After a bye in Pool B on Sept. 12, the U.S. opens competition against Canada on Sept. 13 at approximately 8:10 p.m. Puerto Rico Time (5:10 p.m. Pacific Time) with the time being adjusted due to local television. The Americans conclude pool play against Trinidad & Tobago on Sept. 14 at 4 p.m. Puerto Rico Time (1 p.m. Pacific Time). The top two pool winners advance directly to the semifinal round on Sept. 16, while the three second-place teams join the third-best pool winner in the quarterfinal round on Sept. 15. The final classifications will be take place on Sept. 17.
Track athlete Carmelita Jeter was named the USOC Female Athlete of the Month as she ran a time of 10.90 seconds to win gold in the women’s 100-meter at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. She also won silver in the 200 and gold in the 4x100 relay.
For the USOC Athlete and Team of the Month, each National Governing Body may nominate one female, one male and one team per discipline. A voting panel selects the winners from the pool of nominees, with online fan voting via Twitter accounting for 10 percent of the total vote.