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Preview of U.S. Women vs. Serbia

By Bill Kauffman | Aug. 02, 2012, 7:35 a.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
USA Volleyball Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800
@USA_Volleyball - USAV Facebook

Press Kit - Event Page

LONDON (Aug. 2, 2012) – The U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team has played three matches at London’s Earl Court, and all three have been challenging matches with wins over No. 15 Korea (6 points, 2-1), No. 2 Brazil (2 points, 1-2) and No. 3 China (6 points, 2-1).

The Americans (26-1 in 2012) face No. 7 Serbia (0 points, 0-3), which is still in search of its first win of the 2012 Olympic Games, on Aug. 3 at 8 p.m. local time (noon PT). Serbia captured the 2011 European Championship, but failed to qualify for the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round after a 3-6 record in the preliminary round. The U.S. Women conclude pool play against No. 8 Turkey (4 points, 1-2) on Aug. 5 at 8 p.m. local time (noon PT).

With its nine points in Pool B, No. 1 Team USA has already clinched a berth in the knockout Olympic Games quarterfinal round with two matches remaining in pool play. However, the squad is not pulling back as the all-important top seed out of Pool B is still up for grabs despite being the only undefeated team in the pool. The top team in each of the six-team pools will face the fourth-place team in the opposite pool If the squad falls to second, it would enter a draw to determine its quarterfinal pairing with opposite pool’s second- and third-place teams.

The U.S. Women are in search of its first Olympic Games gold medal after winning silver medals in 2008 in Beijing and 1984 in Los Angeles. Team USA also won the bronze in 1992 in Barcelona. Aside from the Olympics, the U.S. has not won a major season-ending tournament including the FIVB World Championship and FIVB World Cup. However, the Americans have won the FIVB World Grand Prix, the premier annual international women’s volleyball tournament, the last three years and five times overall.

Overall, Team USA is 4-2 all-time against Serbia. The U.S. has faced Serbia once in 2012, that being a 25-19, 25-23, 25-18 victory on June 22 during the third preliminary round of the FIVB World Grand Prix. In that match, Megan Hodge was one of two players to score a team-high 15 points. The Americans also defeated Serbia in the 2011 FIVB World Cup and the 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round semifinals. USA’s Destinee Hooker scored 21 and 20 points, respectively, in the two victories. Serbia’s last victory over the U.S. was on Aug. 14, 2011, during the FIVB World Grand Prix preliminary round.

Team USA is 26-1 overall in 2012 with its only loss coming against Cuba at the Pan American Cup in which no 2012 Olympians were competing.

Team USA’s offense has been paced by first-time Olympians. Hooker, who has become a dynamic and terminating opposite, leads the U.S. offense at the Olympics with 66 points on 58 kills, six blocks and two aces. Hooker ranks fourth in Best Spiker with a .347 hitting efficiency (58-14-127). Meanwhile, first-time Olympian Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) ranks 17th overall in scoring with 36 points via 32 kills, three blocks and an ace. She also ranks fifth in Best Spiker with a .303 hitting efficiency (32-9-76). Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), another first-time Olympian, has added 34 points for 21st in overall scoring. Tom, a four-time Olympian, has 30 points.

Davis, the starting libero, ranks third in Best Digger with a 4.73 dig average, while both Tom averages 2.64 digs for 15th place. Davis also ranks third in Best Libero with an average of 9.09 digs and excellent receptions. Berg is the second rated setter with a 12.36 running set average.

The Americans pulled out a hard-fought 26-24, 25-16, 31-29 victory over China in their most recent match on Aug. 1. While Hooker provided a team-high in scoring for the third straight match, the U.S. used two key sparks off the bench coming in the form of its oldest player – five-time Olympian Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) at age 39, and its youngest player – first-time Olympian Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) at age 23. The duo, both making their first appearances in the 2012 Olympic Games, combined for 25 points off the bench with 18 coming from Hodge in mostly two sets of action.

Serbia’s leading scorer is Milena Rasic, who ranks 27th overall with 29 points. Suzana Cebic has 3.45 digs per set for ninth in Best Digger and is ninth in Best Libero with a 6.60 average of digs and excellent receptions per set. No other Serbian ranks among the top 10.

Other Pool B matches on Aug. 5 include third-place China (6 points, 2-1) versus defending Olympic Games champion Brazil (2 points, 1-2), which is in danger of the qualifying for the quarterfinal round from its current fifth-place position., and surprising second-place Korea (6 points, 2-1) versus third-place Turkey (4 points, 1-2).

In Pool A set for Aug. 3, first-place Russia (9 points, 3-0) plays third-place Japan (6 points, 2-1), fourth-place Great Britain (2 points, 1-2) hosts sixth-place Dominican Republic (0 points, 0-3) and second-place Italy (9 points, 3-0) challenges Algeria (1 point, 0-3).

2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team
# - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
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)
10 - Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Nebraska)
11 - Megan Hodge (OH, 6-3, Durham, N.C., Penn State)
13 - Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, Hopewell, Pa., Penn State)
15 - Logan Tom (OH, 6-1, Salt Lake City, Utah, Stanford)
16 - Foluke Akinradewo (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford)
17 - Courtney Thompson (S, 5-8, Kent, Wash., Washington)
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.)
Technical Coordinator: Giuseppe Vinci (Casteggio, Italy)
Team Manager: Ken Sullivan (Laguna Beach, Calif.)
Consultant Coach: Marv Dunphy (Malibu, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer/Medical Support: Jill Wosmek (Silver Lake, Minn.)
Doctor: Dr. William Stetson

2012 Olympic Games Women’s Volleyball Schedule

Pool A Standings:
Russia (9 points, 3-0)
Italy (9 points, 3-0)
Japan (6 points, 2-1)
Great Britain (2 points, 1-2)
Algeria (1 points, 0-3)
Dominican Republic (0 points, 0-3)

Pool B Standings:
USA (9 points, 3-0)
Korea (6 points, 2-1)
China (6 points, 2-1)
Turkey (4 points, 1-2)
Brazil (2 points, 1-2)
Serbia (0 points, 0-3)

July 28: Japan def. Algeria 25-15, 25-14, 25-7
July 28: China def. Serbia 16-25, 25-18, 25-13, 25-12
July 28: Russia def. Great Britain 25-19, 25-10, 25-16
July 28: Italy def. Dominican Republic 25-17, 23-25, 25-19, 25-15
July 28: USA def. Korea 25-19, 25-17, 20-25, 25-21
July 28: Brazil def. Turkey 25-18, 23-25, 25-19, 25-27, 15-12

July 30: China def. Turkey 25-20, 25-20, 29-31, 25-22
July 30: Korea def. Serbia 25-12, 25-16, 16-25, 25-21
July 30: Russia def. Dominican Republic 25-23, 25-15, 24-26, 25-22
July 30: USA def. Brazil 25-18, 25-17, 22-25, 25-21
July 30: Italy def. Japan 25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 25-22
July 30: Great Britain def. Algeria 22-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-19, 15-8

Aug. 1: Japan def. Dominican Republic 25-20, 25-19, 25-23
Aug. 1: Russia def. Algeria 25-7, 25-14, 25-15
Aug. 1: Turkey def. Serbia 25-20, 25-12, 25-21
Aug. 1: Italy def. Great Britain 27-25, 25-12, 25-12
Aug. 1: USA def. China 26-24, 25-16, 31-29
Aug. 1: Korea def. Brazil 25-23, 25-21, 25-21

Aug. 3: Brazil vs. China, 9:30 a.m.
Aug. 3: Japan vs. Russia, 11:30 a.m.
Aug. 3: Turkey vs. Korea, 2:45 p.m.
Aug. 3: Great Britain vs. Dominican Republic, 4:45 p.m.
Aug. 3: USA vs. Serbia, 8 p.m. (noon PT)
Aug. 3: Algeria vs. Italy, 10 p.m.

Aug. 5: Algeria vs. Dominican Republic, 9:30 a.m.
Aug. 5: China vs. Korea, 11:30 a.m.
Aug. 5: Great Britain vs. Japan, 2:45 p.m.
Aug. 5: Italy vs. Russia, 4:45 p.m.
Aug. 5: USA vs. Turkey, 8 p.m. (noon PT)
Aug. 5: Brazil vs. Serbia, 10 p.m.

Aug. 7: Quarterfinal Matches at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m.

Aug. 9: Semifinal Matches at 3 p.m., 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 11: Women’s Bronze Medal Match, 11:30 a.m.
Aug. 11: Women’s Gold Medal Match, 6:30 p.m.
Aug. 11: Women’s Gold Medal Ceremony, 8:20 p.m.