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U.S. Women To Compete for Gold

By Bill Kauffman | Aug. 09, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
USA Volleyball Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800
Email: bill.kauffman@usav.org
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LONDON (Aug. 9, 2012) – Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) scored a match-high 24 points to help the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, ranked No. 1 in the world, advance to the Olympic Games gold-medal match for the second straight time with a 25-20, 25-22, 25-22 victory over No. 15 Korea Thursday afternoon in the semifinal round at Earls Court in London.

The U.S., searching for its first-ever Olympic Games gold medal in women’s volleyball (indoor), will face second-ranked Brazil on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. local time (10:30 a.m. PT). At the 2008 Olympics, the Americans lost to then-top-ranked Brazil in the gold-medal match to earn its second Olympic silver medal as the first came in 1984 at the Los Angeles Games. Team USA also possesses a bronze from the 1992 Olympics held 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.

Team USA, now 7-0 at the 2012 London Games and 30-1 overall this year, defeated Korea in four sets on July 28 to open the 2012 Olympics Games. The Americans finished Pool B with wins over No. 2 Brazil (3-1), No. 3 China (3-1), No. 7 Serbia (3-0) and No. 8 Turkey (3-0). The U.S. advanced to the semifinals with a sweep over NORCECA rival Dominican Republic in the quarterfinal round.

The U.S. used a 6-0 run to come back from a 16-15 deficit in the opening set to win 25-20 as the Americans out-blocked the Koreans 6-0. Hooker scored four of her eight points in the second set after the U.S. trailed 20-17 and came back to win 25-22 by scoring eight of the final 10 points. The U.S. held a 13-7 lead in the third set, but Korea came back to tie the set at 18-all to it interesting down the stretch. However, Team USA closed out the set with a 4-1 run and 25-22 victory.

“Korea is a tough team,” U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “We have said this from the beginning press conference. I thought our team battled and needed to battle to win tonight. They create a lot of troubles with good serving, defense and of their offense is tough to stop. They were good at exploiting some of our weaknesses, but luckily we were able to make some adjustments. Our athletes played with a lot of heart, and I am really proud of our team and how they competed.”

Hooker tallied her 24 points with 21 kills on 33 attacks and only one error, along with three blocks. After the match she felt an added energy from the crowd as the team came out onto the court.

“The crowd is very loud and very energetic,” Hooker said. “We hear it more when we walk out on the court at the beginning of the game. During the game it’s like, ‘Look, we’re all here on the court. We need to figure things out and go from there.’”

Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) charted 14 points with 10 kills on 23 attacks, three blocks and an ace. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) added 12 points on eight kills via 10 attacks and two aces. Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) provided six kills, a block and an ace for eight points.

“I think we came out a little bit tight to tell you the truth,” said Logan Tom, a four-time Olympian. “We made some errors. We weren’t moving very well. We didn’t have our usual rhythm. I think we just picked it up. We needed a little bit of time to get accustomed to it. I think we do a really good job when it comes to that. I get nervous when I don’t have a match like that.”

Christa Harmotto (Hopewell Township, Pa.) totaled three kills on four attacks and two blocks for five points. Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) tacked on two kills and Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) round out the scoring with an ace.

Berg, who missed the quarterfinal round victory over Dominican Republic due to injury, set the Team USA offense to a 52.6 kill percent and .400 hitting efficiency in her return to the starting lineup. She dealt out 36 running sets in the victory.

“I thought (Lindsey) did a great job tonight,” McCutcheon said. “We were very happy with her performance. Of course there were doubts (on whether she would play). She was hurt. We will evaluate tonight and see how she looks and maybe even see how she is tomorrow. She ran around a little last night and it looked promising. We chatted late last night and early this morning and things seemed to be on plan so we decided to go with it.”

“I feel amazing,” Berg said after the match. “My team helped me out a lot and I didn’t have to run around. I feel way better than I expected. I am just going to give it my all. If I can’t walk after Saturday’s match, I don’t care.”

Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) tallied a team-high 10 digs and added 11 excellent receptions. Larson picked up a team-high 17 excellent receptions to go with five digs.

“We didn't play our best match, not the best of the tournament and hopefully we are saving that for the gold-medal match,” Berg said. “We played great after 20 points, and that's what makes a winning team win. We stuck together as a team and found a way to win."

McCutcheon started Akinradewo and Harmotto at middle blocker, Tom and Larson at outside hitter, Hooker at opposite and Berg at setter. Davis is the U.S. designated libero for the Olympics. Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) was a sub in all three sets, while Haneef-Park and Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) were subs in the last two sets as part of a double-switch.

Team USA held an 11-5 margin in blocks over Korea, along with a 5-3 edge in aces. The American defense limited Korea to a 43.0 kill percent and .270 hitting efficiency (43-16-100).

Korea was paced by tournament-leading scorer Yeon-Koung Kim’s 20 points, while Song-Yi Han added 13 points.

The U.S. gained a two-point edge at 4-1 with consecutive kills from Larson and Tom followed by an Akinradewo ace prompting a Korea timeout. Korea answered with five quick points to take a 6-4 advantage. Like Korea’s timeout, the U.S. came out of a timeout with a Harmotto kill and Larson block to knot the score at 6-all. Out of the first technical timeout USA hit wide to expand Korea’s lead to 9-7. The Americans took the lead back at 11-10 with a Hooker kill and consecutive blocks by Akinradewo. Korea answered with two straight points to reverse the lead to its side at 12-11. The U.S. took the lead back with a Korea error and Hooker block at 14-13. Korea answered with two straight points to switch the lead again to its side at 15-14. Team USA changed the lead for a sixth time at 17-16 with kills from Harmotto and Hooker. Tom expanded the lead to 18-16 with a block prompting a Korea timeout. Out of the break, Korea hit long and Hooker found the court for a kill for five straight points on Larson’s serve at 20-16. Team USA stretched its lead to 23-18 with an Akinradewo kill and Korea error. The U.S. closed out the first set 25-20 on a Korea error. Hooker tallied eight points in the opening set as all five starting hitters scored at least two points.

Korea reached an early 4-1 lead in the second set on three unanswered points. Team USA closed to 4-3 with a Larson kill and an overpass dig that fell for a point on the Korea side. The Americans squared the set at 5-all with a Hooker kill and Korea attack error. Korea regained a two-point cushion at 7-5 on an ace. Larson and Harmotto put up monster blocks to knot the score at 7-all. Korea pushed ahead 13-10 on an ace by star Kim and a block by Han. Hooker and Larson hit back-to-back kills to close to 14-13 and prompt Korea to call timeout. Team USA tied the set at 16-all with kills from Tom and Haneef-Park. Korea answered quickly with two straight points for an 18-16 advantage. The U.S. called timeout down 20-17 after Korea scored four of five points out of the second technical timeout. Hooker hammered a kill and won a long rally with a block to close the American deficit to 20-19. Hooker followed with a kill on a second long rally to knot the score at 20-all going into a Korea timeout. The U.S. took the second set lead for the first time at 23-22 on consecutive Korea errors, then reached set point at 24-22 on a Larson kill. Korea hit long for the final point at 25-22 as Hooker was on the service line for the winning 4-0 scoring run. Hooker tallied eight points in the second set push her match total to 16, while Larson added four points.

Team USA scored a 3-1 advantage in the third set with kills from Akinradewo and Larson. Hooker and Larson hammered kills to extend the American lead to 5-2. Tom served an ace after a Hooker kill to extend the American lead to 10-6 at a Korea timeout. Larson picked up a kill and block and Akinradewo served an ace to increase the Team USA lead to 13-7 at Korea’s second timeout. Korea closed to one points at 15-14 with a 6-1 scoring run. Korea served an ace off the net to tie the set at 18-all. Hooker answered with a kill and Harmotto followed with a block. Korea rallied to knot the score again at 20-all. Larson served an ace after a Hooker kill to push the American lead to 23-21. Team USA closed out the set and match with kills from Hooker and Tom at 25-22. Hooker scored eight points in the final set.

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 (14 points, 5-0)
Italy (13 points, 4-1)
Japan (9 points, 3-2)
Dominican Republic (6 points, 2-3)
Great Britain (2 points, 1-4)
Algeria (1 points, 0-5)

Pool B Standings:
USA (15 points, 5-0)
China (9 points, 3-2)
Korea (8 points, 2-3)
Brazil (7 points, 3-2)
Turkey (6 points, 2-3)
Serbia (0 points, 0-5)

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 def. China 25-16, 20-25, 25-18, 28-30, 15-10
Aug. 3: Russia def. Japan 27-25, 25-17, 20-25, 25-19
Aug. 3: Turkey def. Korea 25-16, 21-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-12
Aug. 3: Dominican Republic def. Great Britain 25-9, 25-18, 25-19
Aug. 3: USA def. Serbia 25-17, 25-20, 25-16
Aug. 3: Italy def. Algeria 25-11, 25-12, 25-17

Aug. 5: Dominican Republic def. Algeria 25-15, 25-16, 25-13
Aug. 5: China def. Korea 28-26, 22-25, 25-19, 22-25, 15-10
Aug. 5: Japan def. Great Britain 25-19, 25-14, 25-12
Aug. 5: Russia def. Italy 26-28, 25-19, 22-25, 25-16, 15-11
Aug. 5: USA def. Turkey 27-25, 25-16, 25-19
Aug. 5: Brazil def. Serbia 25-10, 25-22, 25-16

Quarterfinals
Aug. 7: Japan (Pool A3) def. China (Pool B2) 28-26, 23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 18-16
Aug. 7: Brazil (Pool B4) def. Russia (Pool A1) 24-26, 25-22, 19-25, 25-22, 21-19
Aug. 7: USA (Pool B1) def. Dominican Republic (Pool A4) 25-14, 25-21, 25-22
Aug. 7: Korea (Pool B3) def. Italy (Pool A2) 18-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-18

Semifinals
Aug. 9: USA def. Korea 25-20, 25-22, 25-22
Aug. 9: Brazil def. Japan 25-18, 25-15, 25-18

Medal Round
Aug. 11: Korea vs. Japan, 11:30 a.m.
Aug. 11: USA vs. Brazil, 6:30 p.m.
Aug. 11: Women’s Gold Medal Ceremony, 8:20 p.m.

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