USA Volleyball Communications
ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 14, 2012) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team started its three-match Bulgaria Challenge Series with a hard-fought 22-25, 25-18, 16-25, 25-22, 15-11 victory over the visitors in front of an over-flowing crowd of 1,200 at Canyon High School Saturday evening in Anaheim, Calif.
The U.S. Women, which head to London next Friday for the Olympic Games that start July 28, were playing their first home match since the Pan American Cup in Miami and FIVB World Championship NORCECA Qualification Tournament in Orlando in the summer of 2009. The USA-Bulgaria Challenge Series, co-hosted by the City of Anaheim where the U.S. Women's and Men's National Teams train, continues on July 16 and July 18 with matches at the Galen Center on the University of Southern California campus. Both matches start at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by going to usctrojans.com/usa.
Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) led the U.S. with a match-high 26 points with 24 kills on 40 attacks. Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) chipped in 19 points with 14 kills and four blocks. Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) provided 12 points including eight kills and three aces. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) reached 10 points with a match-high five blocks. Christa Harmotto (Hopewell Township, Pa.) added seven points, while Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) tacked on six points in coming off the bench all five sets. Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) and Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) rounded out the scoring with two points each.
“It was nice to play in front of a home crowd for once,” Larson said. “I have not played in front of a home crowd in the United States since college. And the fans were great tonight – they definitely helped us in key moments of the match.”
Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) led the Americans with 15 digs, while Larson and Berg each added 10 digs.
U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) started Akinradewo and Harmotto at middle blocker, Tom and Larson at outside hitter, Hooker at opposite and Berg at setter. Davis was the libero for the match. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) started the final three sets after being a double-sub with Haneef-Park in the first two sets. Tama Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) was a serving sub in three of the five sets, while Hodge was a sub in the fourth set.
“It is amazing tonight,” Akinradewo said. “We typically play in front of foreign fans rooting against us. So it was a great blessing to have people come out to support us.”
Team USA out-blocked Bulgaria 13-8 and held a slim 8-7 ace advantage. The Americans converted 42 percent of its 150 attacks, while the Bulgarians converted 40 percent. The U.S. hit 53 percent (10-0-19) in the fifth set. In the three sets it won, the U.S. converted 52 percent of its attacks into points.
As a first-time Olympian, Akinradewo is taking hype of the Olympics in stride.
“I am taking it all in one day at a time,” Akinradewo said. “As Hugh has told us many times, it is just another tournament with a lot of extra fluff. We have a great core group of players over the last four years, and if we focus on what we have learned during that time, we should do well.”
Bulgaria was led by Elitsa Vasileva’s 21 points from her opposite position, while captain Strashmira Filipova added 19 points from her middle blocker spot.
2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team for Bulgaria Challenge
# - 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)
6 - Nicole Davis (L, 5-4, Stockton, Calif., Southern California)
11 - Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Nebraska)
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)
18 - Megan Hodge (OH, 6-3, Durham, N.C., Penn State)
19 - Destinee Hooker (Opp, 6-4, San Antonio, Texas, Texas)
21 - Tamari Miyashiro (L, 5-7, Kaneohe, Hawaii, Washington)
Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New
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.)
Athletic Trainer/Medical Support: Jill Wosmek (Silver Lake, Minn.)