US Women Win Second Match Over Bulgaria

By Bill Kauffman | July 16, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. (July 16, 2012) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team improved to 2-0 in its three-match Bulgaria Challenge Series with a 25-14, 18-25, 25-17, 25-21 victory over Bulgaria on Monday at the Galen Center on the campus of the University of Southern California.

The U.S. Women, who head to London next Friday for the 2012 Olympic Games that start July 28, are playing their first home matches 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 18 with matches at the Galen Center on the University of Southern California campus. The final match of the series begins at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by going to

The U.S. Women, ranked No. 1 in the world, dominated Bulgaria in blocks (19-6) and also led in kills (58-51) and aces (4-2).

“This building is amazing,” said U.S. libero Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) who played college volleyball at USC. “I dreamed of playing in it, but it was not built when I was here.

“Right now we are trying to improve by millimeters. It could be the difference in a close match.”

Opposite Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) led all scorers with 21 points on a match-high 17 kills and four blocks. Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) added 16 points on 12 attacks, three blocks and one ace.

Outside hitter Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) totaled 15 points on 13 attacks, one block and one ace. Middle blocker Christa Harmotto (Hopewell Township, Pa.) finished with 10 points on four kills, a match-high five blocks and one ace. Middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) tallied nine points on five attacks and four stuff blocks.

Opposite Tayiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) totaled eight points on six attacks and two blocks. Setter Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) added two points on one attack and one ace.

U.S. libero Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) finished with 17 digs.

Berg set the U.S. Women to a 42.2 kill percent and a .358 hitting efficiency. Bulgaria’s kill percent was 36.6 and its hitting efficiency was .367.

U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) started Tom and Larson at outside hitter, Akinradewo and Harmotto at middle blocker, Hooker at opposite, Berg at setter and Davis at libero.

Haneef-Park, defensive specialist Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) and setter Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) played as substitutes.

The U.S. Women opened an 8-4 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO) of the first set, including a kill and block from Larson, a kill and block by Tom and an Akinradewo attack. Bulgaria came back to tie the score at 10-10. With the score tied 11-11, Larson scored with an attack. Bulgaria hit into the net and the U.S. used a block to lead 14-11. Bulgaria came back with a tip; but the U.S. answered with two straight blocks by Harmotto and a Larson attack to lead by five at 17-12. Bulgaria scored only two more points. With the U.S. leading 21-14, it scored the final four points of the set on a Harmotto attack and two blocks and a kill from Haneef-Park. The U.S. led in blocking 8-1.

Bulgaria took an 8-4 lead in the second set as Larson scored all four of the U.S. points on two attacks and two blocks. After the break, Bulgaria extended its lead to 12-6 and the U.S. called timeout. Coming out of the break, the U.S. scored on a Hooker kill, block from Hooker and Akinradewo and ace by Berg and Bulgaria called timeout. The next U.S. attack went out of bounds. With Bulgaria leading 23-14, the U.S. scored on a Tom roll shot, an attack from Hooker and a block by Akinradewo to pull within six and Bulgaria called timeout. The U.S. scored on one more quick kill by Akinradewo. But Bulgaria scored twice with a kill and block to win the set.

The score was tied 5-5 in the third set when Bulgaria scored three straight points on two attacks and a block to lead 8-5. The U.S. scored on two kills from Hooker, one from Larson and one from Tom. The U.S. Women came back to tie the score at 9-9. With Bulgaria leading 11-10, Harmotto scored on an attack for the U.S. That sparked a 3-0 U.S. run, including a Larson block and two Bulgaria errors to put the U.S. Women ahead 14-11. Team USA led 16-13 at the second TTO. With the United States leading 20-16, Hooker scored on an attack, giving the serve to Tom who nailed an ace. Akinradewo killed Bulgaria’s return of Tom’s next serve to give the U.S. a 23-16 lead. Bulgaria scored on Filipova’s tip. But the U.S. Women scored the final two points on attacks from Hooker and Larson.

The U.S. Women held an 8-6 lead at the first TTO of the fourth set, breaking a 6-6 tie on kills by Harmotto and Larson. With the U.S. leading 10-9, Akinradewo scored with a block and Hooker had two straight attacks to put the U.S. Women ahead 13-9. The United States extended the lead to 16-11 at the second TTO. The United States took match point at 24-20 on a Larson kill off the block. Bulgaria scored once more on a kill from Karakasheva before the U.S. won it with a Haneef-Park strike.

2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team for Bulgaria Challenge Series

# - 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))
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)
22 - Courtney Thompson (S, 5-8, Kent, Wash., Washington)

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.)
Athletic Trainer/Medical Support: Jill Wosmek (Silver Lake, Minn.)