US Women Block Germany in Grand Prix Opener

By Bill Kauffman | June 08, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

Photo: Courtesy FIVB

Logan Tom attacks against the Germany defense in Team USA's 3-1 victory to open the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix

Bill Kauffman
USA Volleyball Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800


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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 8, 2012) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team opened its 2012 season with a 25-17, 25-15, 23-25, 25-11 victory over Germany on Friday evening in a FIVB World Grand Prix Pool B match at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The U.S., the two-time defending champions of the FIVB World Grand Prix and ranked No. 1 in the world, returns to the court on Saturday versus Chinese Taipei at 2 p.m. PT before concluding the round-robin Pool B versus host Dominican Republic at 2 p.m. PT on Sunday. Later today host Dominican Republic begins its FIVB World Grand Prix campaign against Chinese Taipei.

The FIVB World Grand Prix is the premier annual international women’s volleyball tournament. The 16-team tournament features three preliminary round weekends that lead into a six-team Final Round slated for June 27 to July 1 in Ningbo, China.

After trailing 10-8 early in the opening set that included three Germany aces, the U.S. caught fire with a 12-3 scoring run to establish a 20-13 advantage en route to a 25-17 set victory that included seven blocks. Team USA scorched to a 7-1 lead in the second set and widened the lead to 11-3 before cruising to a 25-15 victory. Germany rolled to a 9-0 lead in the third set, but the U.S. made it very interesting down the stretch by closing to within one at 24-23 with a 13-4 scoring run before falling 25-23. Team USA broke a 6-all tie in the fourth set with a 16-3 scoring run in closing out the match with a 25-11 victory.

“We played very consistent and I am really happy the way we reacted in the third set when we almost leveled the score," U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. "We executed well and we not playing our best volleyball. I think we will reach our peak in July and August.”

Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) led the U.S. and all scorers with 20 points via 14 kills, five blocks and an ace. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) chipped in 16 points with nine kills on 18 errorless attacks, four blocks and three aces. Christa Harmotto (Hopewell Township, Pa.) charted seven kills on 12 attacks, five blocks and two aces for 14 points. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) recorded 13 points on 10 kills, two blocks and an ace. Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) chipped in four kills and four blocks for eight points. Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) and Tama Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) rounded out the scoring with a kill and ace, respectively.

“It was a great start for our team,” Hooker said. “I am really excited about our start and we need to continue focused.”

Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) contributed team highs of 12 digs and 15 excellent service receptions on 25 attempts. Tom added seven digs, while Larson contributed eight excellent service receptions. Berg provided 12 running sets on a total of 98 set attempts.

“It is good to play after one month only training,” said Berg, the U.S. captain. “After taking the first two sets we were able to come back strong in the third set and finished with a victory.”

McCutcheon started Tom and Larson at outside hitter, Akinradewo and Harmotto at middle blocker, Hooker at opposite and Berg at setter. Davis was the libero for the match. Miyashiro was a serving in the first three sets, while Hodge was a sub in the third set.

The U.S. produced a 20-11 advantage in blocks and 32-24 margin in digs as both teams served eight aces. Team USA held a 45-35 advantage in kills and benefited from 25 Germany errors. Meanwhile, the Americans limited their errors to 14 in the match. Overall, the U.S. converted 33.6 percent of its attacks into points with a .231 hitting efficiency (45-14-134). Germany converted 23.8 percent of its attacks with a .014 hitting efficiency (35-33-147).

Maren Brinker paced Germany with 14 points, while Margareta Kozuch added 13 points.

“It was a very tough match but we did our best,” Germany Head Coach Giovanni Guidetti said. “I think the blocking was the difference of the match today.”

In other action on the opening day of the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix, three matches were extended to five sets. Brazil edged Italy 18-25, 25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 15-6 and Poland defeated Serbia 24-26, 25-22, 20-25, 25-16, 15-10 in Pool D held in Lodz, Poland. In Pool C at Busan, Korea, Turkey upset Japan 25-19, 25-21, 25-21 and Cuba held off Korea 23-25, 27-25, 25-18, 23-25, 15-11 in a five-set thriller. In Pool A at Macau, China, Thailand blanked Argentina 25-18, 25-9, 25-22 and China handled Puerto Rico 25-15, 25-19, 25-16.

Team USA will travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the second preliminary round weekend with matches against Italy, Germany and Brazil on June 15-17, followed by the final preliminary round weekend June 22-24 in Bangkok, Thailand, with matches against Serbia, Argentina and Thailand.

Team USA, which has qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games, will try to become just the second country to win the FIVB World Grand Prix for three consecutive years. Aside from the U.S., only Brazil has successfully defended its title having won the tournament three consecutive years from 2004 to 2006 and back-to-back years in 2008 and 2009.

Heike Beier opened the first set with consecutive aces to give Germany a quick 2-0 lead. However, the U.S. knotted the score at 2-2 with an Akinradewo kill and German attack error. Team USA went in front 5-4 with consecutive kills from Larson and Hooker, only to have Germany side out, serve its third ace of the set and put up a block for a 7-5 advantage. The U.S. answered with back-to-back kills from Larson and Harmotto to level the score at 7-all. Germany took a two-point edge at 10-8, but the USA answered with consecutive Tom blocks after a German error to produce an 11-10 American lead. After Germany tied the set at 11-all, Team USA benefited from consecutive German errors to take a 13-11 lead. The U.S. went into the second technical timeout leading 16-13 with a Hooker block after a Larson kill. Out of the break, Harmotto added a quick block to force Germany into a timeout trailing 17-13. Out of the timeout, Akinradewo added an ace, Larson powered down a kill and Hooker put up a block for a 20-13 margin on the 6-0 scoring run. After Germany stopped the run, Harmotto put up back-to-back blocks for a 22-14 lead. The U.S. ended the set 25-17 on a Miyashiro ace coming off the bench. The U.S. used a 7-2 block advantage in the set to offset three Germany errors. Hooker paced the American offense with six points, while Larson added five points.

The U.S. started the second set with a 3-0 lead with a Tom kill and block around a Germany error. Consecutive roll shot kills by Hooker and Larson over the German block and an Akinradewo block pushed the U.S. to a 6-1 lead at a Germany timeout. Out of the break, Akinradewo added another kill to widen the gap to 7-1. Hooker scored a kill and block on both sides of the first technical timeout to extend the U.S. lead to 9-2. Hooker and Harmotto put up consecutive blocks to widen the gap to 11-3. Germany sliced the deficit to 13-7 with consecutive USA errors, only to have the Americans regain an eight-point lead at 15-7 on an Akinradewo kill and German error. The Germans notched three straight points before the U.S. could reach the second technical timeout leading 16-10. Hooker scored a kill out of the back row and Germany hit wide on back-to-back attacks to extend the U.S. lead to 21-13. Larson extended the scoring run with an ace followed by a Germany attack error for a 23-14 lead. Harmotto and Hooker ended the set with kills at 25-15. Hooker and Akinradewo totaled five points each in the second set, while Harmotto tallied four points. The U.S. added four additional blocks in the set and kept its errors to four in the set and eight for the match.

Germany started the third set with a quick 8-0 lead to the first technical timeout that included three blocks and an ace, then increased the lead to 9-0 out of the break. Germany pushed the gap to 11 points at 12-1 with an ace. The U.S. sliced three points off the deficit with two Akinradewo blocks around a Germany error and Larson kill leading to a Germany timeout leading 12-6. Out of the break, Germany had consecutive attack errors to narrow the lead to 12-7 on a 6-0 run on Tom’s serve. Germany broke the scoring run with a side out and consecutive aces at 15-7. The U.S. sliced two points off the deficit with back-to-back kills by Tom and Akinradewo at 19-12. Team USA closed to 20-15 with an Akinradewo kill, Germany error and Tom block forcing a Germany timeout. The U.S. scoring run was extended to five points with a Hooker kill and Germany error closing the gap to 20-17. Team USA moved to within two at 21-19 with a Hooker kill and Akinradewo block. Germany reached set points at 24-20 following a Team USA attack error. Hooker saved consecutive set points with a kill and ace at 24-22. Larson powered down a kill to save a third set point at 24-23, but Germany ended the set at 25-23 before the U.S. could tie it. Akinradewo scored seven points in the third set for the U.S., while Hooker added four points. Germany used five blocks and five aces in the third set.

The U.S. gained the first two-point edge of the fourth set at 4-2 with Hooker scoring a block after a Germany service error. Germany tied the set at 6-all following a block. However, a German service error and a Larson back-row kill led the U.S. into the first technical timeout leading 8-6. Out of the break, Harmotto connected for consecutive aces to push the lead to 10-6. Consecutive Germany errors extended Team USA’s advantage to 12-7. The Americans moved in front 14-8 with a Tom kill and Hooker block leading to a Germany timeout. Hooker nailed back-to-back kills, Larson hit a winner and Akinradewo served an ace for an 18-9 U.S. lead on a 4-0 scoring run. Harmotto put up three consecutive blocks to stretch the scoring run to 7-0 and a 21-9 lead. Akinradewo served her second ace of the 7-0 run to produce a 22-9 lead. Team USA reached set and match points at 24-10 on a Larson block after a Harmotto kill. Hooker ended the set at 25-11 with a back-row kill.

For more details on the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix, visit the U.S. event page at or the FIVB event page by clicking here.

To view the 2012 U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team FIVB World Grand Prix Press Kit, click here.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix

# - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)

1 - * Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, Leland, Mich., Penn State)

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 - Stacy Sykora (L, 5-10, Burleson, Texas, Texas A&M)

6 - * Nicole Davis (L, 5-4, Stockton, Calif., Southern California)

7 - Heather Bown (MB, 6-3, Yorba Linda, Calif., Hawaii)

8 - Cynthia Barboza (OH, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Stanford)

9 - Jennifer Tamas (MB, 6-4, Milpitas, Calif., Pacific)

10 - Kim Glass (OH, 6-2, Lancaster, Pa., Arizona)

11 - * Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Nebraska)

12 - Nancy Metcalf (Opp, 6-1, Hull, Iowa, Nebraska)

13 - * Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, Hopewell, Pa., Penn State)

14 - Nicole Fawcett (Opp, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State)

15 - * Logan Tom (OH, 6-1, Salt Lake City, Utah, Stanford)

16 - * Foluke Akinradewo (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford)

17 - Carli Lloyd (S, 5-11, Bonsall, Calif., California-Berkeley)

18 - * Megan Hodge (OH, 6-3, Durham, N.C., Penn State)

19 - * Destinee Hooker (Opp, 6-4, San Antonio, Texas, Texas)

20 - Alix Klineman (OH, 6-4, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Stanford)

21 - * Tamari Miyashiro (L, 5-7, Kaneohe, Hawaii, Washington)

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

23 - Mary ‘Nellie’ Spicer (S, 5-9, Barrington, Ill., UCLA)

24 - Kristin Richards (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford)

25 - Lauren Gibbemeyer (MB, 6-2, St. Paul, Minn., Minnesota)

Legend: * Weekend 1; # Weekend 2; ^ Weekend 3; % Final Round

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.)

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

Team Manager: Ken Sullivan

2012 FIVB World Grand Prix Standings

Team (Points, Record)

USA (3, 1-0)

Thailand (3, 1-0)

China (3, 1-0)

Turkey (3, 1-0)

Poland (2, 1-0)

Cuba (2, 1-0)

Brazil (2, 1-0)

Italy (1, 0-1)

Korea (1, 0-1)

Serbia (1, 0-1)

Japan (0, 0-1)

Puerto Rico (0, 0-1)

Argentina (0, 0-1)

Germany (0, 0-1)

Dominican Republic (0, 0-0) vs. Chinese Taipei 6/8

Chinese Taipei (0, 0-0) vs. Dominican Republic 6/8

POINTS NOTE: 3 points for 3-0 or 3-1 win, 2 points for 3-2 win; 1 point for 3-2 loss; 0 points for 3-0 or 3-1 loss

FIVB Women’s World Cup Schedule

Pool A – Macau, China

June 8: Thailand def. Argentina 25-18, 25-9, 25-22

June 8: China def. Puerto Rico 25-15, 25-19, 25-16

June 9: Puerto Rico vs. Thailand, 2:50 p.m.

June 9: Argentina vs. China, 5:20 p.m.

June 10: Argentina vs. Puerto Rico, 12:50 p.m.

June 10: China vs. Thailand, 3:20 p.m.

Pool B – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

June 8: USA def. Germany 25-17, 25-15, 23-25, 25-11

June 8: Dominican Republic vs. Chinese Taipei, 7:30 p.m.

June 9: USA vs. Chinese Taipei, 5 p.m. (2 p.m. PT)

June 9: Germany vs. Dominican Republic, 7:30 p.m.

June 10: Germany vs. Chinese Taipei, 2:30 p.m.

June 10: USA vs. Dominican Republic, 5 p.m. (2 p.m. PT)

Pool C – Busan, Korea

June 8: Turkey def. Japan 25-19, 25-21, 25-21

June 8: Cuba def. Korea 23-25, 27-25, 25-18, 23-25, 15-11

June 9: Korea vs. Turkey, 2 p.m.

June 9: Japan vs. Cuba, 4:30 p.m.

June 10: Korea vs. Japan, 2 p.m.

June 10: Cuba vs. Turkey, 4:30 p.m.

Pool D – Lodz, Poland

June 8: Brazil def. Italy 18-25, 25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 15-6

June 8: Poland def. Serbia 24-26, 25-22, 20-25, 25-16, 15-10

June 9: Serbia vs. Brazil, 12:30 p.m.

June 9: Poland vs. Italy, 3 p.m.

June 10: Italy vs. Serbia, 5:30 p.m.

June 10: Poland vs. Brazil, 8 p.m.

Pool E – Sao Paulo, Brazil

June 15: USA vs. Italy, 6:20 p.m. (2:20 p.m. PT)

June 15: Brazil vs. Germany, 8:20 p.m.

June 16: USA vs. Germany, 6:20 p.m. (2:20 p.m. PT)

June 16: Brazil vs. Italy, 8:20 p.m.

June 17: USA vs. Brazil, 1:20 p.m. (9:20 a.m. PT)

June 17: Germany vs. Italy, 3:20 p.m.

Pool F – Komaki, Japan

June 15: Thailand vs. Puerto Rico, 3:20 p.m.

June 15: Japan vs. Dominican Republic, 6:20 p.m.

June 16: Dominican Republic vs. Thailand, 3:20 p.m.

June 16: Japan vs. Puerto Rico, 6:20 p.m.

June 17: Dominican Republic vs. Puerto Rico, 3 p.m.

June 17: Japan vs. Thailand, 6 p.m.

Pool G – Foshan, China

June 15: Korea vs. Poland, 4 p.m.

June 15: China vs. Chinese Taipei, 7:30 p.m.

June 16: Poland vs. Chinese Taipei, 4 p.m.

June 16: China vs. Korea, 7:30 p.m.

June 17: Korea vs. Chinese Taipei, 4 p.m.

June 17: China vs. Poland, 7:30 p.m.

Pool H – Belgrade, Serbia

June 15: Serbia vs. Argentina, 5:20 p.m.

June 15: Cuba vs. Turkey, 8:05 p.m.

June 16: Cuba vs. Serbia, 5:20 p.m.

June 16: Turkey vs. Argentina, 8:05 p.m.

June 17: Serbia vs. Turkey, 5:20 p.m.

June 17: Argentina vs. Cuba, 8:05 p.m.

Pool I – Osaka, Japan

June 22: Korea vs. Turkey, 3:20 p.m.

June 22: Japan vs. Germany, 6:20 p.m.

June 23: Germany vs. Korea, 3:20 p.m.

June 23: Japan vs. Turkey, 6:20 p.m.

June 24: Germany vs. Turkey, 3 p.m.

June 24: Japan vs. Korea, 6 p.m.

Pool J – Bangkok, Thailand

June 22: USA vs. Serbia, 1:50 p.m. (11:50 p.m. PT on June 21)

June 22: Thailand vs. Argentina, 4:20 p.m.

June 23: USA vs. Argentina, 1:50 p.m. (11:50 p.m. PT on June 22)

June 23: Serbia vs. Thailand, 4:20 p.m.

June 24: Argentina vs. Serbia, 1:50 p.m.

June 24: USA vs. Thailand, 4:20 p.m. (2:20 a.m. PT)

Pool K – Luohe, China

June 22: Cuba vs. Brazil, 4 p.m.

June 22: China vs. Puerto Rico, 7:30 p.m.

June 23: Puerto Rico vs. Brazil, 4 p.m.

June 23: China vs. Cuba, 7:30 p.m.

June 24: Cuba vs. Puerto Rico, 4 p.m.

June 24: China vs. Brazil, 7:30 p.m.

Pool L – Taipei, Chinese Taipei

June 22: Italy vs. Dominican Republic, 4 p.m.

June 22: Poland vs. Chinese Taipei, 7:30 p.m.

June 23: Italy vs. Chinese Taipei, 5 p.m.

June 23: Poland vs. Dominican Republic, 7 p.m.

June 24: Dominican Republic vs. Chinese Taipei, 5 p.m.

June 24: Italy vs. Poland, 7 p.m.

FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round

Ningbo, China – June 27 to July 1

Top five teams from preliminary round plus China