US Women Over NORCECA Rival Dominican Republic

By Bill Kauffman | June 10, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

Photo: Courtesy FIVB

The U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team celebrates its victory over Dominican Republic to improve to 3-0 in the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix

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

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 10, 2012) – Three matches into the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix, the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team (3-0, 9 points) is atop the standings of the tournament it has won the past two years following a 25-18, 25-19, 25-15 victory over NORCECA rival Dominican Republic in Pool B action Sunday evening in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The U.S., ranked No. 1 in the world, improved to 3-0 in the World Grand Prix with nine points. The Americans, one of four unbeaten teams along with China (3-0, 9 points), Cuba (3-0, 8 points) and Brazil (3-0, 6 points) through the first preliminary weekend, continue the FIVB World Grand Prix in Sao Paulo, Brazil, next weekend with Pool E matches against Italy on June 15 at 2:20 p.m. PT, Germany on June 16 at 2:20 p.m. PT and host and No. 2 Brazil on Sunday at 9:20 a.m. PT. 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.

Team USA built an early 7-2 lead in the opening set and used balanced scoring to cruise to a 25-18 set victory in which the Americans committed just two errors. The U.S. scored six straight points to take a 6-2 lead in the second set, but needed a 6-2 run to regain control at 20-14 en route to a 25-19 victory. The Americans rushed to a 10-1 lead in the third set, but needed to weather an 8-2 run by Dominican Republic closing the gap to 14-10 by scoring nine of the 13 points for a 25-15 victory.

“I am happy with our performance,” U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “Congratulations to Dominican Republic for the excellent organization and for the fan support. We had a good service line today and we were able to attack with effectiveness. USA is satisfied with the job done by this group.”

Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) scored a U.S. and match-high 17 points with 15 kills on 26 attacks, one block and an ace. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) contributed nine kills, two blocks and an ace for 12 points. Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) notched five kills on eight errorless swings, three blocks and an ace for nine points. Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) produced four kills and four aces for eight points. Christa Harmotto (Hopewell Township, Pa.) charted four kills and a block for five points. Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) scored two kills as a reserve in all three sets, while Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) rounded out the scoring with a block as a late sub in the third set.

Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) contributed six digs and seven excellent receptions on 14 errorless chances. Tom provided a team-high eight digs, while Larson picked up a team-high nine excellent service receptions on 16 chances. Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) charted 10 running sets on 62 set attempts.

“I am very happy with the way we played. It is great to start with a 3-0 in this stage of the Grand Prix,” said Berg, the U.S. captain. “Dominican Republic is a strong team, but we played well. The fans here know a lot about volleyball and even though they always are against us, it is also a source of motivation.”

At the conclusion of the preliminary weekend Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Hooker was named most valuable player, Best Scorer and Best Spiker of Pool B, Berg was tabbed Best Setter and Davis was chosen Best Libero.

McCutcheon started Tom and Larson at outside hitter, Scott-Arruda and Harmotto at middle blocker, Hooker at opposite and Berg at setter. Davis was the libero for the match. Haneef-Park and Miyashiro were subs in all three sets, while Glass was a sub in the third set.

Team USA limited its errors to 12 for the match and benefited from 21 Dominican Republic errors. The U.S. converted 39.8 percent of its attacks into points with a .286 hitting efficiency, while Dominican Republic converted just 28.9 percent of its attacks with a .144 hitting efficiency. The U.S. held a slim 8-7 margin in blocks, along with a 7-3 advantage in aces. Dominican Republic held a small 28-25 margin in digs and a 27-20 advantage in excellent service receptions.

Bethania De La Cruz de Pena paced Dominican Republic with 15 points, while no other player scored more than five points.

“Congratulations to USA, they showed why they are the number 1 team in the world,” Dominican Republic Head Coach Marcos Kwiek said. “We improved from yesterday and today we had our best defensive day. It was a great experience and we have learned a lot from USA. Our young libero Winifer Fernandez made her international debut at this level and she has a great future.”

Earlier today in Pool B action in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Germany (2-1, 6 points) blanked Chinese Taipei (0-3, 0 points) 25-11, 25-15, 25-15. In other action on the second day of the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix, China (3-0, 9 points) rallied past Thailand (2-1, 6 points) 18-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-19 and NORCECA’s Puerto Rico upended Argentina 25-20, 25-16, 16-25, 25-17 in Pool A action at Macau, China. In Pool C at Busan, Korea, Japan (1-2, 3 points) defeated host Korea (0-3, 1 point) 25-19, 23-25, 25-19, 25-22 and Cuba (3-0, 8 points) remained undefeated with a 25-20, 21-25, 25-17, 25-20 victory over Turkey (2-1, 6 points). In Lodz, Poland’s Pool D, Serbia (1-2, 5 points) swept Italy (1-2, 4 points) 25-18, 25-14, 25-23 and Brazil (3-0, 6 points) captured its third straight five-set victory with a 25-15, 25-13, 23-25, 22-25, 15-10 victory over host Poland (1-2, 3 points).

After the weekend in Brazil, the Team USA competes in the third and final preliminary round weekend in Bangkok, Thailand, with Pool J matches against Serbia on June 22, Argentina on June 23 and Thailand on June 24.

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.

The U.S. started the first set leading 3-0 on a Hooker kill followed by an ace and kill by Tom. Hooker and Larson connected by back-to-back kills leading to a Dominican Republic timeout at 5-1. Hooker served an ace down the line after a Larson kill to extend the U.S. lead to 7-2. Scott-Arruda put up a block after a Tom kill to inch the American lead to 10-4. Larson slammed a kill of the block after a Dominican Republic service error to reach a 15-8 advantage. Dominican Republic scored the first three points out of the second technical timeout to close to 16-12. The teams traded the next nine points until Dominican Republic called timeout trailing 21-16 after a Hooker kill. Out of the break, Dominican Republic hit into the net to increase the U.S. lead to 22-16. Team USA ended the set with a Harmotto quick kill and Dominican Republic attack error at 25-18. Hooker paced the Americans with six points, while Larson and Tom notched four points each.

Dominican Republic scored the first two points of the second set, only to serve an error followed by two kills from Hooker around a Scott-Arruda attack winner to push the U.S. in front 4-2. Tom served an ace for a fifth straight point leading to a Dominican Republic timeout down 5-2. Out of the break, Larson slammed an overpass for a kill to increase the gap to 6-2. Team USA reached the first technical timeout up 8-3 after a Dominican Republic service error and Larson kill. Out of the break, Hooker downed a kill to increase the margin to 9-3. Harmotto put up a block followed by a Larson kill to lead to an 11-4 advantage. Dominican Republic cut the deficit to two with five straight points at 11-8. Hooker stopped the run with a back-row kill followed by a Larson ace at 13-9. Dominican Republic sliced the gap to two points at 14-12. Team USA reached the second technical timeout leading 16-12 after a Tom kill and Scott-Arruda block. Scott-Arruda and Hooker knocked down consecutive kills to stretch the U.S. lead to 19-14 at Dominican Republic’s second timeout. The U.S. scored a third straight point at 20-14 on a Dominican Republic error. Team USA went up 23-16 on back-to-back errors. Dominican Republic saved two set points before the U.S. ended the set 25-19 on a Scott-Arruda kill. Hooker totaled seven points in the second set for the U.S., while Larson and Scott-Arruda each turned in four points.

Scott-Arruda turned in a block and kill between two Hooker kills to push the U.S. in front 4-1 early in the third set. The lead increased to 5-1 with a Dominican Republic attack into the net leading to a timeout. Out of the break, Tom served an ace followed by blocks by Larson and Hooker to put Team USA in front 8-1 at the first technical timeout on an 8-0 run on Tom’s serve. Out of the break, Hooker hammered a kill and Dominican Republic followed with an attack error for a10th straight U.S. point. Team USA extended the lead to 12-2 with a kill and block by Larson. Dominican Republic scored eight of the next 10 points to whittle the deficit to 14-10. After a Dominican Republic service error, Glass put up a block and Haneef-Park launched a kill for an 18-11 lead. Tom served an ace at 20-12 after a Dominican Republic service error. Larson blocked a Dominican Republic attack after its service error, then Scott-Arruda served an ace at 23-13. Dominican Republic served an ace at 23-15, but could not stop the U.S. from winning as Larson scored the final winner on a kill at 25-15. Team USA benefited from eight errors from Dominican Republic in the third set as Hooker scored four points.

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 (9, 3-0)

China (9, 3-0)

Cuba (8, 3-0)

Brazil (6, 3-0)

Germany (6, 2-1)

Thailand (6, 2-1)

Turkey (6, 2-1)

Serbia (5, 1-2)

Italy (4, 1-2)

Dominican Republic (3, 1-2)

Japan (3, 1-2)

Puerto Rico (3, 1-2)

Poland (3, 1-2)

Korea (1, 0-3)

Argentina (0, 0-3)

Chinese Taipei (0, 0-3)

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: Thailand def. Puerto Rico 25-21, 25-20, 25-22

June 9: China def. Argentina 23-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-18

June 10: Puerto Rico def. Argentina 25-20, 25-16, 16-25, 25-17

June 10: China def. Thailand 18-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-19

Pool B – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

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

June 8: Dominican Republic def. Chinese Taipei 25-23, 25-19, 25-18

June 9: USA def. Chinese Taipei 25-10, 25-22, 25-12

June 9: Germany def. Dominican Republic 25-16, 25-18, 25-19

June 10: Germany def. Chinese Taipei 25-11, 25-15, 25-15

June 10: USA def. Dominican Republic 25-18, 25-19, 25-15

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: Turkey def. Korea 25-18, 22-25, 25-21, 25-14

June 9: Cuba def. Japan 25-20, 20-25, 25-18, 25-20

June 10: Japan def. Korea 25-19, 23-25, 25-19, 25-22

June 10: Cuba def. Turkey 25-20, 21-25, 25-17, 25-20

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: Brazil def. Serbia 21-25, 25-18, 25-23, 23-25, 15-5

June 9: Italy def. Poland 25-22, 23-25, 25-20, 31-29

June 10: Serbia def. Italy 25-18, 25-14, 25-23

June 10: Brazil def. Poland 25-15, 25-13, 23-25, 22-25, 15-10

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