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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 16, 2012) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team remains undefeated in the FIVB World Grand Prix following a 25-23, 25-23, 25-17 victory over Germany in which both teams excited the Brazilian crowd with their defense Saturday evening during the Pool E second preliminary round weekend in Sao Bernardo, Brazil.
Team USA, ranked No. 1 in the world and two-time defending champions of the World Grand Prix, improves to 5-0 with 15 standings points through the first five matches to remain at the top of the 16-team tournament. The Americans opened the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix with a four-set victory over Germany on June 8 at Dominican Republic. The U.S. concludes Pool E competition against No. 2 world ranked Brazil (3-0, 6 points) on June 17 at 9:20 a.m. PT. Brazil (4-0, 9 points) plays Italy (1-3, 4 points) later today as part of the three-day, round-robin Pool E. Next week the U.S. travels to Thailand for matches against Serbia on June 22, Argentina on June 23 and Thailand on June 24.
In a set featuring 12 ties and five lead changes, the U.S. recovered from a 19-15 deficit in the opening set by scoring 10 of the final 14 points for a 25-23 victory. The Americans tallied seven blocks in the set with five different players picking up at least one block. Team USA used a 6-0 scoring run to overcome a 20-18 deficit in the second set and held on for a 25-23 victory. In the third set, the U.S. used another 6-0 run to forge to a 19-14 advantage en route to closing out the set 25-17.
“It was an important win for us,” U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “We have to find solutions for the situations the German put us in. Going through these experiences is very important as we are on the way to London. My first match as a coach of the female team was in Brazil, in 2009, against Germany, and I would like to congratulate Giovanni Guidetti for the great job he is doing.”
The U.S. benefited from balanced scoring as Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) scored a match-high 15 points with 10 kills and match-high five blocks. Both starting middle blockers reached 13 points as Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) tallied nine kills on 13 swings, three blocks and an ace. Christa Harmotto (Hopewell Township, Pa.) contributed 10 kills on 16 attacks and three blocks for 13 points. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) totaled six kills and a block for seven points, while Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) tacked on three kills and two blocks for five points. Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) rounded out the scoring with two kills on four attacks.
Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) handed out 13 running sets on 82 set attempts. Larson collected team-highs 15 digs and 12 excellent service receptions on 27 attempts. Tom added 12 digs and nine excellent receptions on 17 attempts. Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) charted eight excellent receptions on 17 errorless chances and 11 digs.
“It was a battle, as always is against Germany,” said Berg, the U.S. captain. “We were not as precise as we can be, especially myself. We are 5-0 so far and we want to keep playing in the same way until the Finals.”
“I am happy with how we are playing, even though everything is not smooth,” Tom said. “So we have room for improvement.”
McCutcheon started Berg at setter, Tom and Larson at outside hitter, Akinradewo and Harmotto at middle blocker and Hooker at opposite. Davis was the designated libero for the match. Haneef-Park was a sub in all three sets, while Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) proved valuable as a serving sub in the first two sets. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) was a late sub in the third set as the U.S. closed out the match.
Team USA held a 14-9 advantage in blocks as both teams scored one point on aces. The Americans held their errors to 18 in the match while benefiting from 20 Germany errors. Germany managed a 75-64 advantage in digs and produced a 55.2 excellent reception percent to the Americans’ 45.9 percent. The U.S. converted 32.5 percent of its attacks into points with a .171 hitting efficiency (40-19-123), while Germany was limited to a 25.2 kill percent and .050 hitting efficiency.
Maren Brinker led Germany with 11 points, while Anne Matthes came off the bench to contribute nine points.
“It is an honor to lose to such a great team as the United States,” Germany head coach Giovanni Guidetti said. “Once again they showed their power and made great defenses in important moments. Even if we lose 3-0, I am happy with my team because we fought hard and created problems for the Americans. The team is improving every week and I hope we can win the next match, which is very important for us.”
Earlier today, Thailand (4-1, 12 points) handled Dominican Republic (1-4, 3 points) 25-14, 25-22, 25-19 and Japan swept Puerto Rico 25-20, 25-18, 25-16 in Pool F matches at Komaki, Japan, in two head-to-head battles of Asian Confederation opponents versus NORCECA opponents. In Pool G matches at Foshan, China, Poland (3-2, 9 points) blanked Chinese Taipei (0-5, 0 points) 25-10, 26-24, 25-19 and host China (5-0, 15 points) powered past Korea (0-5, 1 point) 25-22, 25-16, 25-18. In Pool H matches at Belgrad, Serbia, Cuba (4-1, 11 points) swept Serbia (2-3, 8 points) 25-14, 25-15, 25-17 and Turkey (4-1, 12 points) downed Argentina (0-5, 0 points) 25-15, 25-20, 21-25, 25-15.
The 16-team tournament is broken down into three preliminary weekends with four teams competing in round-robin competition in four different locations. The U.S. travels to Thailand for the final preliminary round weekend June 22-24 with matches against SerbiaThe top five teams following the nine-match preliminary round, along with host China, advance to the six-team Final Round held June 27 to July 1 in Ningbo, China.
The U.S. Women are attempting to win its third consecutive FIVB World Grand Prix, the premier annual international women’s volleyball event. Team USA is attempting 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. reached the opening set’s first technical timeout leading 8-7 on a Tom kill and Germany error, which was the third lead change and broke the seventh tie of the first set. Out of the break, Germany hit long to extend the U.S. lead to 9-7 marking the first two-point edge by either team. Akinradewo followed with a tip around the Germany block to increase the margin to 10-7 on Harmotto’s serve. Germany responded with three quick points to level the score at 10-all. Germany went back in front at 12-11 and extended the margin to 16-12 on consecutive USA attack errors and a Germany ace to reach the second technical timeout on a 4-0 scoring run. The U.S. cut the deficit in half at 19-17 with an Akinradewo block after a Germany attack error. Out of German timeout, Tom added another block to close the gap to 19-18. Akinradewo tied the set for the 11th time with an ace at 22-all after a Hooker kill. Hooker followed a Larson block with a kill to yield a Team USA set point at 24-23, which was the fifth lead change of the set. Team USA ended the set immediately on a Harmotto block at 25-23. Akinradewo led the U.S. with six points in the set, while Hooker added five points. Team USA tallied seven blocks in the period.
Team USA gained the first two-point cushion of the second set at 3-1 with Hooker picking up a kill and block around a German error. Hooker, Harmotto and Larson scored consecutive kills to stretch the American advantage to 6-2. Germany cut the deficit in half at 7-5 with back-to-back points, then moved into a tie at 8-all with three consecutive points out of the first technical timeout. Germany went in front 10-9 on a USA error and forged the lead to 13-11 as part of a 5-2 scoring run. The U.S. answered with a Hooker kill and Harmotto block to knot the score at 13-all. Germany regained the two-point cushion at 15-13. However, Germany committed three consecutive errors to put the U.S. back into the lead at 16-15 at the second technical timeout. Hooker extended the U.S. lead with a dig that fell onto the Germany side for a kill at 17-15. Germany rallied with three straight points to assume a 19-18 advantage. Out of a U.S. timeout, Germany extended its margin to two points at 20-18 with a kill down the line. Team USA answered with kills by Harmotto and Germany error to knot the score at 20-all. Tom followed with a block to return the lead back to the U.S. at 21-20. Out of a German timeout, Tom put up a second straight block to increase the gap to 22-20 on Miyashiro’s service run. Germany was called for a back-row attack and Haneef-Park nailed a kill to move the advantage to 24-20 on a 6-0 U.S. scoring run. Germany saved three set points before the U.S. finished the set at 25-23 on a Hooker kill. Harmotto and Hooker pocketed six points each in the set.
A Larson kill and two Germany errors gave the U.S. a 3-1 advantage in the third set. Hooker and Larson collected back-to-back kills and Akinradewo followed with a block to lift the U.S. in front 6-2. Germany scored five of the next six points to level the score at 7-all. Two Larson kills around a Germany attack error pushed the U.S. in front 10-7. Germany rallied back to knot the score at 11-all on three unanswered points, then went in front at 14-13 for the first time since it was 1-0 in its favor. Akinradewo and Larson scored consecutive kills to put the U.S. back in front 15-14. Team USA picked up several diving saves from Davis and won its third straight point on a Germany attack error to go into the second technical timeout leading 16-14. Out of the break, Hooker scored a fourth and fifth straight points for the Americans with consecutive blocks at 18-14 going into a Germany timeout. Out of the break, Germany committed an attack error for the sixth unanswered point on Tom’s serve. The U.S. advantage stretched to six points at 21-15 with an Akinradewo quick attack kill followed by a Germany error going into its second timeout. Harmotto and Haneef-Park collected back-to-back kills to give the U.S. set and match points at 24-17, then Tom ended the set at 25-17 on a cross-court winner.
For more details on the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix, visit the U.S. event page at usavolleyball.org/events/10257 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 (Laguna Beach, Calif.)
2012 FIVB World Grand Prix Standings
Team (Points, Record)
USA (15, 5-0)
China (15, 5-0)
Thailand (12, 4-1)
Turkey (12, 4-1)
Cuba (11, 4-1)
Brazil (9, 4-0) 6/16 vs Italy
Poland (9, 3-2)
Japan (9, 3-2)
Serbia (8, 2-3)
Germany (6, 2-3)
Italy (4, 1-3) 6/16 vs Brazil
Puerto Rico (3, 1-4)
Dominican Republic (3, 1-4)
Korea (1, 0-5)
Argentina (0, 0-4) 6/16 vs Turkey
Chinese Taipei (0, 0-5)
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 def. Italy 27-25, 25-20, 25-17
June 15: Brazil def. Germany 18-25, 25-14, 25-18, 26-24
June 16: USA def. Germany 25-23, 25-23, 25-17
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 def. Puerto Rico 25-18, 19-25, 25-11, 25-19
June 15: Japan def. Dominican Republic 25-17, 25-13, 25-18
June 16: Thailand def. Dominican Republic 25-14, 25-22, 25-19
June 16: Japan def. Puerto Rico 25-20, 25-18, 25-16
June 17: Dominican Republic vs. Puerto Rico, 3 p.m.
June 17: Japan vs. Thailand, 6 p.m.
Pool G – Foshan, China
June 15: Poland def. Korea 25-17, 25-16, 25-22
June 15: China def. Chinese Taipei 25-13, 25-17, 25-19
June 16: Poland def. Chinese Taipei 25-10, 26-24, 25-19
June 16: China def. Korea 25-22, 25-16, 25-18
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 def. Argentina 25-23, 23-25, 25-22, 25-17
June 15: Turkey def. Cuba 25-16, 20-25, 25-20, 25-20
June 16: Cuba def. Serbia 25-14, 25-15, 25-17
June 16: Turkey def. Argentina 25-15, 25-20, 21-25, 25-15
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