US Women Blank Serbia Qualify for Final Round

By Bill Kauffman | June 22, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)
 

Heather Bown (left) and Nancy Metcalf (right) form a block against Serbia in a 3-0 United States victory

 

Bill Kauffman
USA Volleyball Communications
Email: bill.kauffman@usav.org

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 22, 2012) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team continued to roll in the FIVB World Grand Prix with a 25-19, 25-23, 25-18 victory over Serbia in a Pool J match Friday evening in Bangkok, Thailand.

The U.S., ranked No. 1 in the world and qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games, improves to 7-0 with 21 standings points. With the victory, the U.S. qualified for the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round set for June 27 to July 1 in Ningbo, China. The Americans are currently atop the preliminary round standings.Serbia is now 2-5 with eight points.

Team USA faces Argentina (0-6, 0 points, 15th place before Friday match with Thailand) at 11:50 p.m. PT on June 22 before concluding the preliminary round against host Thailand (5-1, 14 points, 4th place before Friday match with Argentina) at 2:20 a.m. PT on June 24. The top five teams following the nine-match preliminary round, along with host China, advance to the six-team Final Round in China.

The U.S. used a 4-0 scoring run in the opening set to take a 14-11 advantage en route to a 25-19 victory in which the Americans put up eight blocks. Team USA rallied from a 10-3 deficit in the second set by countering with its own 10-3 scoring run in moving on to a 25-23 victory. The U.S. rushed out to a 6-2 lead in the third set and never allowed Serbia closer than two points the rest of the way in closing out the match with a 25-18 set victory.

“It’s great to win this match,” U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “Serbia is also strong despite the fact that they are playing without key players. I think both sides performed well. I have yet thought about the Ningbo Finals, although (the win tonight) has assured us a ticket to the Finals. We still have to play the remaining two matches against Argentina and Thailand (here in Bangkok).”

Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) paced the U.S. with a match-high 17 points with 16 kills and an ace. Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah), who did not travel the first two preliminary round weekends, contributed 10 kills and six blocks for 16 points. Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) charted seven kills and two blocks for nine points. Christa Harmotto (Hopewell Township, Pa.) totaled five blocks and three kills for eight points. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) charted three blocks, two kills and an ace for six points. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) and Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) each tacked on two points.

Glass handed out 28 running sets on 81 set attempts. Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) charted a U.S.-high 10 digs. Hodge contributed eight excellent receptions on a team-high 33 attempts.

“I’m glad that we won the match ,” said Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.), the U.S. captain for the current preliminary round pool. “We played without any pressure. We trained hard. I hope we can perform well in the remaining matches.”

McCutcheon started Glass at setter, Hodge and Richards at outside hitter, Bown and Harmotto at middle blocker and Metcalf at opposite. Davis is the designated U.S. libero for Pool J. Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) came in all three sets as a serving sub, while Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) and Haneef-Park were a part of a double-switch in the first two sets.

Team USA out-blocked Serbia 16-9 in the match as both teams served three aces. The U.S. held a 41-24 margin in kills to help offset 24 errors to Serbia’s 15. The Americans converted 36.3 percent of their attacks into points with a .239 hitting efficiency (41-14-113), compared to Serbia’s 21.2 kill percent and .088 hitting efficiency (24-14-113). Team USA held a 22-6 dig advantage, while Serbia managed a slim edge in excellent reception percent – 17.6 to 17.5.

Sanja Starovic led Serbia with nine points, while Brankica Mihajlovic added eight points.

“I congratulate the USA for their win,” Serbia coach Branko Kovacevic said. “It’s very difficult to win points from the USA. They are very strong and unusually good. We found it hard to overcome their attack. Their serves and attacks are beyond our level. My players also made too many mistakes.”

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.

Earlier today, Turkey defeated Korea 25-18, 28-26, 20-25, 25-13 in Pool I at Osaka, Japan, which will be followed by Japan (3-3, 10 points) versus Germany (3-3, 9 points). In Pool K at Luohe, China, Cuba (5-1, 14 points) challenges Brazil (5-1, 11 points) and host China (6-0, 18 points) entertains Puerto Rico (2-4, 5 points). In Pool L at Taipei, Chinese Taipei, Italy (1-5, 5 points) plays Dominican Republic (1-5, 4 points) and Poland (3-3, 9 points) meets host Chinese Taipei (0-6, 6 points).

The U.S. started the first set with a 2-0 lead with a Hodge kill and Harmotto block. Serbia knotted the score at 2-all and gained a 6-5 lead on back-to-back Team USA errors. Hodge slammed a kill and Metcalf put up a block for the U.S. to take a 9-8 advantage. Serbia regained the lead at 11-10, but Hodge and Richards collected consecutive kills to return the U.S. in front 12-11. A Serbia error and Richards block extended the American lead to 14-11 on a 4-0 scoring run. Serbia sliced the gap to 14-13, but Metcalf and Hodge hammered kills for a 16-13 margin going into the second technical timeout. Bown scored a kill and block to push the American lead to 18-14 prompting a Serbia timeout. The U.S. stretched the lead to 20-15 with a Metcalf kill and Serbia error. Harmotto scored a block after a Serbia service error to increase the Team USA to 22-16 at Serbia’s second timeout. Serbia whittled two points off the gap at 23-19. Haneef-Park gave the U.S. set points with a kill at 24-19, then Harmotto followed with the eighth U.S. block of the set for a 25-19 victory. Hodge and Richards led the U.S. with six points each as seven different Americans scored at least one point.

Serbia scored the first two points of the second set and went up 5-1 as the Americans had three early errors. Out of a USA timeout, Serbia put up a block to push the gap to 6-1 and went into the first technical timeout leading 8-2 following a block. Serbia continued to build the lead to 10-3, but Hodge hit a kill from the back row followed by a Richards block to narrow the gap to 10-5. The U.S. went on a 3-0 run with kills by Richards and Metcalf followed by a Bown block at 11-8 to prompt a Serbia timeout. Out of the break, Richards scored a block and Glass served an ace to pull the Americans to within one at 11-10. Serbia responded with two quick points to increase the margin to 13-10. Metcalf answered with consecutive kills and Serbia hit long to level the score at 13-all. The U.S. scored a fourth straight point on a Serbia error to take the lead at 14-13. The U.S. gained a two-point cushion at 17-15 with a Hodge kill and Harmotto block. Hodge launched a kill and ace on back-to-back points to increase the U.S. advantage to 19-16. Serbia responded with consecutive points to close to within one at 19-18. Metcalf and Richards collected back-to-back kills to return the U.S. advantage to three at 21-18, but Serbia moved back to within one at 22-21. Team USA sided out the rest of the way ending with a Harmotto block at 25-23. Richards tallied six points to lead the Americans, who had five blocks.

Team USA earned 6-2 advantage on two kills by Hodge around kills by Metcalf and Harmotto as part of a 4-0 scoring run going into a Serbia timeout. Serbia responded with an ace after a U.S. error to cut the gap in half at 6-4. However, Hodge hit a back-row kill after a Serbia error to take an 8-4 lead into the first technical timeout. The U.S. lead expanded to 10-5 on a Richards kill and Serbia attack error. But Serbia responded with three consecutive points to move to within two at 10-8. Consecutive blocks by Bown and Metcalf placed the U.S. in front 13-9, only to have Serbia cut the deficit in half at 13-11 with back-to-back points before a U.S. timeout. Hodge followed a Serbia service error out of the break with a kill to return the gap to four at 15-11. Harmotto put up a block after a Hodge kill to extend the advantage to 17-12. Serbia took a timeout down 19-13 after a Hodge kill and Serbia error. Out of the break, Harmotto put up a block for a 20-13 lead. Serbia scored four of the next five points to close to 21-17. Bown and Metcalf answered with back-to-back kills to send the score to 23-17. Richards and Hodge gained the last two points with kills at 25-18 to close out the set and match.

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 (21, 7-0)

China (21, 7-0)

Turkey (18, 6-1)

Thailand (14, 5-1) 6/22 vs. Argentina

Cuba (14, 5-1) 6/22 vs. Brazil

Brazil (11, 5-1) 6/22 vs. Cuba

Japan (10, 3-3) 6/22 vs. Germany

Germany (9, 3-3) 6/22 vs. Japan

Poland (9, 3-3) 6/22 vs. Chinese Taipei

Serbia (8, 2-5)

Puerto Rico (5, 2-5)

Italy (5, 1-5) 6/22 vs. Dominican Republic

Korea (4, 1-6)

Dominican Republic (4, 1-5) 6/22 vs. Italy

Argentina (0, 0-6) 6/22 vs. Thailand

Chinese Taipei (0, 0-6) 6/22 vs. Poland

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 def. Italy 26-24, 14-25, 25-15, 24-26, 16-14

June 17: USA def. Brazil 20-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-23

June 17: Germany def. Italy 30-28, 25-13, 26-24

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: Puerto Rico def. Dominican Republic 25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 21-25, 15-12

June 17: Thailand def. Japan 25-15, 16-25, 22-25, 25-19, 18-16

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 def. Chinese Taipei 25-21, 27-29, 25-20, 25-20

June 17: China def. Poland 25-19, 25-17, 29-27

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: Turkey def. Serbia 25-21, 16-25, 25-22, 25-21

June 17: Cuba def. Argentina 25-16, 25-19, 25-19

Pool I – Osaka, Japan

June 22: Turkey def. Korea 25-18, 28-26, 20-25, 25-13

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 def. Serbia 25-19, 25-23, 25-18

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 def. Puerto Rico 25-16, 25-27, 25-11, 25-13

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

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