U.S. Women Clinch Olympic Pool B with Win

By Bill Kauffman | Aug. 03, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
USA Volleyball Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800
Email: bill.kauffman@usav.org
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LONDON (Aug. 3, 2012) – Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) scored a match-high 19 points in leading the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team to a 25-17, 25-20, 25-16 victory over Serbia on Friday evening to clinch the top spot in Pool B of the Olympic Games being held in London.

Team USA, ranked No. 1 in the world with a 27-1 record in 2012, remains undefeated in four pool matches heading into the final pool match on Sunday against Turkey at 8 p.m. local time (noon PT). Team USA is guaranteed the top spot and will face Pool A’s fourth-place team to open the quarterfinal round on Tuesday. Serbia, the reigning European champion, falls to 0-4 without a standing point.

The Americans took advantage of 10 Serbian errors in the opening set to come back from a 6-3 deficit using a 13-3 scoring for a 16-9 lead before settling in on a 25-17 victory. The U.S. came back from an 8-7 deficit to reach a 12-9 advantage on a 5-1 run that propelled the Americans to a 25-20 victory. Team USA rocketed to a 9-1 advantage in the third set and cruised to the 25-16 victory that clinched the Pool B top spot.

“We are very happy with the win as Serbia is a dangerous team,” U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “From our history with them, we know they are a tough team.”

Hooker reached her 19 points with 12 kills on 21 attempts in addition to a match-high six blocks and an ace. Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) picked up 12 points with 10 kills on 18 attacks and two blocks. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) charted six kills on 14 attacks and five blocks for 11 points.

Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) came off the bench for six points including five kills on 12 attacks and an ace. Christa Harmotto (Hopewell Township, Pa.) tacked on three kills on six swings and a block for four points. Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) pocketed three kills on four attacks and a block for four points. Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) added a kill and ace for two points. Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C. ) rounded out the scoring with a kill.

Berg set the U.S. offense to a 47.1 kill percent and .356 hitting efficiency (41-10-87) with 32 running sets on 58 assist attempts. Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) collected a team-high nine digs and added seven excellent receptions on eight errorless chances. Larson provided 10 excellent receptions on 19 errorless chances.

“It's amazing that we're through and have won the group but we have another chance on Saturday to get better as a team,” Berg said. “I like the momentum we have going. We will approach our match with Turkey just like any other match, that as a chance to learn and get better.”

McCutcheon started Tom and Hodge at outside hitter, Akinradewo and Harmotto at middle blocker, Hooker at opposite and Berg at setter. Davis is the designated U.S. libero for the Olympic Games. Larson and Scott-Arruda subbed into the second set and started the third set in place of Hodge and Harmotto, respectively. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) and Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) were subs in the first two sets as part of a double-sub. Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) was a serving sub in the third set.

The U.S. limited Serbia to 39.2 kill percent and .147 hitting efficiency as it committed 25 attack errors (40-25-102). Team USA won the defensive battle as well with a 15-3 block advantage and a 25-22 edge in digs. The U.S. out-served Serbia 3-1 and committed just one service error for the match.

"We just need to be consistent, make fewer errors and play the USA Volleyball way,” Akinradewo said on the team’s success and moving forward the rest of the tournament. “Team chemistry is important. Regardless of the sport, the team is the most important thing, and this group we have right now is amazing."

As far as the upcoming match against Turkey, Team USA will prepare as it has for the first four matches.

“We just need to play our game,” Akinradewo said. “No matter what team we play, they're going to want to beat USA. We've got that target on our backs.”

Brankica Mihajlovic totaled 13 points to lead Serbia, while Jovana Brakocevic and Milena Rasic added eight points each.

While the U.S. is undefeated with a 4-0 record with a maximum 12 points, four teams are 2-2 with Korea (7 points, 2-2) edging China (7 points, 2-2) for second place based on current tiebreakers. Turkey (6 points, 2-2) is currently in fourth place, while Brazil (4 points, 2-2) is in fifth place and facing a must-win against Serbia on Aug. 5 to have a chance to advance to the quarterfinals and defend its 2008 Olympic Games title.

Earlier today in Pool B, Brazil (4 points, 2-2) topped China (7 points, 2-2) 25-16, 20-25, 25-18, 28-30, 15-10 and Turkey defeated Korea 25-16, 21-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-12.

In Pool A, Russia (12 points, 4-0) held off Japan (6 points, 2-2) 27-25, 25-17, 20-25, 25-19 and Dominican Republic (3 points, 1-3) won its first pool match in a 25-9, 25-18, 25-19 win over host Great Britain (2 points, 1-3). Italy (9 points, 3-0) and Algeria (1 point, 0-3) cap the day’s matches at 10 p.m. local time (2 p.m. PT).

The top team in each of the six-team pools will face the fourth-place team in the opposite pool If the squad falls to second, it would enter a draw to determine its quarterfinal pairing with opposite pool’s second- and third-place teams.

The U.S. Women are in search of its first Olympic Games gold medal after winning silver medals in 2008 in Beijing and 1984 in Los Angeles. Team USA also won the bronze in 1992 in Barcelona. Aside from the Olympics, the U.S. has not won a major season-ending tournament including the FIVB World Championship and FIVB World Cup. However, the Americans have won the FIVB World Grand Prix, the premier annual international women’s volleyball tournament, the last three years and five times overall.

Serbia scored three straight points to grab a 3-1 advantage in the first set, then extended its lead to 5-2 on an attack error. Hooker and Hodge picked up consecutive kills to close to 6-5, then Hooker knotted the set at 6-all with an ace. Serbia hit into the net for a fourth consecutive Team USA point to put it in front 7-6. Tom and Harmotto pounded kills off the block after a Serbia service error to increase the American lead to 10-7 causing a Serbia timeout having yielded seven of eight points. The U.S. lead expanded to 12-8 with back-to-back errors. Hooker and Tom hammered kills and Hooker and Tom followed with blocks to push the gap to 16-9 on a 4-0 run into the second technical timeout. Akinradewo followed a Serbia error with a quick kill to force Serbia into a timeout down 18-10. After the break, Serbia committed another error to create a 19-10 score. Serbia responded with an ace around two USA errors to trim the gap to 19-13. Team USA regained an eight-point lead at 21-13 with a Hooker block after a Serbia service error. The Americans upped the advantage to 23-14 with consecutive Serbia errors. Serbia picked up two quick points to narrow the deficit to 23-16. Tom ended the set with a slam on the left side for a 25-17 victory. Tom and Hooker tallied five points each as the Americans benefited from 10 Serbian errors. The U.S. also scored four blocks in the set.

Hooker slammed consecutive kills between a kill and block by Akinradewo allowing the U.S. to take a 4-0 lead to start the second set. Serbia stopped the run with three consecutive points to cut the gap to 4-3. Serbia squared the set at 7-all and took an 8-7 lead at the first technical timeout on a block. Team USA quickly returned to the lead at 9-8 with a Larson slammed and Berg setter dump. Team USA expanded the lead to 12-9 on a Scott-Arruda block and Serbia error. The Americans stretched the lead to 14-10 with a Tom kill and Hooker block. Larson sliced an ace after a Serbia error to pick up a 19-14 advantage going into a timeout. Serbia went on a 4-1 scoring run to narrow the gap to 20-18 and prompting a USA timeout. Tom and Akinradewo scored consecutive blocks and Serbia hit wide to yield a 23-18 advantage for the Americans. Tom smacked a kill for a fourth straight point and set points at 24-18. Serbia saved two set points on consecutive errors before an attack error went long to conclude the set at 25-20. Akinradewo turned in seven points, while Hooker added five points. Scott-Arruda tallied four points as a sub in the set. The Americans totaled five blocks in the period.

Akinradewo and Hooker picked up kills and Hooker followed with a block to kick-start the Americans to a 3-0 advantage in the third set. Out of a Serbia timeout, Berg served an ace and Akinradewo followed with a block at 5-0. Hooker hit a cross-court winner for a sixth straight point to cap the run. Team USA’s lead reached 9-1 with kills from Hooker, Larson and Akinradewo. Serbia scored back-to-back points to move within seven at 11-5. Tom hit a cross-court winner and Hooker put up a block around a Serbia error to reach the second technical timeout leading 16-7. Tom and Larson hammered back-to-back kills and Akinradewo teamed with Larson for a block to lift the margin to 19-8. Trailing 22-11, Serbia battled back to 23-15 on a 4-1 run. However, the U.S. sided out the rest of the way winning on a service error at 25-16.

2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team
# - 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)
5 - Tamari Miyashiro (L, 5-7, Kaneohe, Hawaii, Washington)
6 - Nicole Davis (L, 5-4, Stockton, Calif., Southern California)
10 - Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Nebraska)
11 - Megan Hodge (OH, 6-3, Durham, N.C., Penn State)
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)
17 - Courtney Thompson (S, 5-8, Kent, Wash., Washington)
19 - Destinee Hooker (Opp, 6-4, San Antonio, Texas, Texas)

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.)
Consultant Coach: Marv Dunphy (Malibu, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer/Medical Support: Jill Wosmek (Silver Lake, Minn.)
Doctor: Dr. William Stetson

2012 Olympic Games Women’s Volleyball Schedule

Pool A Standings:
Russia (12 points, 4-0)
Italy (9 points, 3-0)
Japan (6 points, 2-2)
Dominican Republic (3 points, 1-3)
Great Britain (2 points, 1-3)
Algeria (1 points, 0-3)

Pool B Standings:
USA (12 points, 4-0)
China (7 points, 2-2)
Korea (7 points, 2-2)
Turkey (6 points, 2-2)
Brazil (4 points, 2-2)
Serbia (0 points, 0-4)

July 28: Japan def. Algeria 25-15, 25-14, 25-7
July 28: China def. Serbia 16-25, 25-18, 25-13, 25-12
July 28: Russia def. Great Britain 25-19, 25-10, 25-16
July 28: Italy def. Dominican Republic 25-17, 23-25, 25-19, 25-15
July 28: USA def. Korea 25-19, 25-17, 20-25, 25-21
July 28: Brazil def. Turkey 25-18, 23-25, 25-19, 25-27, 15-12

July 30: China def. Turkey 25-20, 25-20, 29-31, 25-22
July 30: Korea def. Serbia 25-12, 25-16, 16-25, 25-21
July 30: Russia def. Dominican Republic 25-23, 25-15, 24-26, 25-22
July 30: USA def. Brazil 25-18, 25-17, 22-25, 25-21
July 30: Italy def. Japan 25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 25-22
July 30: Great Britain def. Algeria 22-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-19, 15-8

Aug. 1: Japan def. Dominican Republic 25-20, 25-19, 25-23
Aug. 1: Russia def. Algeria 25-7, 25-14, 25-15
Aug. 1: Turkey def. Serbia 25-20, 25-12, 25-21
Aug. 1: Italy def. Great Britain 27-25, 25-12, 25-12
Aug. 1: USA def. China 26-24, 25-16, 31-29
Aug. 1: Korea def. Brazil 25-23, 25-21, 25-21

Aug. 3: Brazil def. China 25-16, 20-25, 25-18, 28-30, 15-10
Aug. 3: Russia def. Japan 27-25, 25-17, 20-25, 25-19
Aug. 3: Turkey def. Korea 25-16, 21-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-12
Aug. 3: Dominican Republic def. Great Britain 25-9, 25-18, 25-19
Aug. 3: USA def. Serbia 25-17, 25-20, 25-16
Aug. 3: Algeria vs. Italy, 10 p.m.

Aug. 5: Algeria vs. Dominican Republic, 9:30 a.m.
Aug. 5: China vs. Korea, 11:30 a.m.
Aug. 5: Great Britain vs. Japan, 2:45 p.m.
Aug. 5: Italy vs. Russia, 4:45 p.m.
Aug. 5: USA vs. Turkey, 8 p.m. (noon PT)
Aug. 5: Brazil vs. Serbia, 10 p.m.

Aug. 7: Quarterfinal Matches at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m.

Aug. 9: Semifinal Matches at 3 p.m., 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 11: Women’s Bronze Medal Match, 11:30 a.m.
Aug. 11: Women’s Gold Medal Match, 6:30 p.m.
Aug. 11: Women’s Gold Medal Ceremony, 8:20 p.m.