Preview for U.S. Women versus Turkey

By Bill Kauffman | Aug. 04, 2012, 11:07 a.m. (ET)

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

Press Kit - Event Page

FIVBLONDON (Aug. 4, 2012) – The U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team has gone 4-0 in the Olympic Games and clinched the top seed out of Pool B with Turkey remaining in the preliminary round, but the business trip is far from complete to collect the team’s first-ever Olympic Games gold medal.

Regardless of its outcome versus Turkey on Sunday at 8 p.m. local time (noon PT), the U.S. Women have secured the top spot in Pool B and will face the fourth-place team from Pool A in the crossover quarterfinal round. The Americans, ranked No. 1 in the world, have defeated No. 15 Korea (3-1), No. 1 Brazil (3-1), No. 3 China (3-0) and No. 7 Serbia (3-0) in pool play. Turkey is ranked No. 8 in the world.

Team USA, 27-1 record in 2012, defeated Turkey 25-18, 25-23, 21-25, 25-20 on June 29 earlier this year during the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round as Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) scored 27 points according to unofficial DataVolley stats. U.S. outside hitters Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.), setter Lindsey Berg (Honolulu), opposite Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) and middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) did not compete in the match or the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round against the Olympic-bound Turkish roster. The Americans hold a 7-2 record against Turkey, who last defeated the U.S. in 2008.

While the U.S. is undefeated with a 4-0 record with a maximum 12 points, four Pool B teams are 2-2 with Korea (7 points, 2-2) edging China (7 points, 2-2) for second place based on current tiebreakers. Korea and China will meet on the final day of pool play, and the team losing could be out of the quarterfinals. 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.

In Pool A, Russia and Italy are undefeated and will meet on Sunday at 4:45 p.m. local time (8:45 a.m. PT) to determine the group winner. Third-place Japan (6 points, 2-2) faces host Great Britain (2 points, 1-3), while fourth-place Dominican Republic (3 points, 1-3) closes pool play against sixth-place Algeria (1 point, 0-4).

The U.S. will approach the match against Turkey just like any other contest with the outlook to improve to be the best possible team.

“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.”

“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.”

According to Akinradewo, the team's success continues to build based partly on the reliance and confidence in one another.

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

Team USA’s offense has been paced by first-time Olympians. Hooker, who has become a dynamic and terminating opposite, leads the U.S. offense at the Olympics with 85 points on 70 kills, 12 blocks and three aces. Hooker, who is second overall in scoring, ranks fourth in Best Spiker with a .365 hitting efficiency (70-16-148). Meanwhile, first-time Akinradewo has added 45 points for 18th in overall scoring. Tom, a four-time Olympian, and Larson, a first-time Olympian, have 42 points for 22nd in scoring. Larson ranks seventh in Best Spiker with a .307 hitting efficiency, while Tom is 11th in the category with a .265 hitting efficiency.

Akinradewo leads the Best Blocker category with a 0.93 block average through four matches, while Hooker is round fourth with a 0.86 block average.

Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.), the starting libero, ranks third in Best Digger with a 4.36 dig average, while both Tom averages 2.36 digs for 16th place. Davis also ranks third in Best Libero with an average of 8.29 digs and excellent receptions that includes a 71.43 excellent reception percent for ninth place in Best Receiver. Berg is the second rated setter with a 12.00 running set average. Larson ranks sixth in Best Receiver with a 73.44 excellent reception percent.

Turkey’s Neslihan Darnel ranks third in the tournament in Best Scorer with 67 kills, five blocks and three aces, while Gozde Sonsirma adds 54 points for ninth place. Bahar Toksoy and Naz Aydemir are ranked ninth in Best Server with 0.29 aces per set. Aydemir ranks fifth in Best Setter with 11.18 running sets average, while Sonsirma holds a 72.73 excellent reception percent to rank seventh in Best Receiver.

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.

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 (12 points, 4-0)
Japan (6 points, 2-2)
Dominican Republic (3 points, 1-3)
Great Britain (2 points, 1-3)
Algeria (1 points, 0-4)

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: Italy def. Algeria 25-11, 25-12, 25-17

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.