Hooker leads USA Volleyball to opener win at FIVB World Grand Prix
Aug. 6, 2010
COLORADO SPRINGS -- Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) collected a match-high 17 points as the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team opened the 18th FIVB World Grand Prix with a 26-24, 22-25, 25-14, 25-19 victory over NORCECA-rival Dominican Republic on Friday evening in Gdynia, Poland.
Team USA, currently ranked fourth in the FIVB world rankings, challenges Germany on Saturday at 10:15 a.m. Pacific Time in its next FIVB World Grand Prix Pool B match. The U.S. concludes the preliminary round weekend against host Poland on Aug. 8 at 7:15 a.m. Pacific Time.
The U.S. trailed 18-13 in the opening set and was down 24-20, but a double-switch putting Hooker into the lineup provided the U.S. offense at the net leading to a 26-24 come-from-behind victory. Like the first set, Team USA trailed 18-13 in the second set and came back to within one at 22-21 only to have Dominican Republic hold on for a 25-22 victory. In the third set, the U.S. never fell behind more than two points early and used a 14-4 run to end the set - including the final seven points in a row - for a 25-14 victory. Team USA bolted to a 7-0 lead in the fourth set and scored five of the final six points of the set, but needed to weather a Dominican Republic rally that put it within two at 20-18.
"Obviously we are happy to win," U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. "The good thing for us was that we had a lot of young players from the bench playing today. We want to create the new generation, so I am glad that we checked new players. It is good that we won 3-1, we gained three points."
Hooker, playing her first official match with the U.S. Women's National Team in international competition, scored 12 kills on 33 swings, four blocks and an ace for her 17 points. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) added 11 kills on 23 attempts and a match-high five blocks for 16 points. Both Hooker and Akinradewo limited their errors to just two in the match. Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) chipped in 12 kills, a block and an ace for 14 points. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) charted six kills and five blocks for 11 points. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) followed with nine points via seven kills on 16 attempts, an ace and a block. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) contributed two aces and a block for three points, while Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) and Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) rounded out the scoring with a kill apiece.
Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) charted 35 digs and eight excellent receptions on 26 attempts in the four-set victory, while Glass added 16 digs. Hodge and Hooker chipped in 14 digs apiece. Glass provided 28 running sets, while Spicer added nine running sets in the first set. Larson had a team-high 10 excellent receptions on 25 attempts to go with 12 digs.
"It is always four or five set games with Dominican Republic, so we knew it would be a challenge," U.S. Women's National Team Captain Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.) said. "We are happy with the result, it was a good start. When we were ahead in the fourth set and then the Dominicans almost tied the score, it was because of the great performance by their team."
For the complete press release, visit usavolleyball.org/news/article/37716.