COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 2, 2008) – Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) scored 18 points as the U.S. Women’s National Training Team defeated JiangSu, a professional Chinese club team, 25-22, 25-23, 25-22 on Wednesday at Nanjing University of Finance and Economics to conclude the team’s eight-match exhibition tour of China. Team USA finished the tour with a 5-3 record.
“This was a good final match for us in China against a challenging team,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach ‘Jenny’ Lang Ping said. “JiangSu's attack was very quick, but we studied the video of last night's match and made some adjustments today that were very effective. We had more success blocking their quick attack and maintained our concentration better throughout the match today.”
The U.S. victory evened the two-match series with JiangSu, which won Tuesday’s match in four sets. Jiangsu won a recent league tournament and defeated the China Army team in one of the preliminary rounds. Team USA defeated the China Army twice on the current tour of China.
Team USA’s three-week training tour of China was designed to allow the coaches to evaluate a younger group of players in preparation for Olympic Games roster selections. The U.S. qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games, held Aug. 8-24 in Beijing, by finishing with a bronze medal at the 2007 FIVB World Cup.
Team USA started middle blockers Tracy Stalls (Denver) and Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) outside hitters Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Destinee Hooker (San Antonio), opposite Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) and setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) versus Jiangsu. Team captain Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) served as the libero for the match.
Akinradewo tallied 12 kills on 18 attacks with just one error to go with team-highs of four blocks and two aces. Hooker added nine kills on 23 swings with just one error, along with two blocks. Hughes was credited with 10 points with eight kills and two blocks. Stalls contributed five kills, three blocks and an ace for nine points. Klineman totaled five points, all on kills, during the victory. McGinnis rounded out the scoring with three kills on as many setter dump attempts. Davis recorded 13 of the team’s 32 digs and held an 82 positive percent on serve-receive.
The U.S. held an 11-4 advantage in blocks and a 32-22 margin in digs. Team USA tallied a 42-41 advantage in kills. However, the Americans limited their attack errors to 12 for the match resulting in a 42 kill percent and .294 hitting efficiency. Conversely, JiangSu converted only 33 percent of its attacks into kills as 24 hitting errors brought down its hitting percentage to .136. JiangSu won the service battle with an 8-3 margin in aces and both teams failed on serve seven times.
“This was a great way to end the trip,” U.S. Women’s National Team Assistant Coach Sue Woodstra said.
JiangSu opened the first set with the first two-point cushion at 4-2, but the U.S. recovered with a 4-1 spurt that included kills from Hooker and Akinradewo as well as a block from Stalls. After Team USA reached the first technical timeout at 8-7, JiangSu put together an 8-3 scoring run to assume a 15-11 advantage. Akinradewo, Stalls and Hooker proceeded to put down kills to close to within one at 15-14. The U.S. tied the set at 16-all after a McGinnis kill and JiangSu attack error. Trailing 18-17, the Americans scored four unanswered points with Akinradewo tallying a kill and block, Hughes hammering a kill and Stalls serving an ace leading to a U.S. 21-18 lead. The teams traded points the rest of the set capped by a quick attack kill from Stalls on set point for a 25-22 victory.
JiangSu built an early 5-3 lead in the second set, only to have the U.S. assume the lead at 6-5 on kills from McGinnis and Hughes sandwiched around a block from Hooker. Team USA reached the first technical timeout leading 8-7, but JiangSu rolled off three unanswered points for a 10-8 advantage. The U.S. crawled back into a tie at 11-all on a Klineman kill. Trailing 12-11, the U.S. benefited from five Akinradewo points as part of an 8-3 run to take a 19-14 advantage. However, JiangSu reversed the momentum in a hurry with seven unanswered points to regain the lead at 21-19. Hughes and Stalls connected for back-to-back kills followed by a JiangSu error to lift Team USA into the lead at 22-21. With the score tied at 23-all, Klineman put down a kill and Akinradewo blocked JiangSu on set point for a 25-23 victory.
JiangSu held early 3-1 and 4-2 leads in the third set, but Akinradewo and Hooker scored consecutive kills to knot the score at 4-all. Hooker started a 3-0 run for the U.S. with a kill followed by a block from Stalls and a back-row kill for Klineman putting the Americans ahead 7-5. JiangSu answered with consecutive kills tying the score at 7-all. Hooker and Hughes slammed kills on both sides of the first technical timeout to yield a 9-7 U.S. advantage. JiangSu came back with a mini 2-0 run of its own to tie the score for the fifth time in the third set at 9-all. With the scoreboard at 10-all, the U.S. ran off five unanswered points including three JiangSu errors, a kill from Hughes and a block by Akinradewo for a 15-10 lead. Team USA extended the margin to six points at 19-13 as Akinradewo served an ace after a JiangSu service error. The Americans built a commanding eight-point cushion at 23-15 as Hughes, Hooker and Stalls all contributed kills on a 4-1 scoring run. JiangSu challenged the U.S. with five unanswered points of its own with three aces to close within three at 23-20. Hughes broke the scoring run with a block to yield four set point opportunities at 24-20. JiangSu managed to save the first two opportunities in moving to within two at 24-22, but Akinradewo scored her 18th point of the match with a kill at 25-22.
For additional information on the U.S. Women’s National Team, check the team’s home page at http://www.usavolleyball.org/National/wnthome.asp. To follow the China Tour with all recaps, photo galleries and multimedia pages, view the China Tour page at http://www.usavolleyball.org/National/08ChinaTourHome.asp.
Team USA Tour of China Match Information
March 21: Team USA lost to Tianjin club at Tianjin (25-22, 25-21, 25-21)
March 22: Team USA lost to Tianjin club at WuQing (23-25, 21-25, 25-16, 25-21, 15-9)
March 24: Team USA def. Chinese Army Club at YiYang (21-25, 25-21, 25-19, 26-24)
March 26: Team USA def. Chinese Army Club at ChangShu (23-25, 25-17, 26-24, 21-25, 15-13)
March 28: Team USA def. ZheJiang in Hangzhou (19-25, 25-17, 27-25, 25-21 with 11-15 added fifth set)
March 29: Team USA def. ZheJiang in FuYang (15-25, 25-16, 25-22, 23-25, 15-10)
April 1: Team USA lost to Jiangsu in Nanjing (25-20, 26-28, 25-23, 25-20)
April 2: Team USA def. Jiangsu in Nanjing (25-22, 25-23, 25-22)
U.S. Women’s National Training Team Roster on China Tour
# - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 - Juliann Faucette (OH, 6-2, San Diego, Calif., Texas)
2 - Destinee Hooker (OH, 6-4, San Antonio, Texas, Texas)
3 - Therese Crawford (OH, 5-11, Kalamazoo, Mich., Hawai'i)
4 - Alix Klineman (OH, 6-4, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Stanford)
5 - Angie Pressey (OH, 5-8, Lake Mary, Fla., California)
6 - Foluke Akinradewo (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford)
7 - Tracy Stalls (MB, 6-4, Denver, Colo., Nebraska)
9 - Lauren Paolini (MB, 6-5, Ann Arbor, Mich., Texas)
11 - Heather Hughes (OPP, 6-2, Fallbrook, Calif., Loyola Marymount)
13 - Nellie Spicer (S, 5-9, Barrington, Ill., UCLA)
15 - Nicole Davis (L, 5-6, Stockton, Calif., Southern California)
16 - Lindsey Hunter (S, 5-10, Papillion, Neb., Missouri)
17 - Angie McGinnis (S, 5-11, Fraser, Mich., Florida)
18 - Cassie Busse (OPP, 6-1, Prior Lake, Minn., Minnesota)
Head Coach: “Jenny” Lang Ping
Assistant Coaches: Sue Woodstra, Li Yong, Tom Hogan
Technical Coordinator: Diane French
photo Getty Images