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USA claim third victory in a row at Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, June 10, 2012 – Two-time defending champions and world No. 1 USA defeated Dominican Republic in straight sets (25-18, 25-19, 25-15) for their third victory in the opening weekend of the FIVB World Grand Prix on Sunday.
Destinee Hooker and Jordan Larson topped the charts for USA with 17 and 12 points, respectively. Danielle Scott-Arruda contributed nine points including three blocks, while Logan Tom added eight with four service winners. Bethania De la Cruz with 15 points led Dominican Republic.
The Americans edged their rivals 8-7 in blocks and were the superior side in aces 7-3. The winners made 12 unforced errors to 21 by the defeated side.
United States had a strong start at 5-1 behind two spikes by Hooker, while Tom contributed an ace and a spike. Larson and Hooker added a spike and an ace, respectively, for a 7-2 lead. Nunez scored her second point but crashed her serve into the net to give USA an 8-3 lead. Nunez and Hooker exchanged two massive spikes as USA moved 13-7 ahead. De la Cruz landed a cross-court shot for 13-8. Two spikes by Larson gave the Americans a 16-9 advantage. De la Cruz and Eve scored consecutive points for the home side and De la Cruz came back with a blistering smash to cut the gap to 16-12. A spike by Hooker and a Dominican unforced error expanded the margin to 22-16. Harmotto landed a shot down the middle for set point at 24-18 and Nunez hit one too long to end the set at 25-18.
A four-point rally led by Hooker and capped by an ace from Tom gave USA a 5-2 lead in the second set. Larson drilled a superb spike for an 8-3 advantage at the first technical timeout. Two consecutive hits by De la Cruz cut the distance to 11-6 and Vargas followed with an ace. Eve scored with a block and Hooker responded with a bomb. A big hit from Mambru shortened the gap to 14-11 and De la Cruz hit one off the American block to make it 14-12. Scott and Tom came up with a block and spike for 16-12. The Americans pulled away from there and sealed the set 25-19 on a spike by Scott.
The Americans had a hot start in the third set and led 8-1 at the first technical timeout following consecutive blocks by Larson and Hooker. Larson added a spike and block for a 12-2 lead. The Americans then made a series of errors and two successive blocks by Mambru and Arias cut the difference to 14-9. USA led 16-11 at the second technical stop. A massive block by Scott on De la Cruz came next and the fourth ace by Tom increased the margin to 20-12. Minutes later Larson sealed the triumph 25-15 with a spike right on the back line.