COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 28, 2008) – Destinee Hooker (San Antonio) collected 24 points to lead the U.S. Women’s National Training Team over ZheJiang, a professional Chinese club team, 19-25, 25-17, 27-25, 25-21 Friday at Hangzhou, China. The two teams added a fifth set, which ZheJiang won 15-11.
Team USA improves to 3-2 on its eight-match exhibition tour of China. The Americans continue their tour on March 29 versus ZheJiang at FuYang at 7:30 p.m. China Time.
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 Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) and Tracy Stalls (Denver), outside hitters Hooker and Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.), opposite Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) and setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) versus ZheJiang. Team captain Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) served as the libero for the match. Setter Lindsey Hunter (Papillion, Neb.) entered as a sub in the first set and started the second and third sets. Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) started the fourth set. Outside hitter Alix Klineman started the fourth set after subbing into the match in the third set. Outside hitters Lauren Faucette (San Diego) and Therese Crawford (Kalamazoo, Mich.), middle blocker Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and setter Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) started the fifth set.
Hooker racked up 18 kills on 45 swings to go with four blocks and two aces in just four sets of action. Stalls contributed 13 kills, three blocks and two aces for 18 points. Akinradewo totaled 16 points on 11 kills, four blocks and an ace. The two starting middle blockers combined for 24 kills, seven blocks and three aces while earning kills 53 percent of their attacks. Pressey tacked on nine points with eight kills and an ace. Hughes chalked up seven kills and an ace for eight points. Klineman turned in five points in less than two sets of action. During the added fifth set, Faucette provided Team USA with three of its 11 points all on kills. Paolini, Spicer, Busse and McGinnis rounded out the scoring with a point apiece. Davis passed at a 63 positive percent while adding a team-high 18 digs.
The U.S. held margins in all team scoring categories. The Americans scored 20 more kills (67-47) than ZheJiang, while having edges in blocks (12-9) and aces (8-5). Team USA forced ZheJiang into a 29 kill percent and .147 attack percentage. The U.S. also held the advantage in digs at 53-35.
ZheJiang never trailed in the opening set at it built an 8-3 lead at the first technical timeout. The U.S. fell behind 16-11 at the second technical timeout and witnessed the gap increase to nine points at 21-12. Team USA gained brief momentum with back-to-back Hooker kills at 21-14, but ZheJiang earned both points back at 23-14. The U.S. rattled off five unanswered points with Stalls scoring a kill and block to start the run, followed by a Hooker block and two kills to put the score at 23-19. However, ZheJiang ended up winning 25-19.
In contrast to the first set, the U.S. never trailed in the second set. After the score was tied 3-all, Pressey provided a kill and Hughes served an ace to give the Americans a 5-3 cushion. Akinradewo scored a kill followed by a Hooker block to increase the margin to three point at 7-4. Team USA scored three consecutive points at 10-5, capped by kills from Stalls and Hooker. ZheJiang closed the deficit to two at 10-8 and the teams traded points through 15-12. Akinradewo broke the string with a kill that started a 3-0 U.S. run to yield an 18-12 lead. Stalls and Hooker recorded consecutive kills followed by a ZheJiang error to move the score to 22-14. Akinradewo ended the set at 25-17 on a block.
ZheJiang started the third set with a 4-2 lead, but the U.S. tied the set on a Pressey kill at 4-all. Akinradewo collected a kill and block followed by a Pressey ace and ZheJiang error as part of a 4-0 run that gave the U.S. an 8-5 lead the first technical timeout. ZheJiang scored four of the next five points to knot the score at 9-all. Klineman scored a kill and block on consecutive points to lift the U.S. into a 14-12 lead. Trailing 15-13, ZheJiang reached the second technical timeout on a 3-0 run and 16-15 lead. Hooker gained the sideout out of the break with a block, then followed with consecutive kills to move the U.S. back into the lead at 18-16. Momentum shifted to ZheJiang with three straight points and host advantage at 19-18. Hooker and Stalls produced back-to-back kills to give Team USA a 21-20 lead, only to have ZheJiang return to the lead at 23-22. Akinradewo scored a kill to save one set point, then gave the U.S. its own set point at 25-24 with a second consecutive put-away. After Hooker slammed a kill to give the U.S. its second set point at 26-25, Stalls concluded the set with a kill at 27-25.
The U.S. jumped out of the gate early in the fourth set with an 8-2 lead behind three points from Akinradewo, along with aces from Hooker and Stalls and a backrow kill from Klineman. Team USA used a 6-2 run to take a 15-6 lead as Stalls turned in two blocks and a kill around two Hooker kills and an Akinradewo ace. The U.S. lead reached 10 points at 21-11 as Hooker and Stalls tacked on consecutive kills. ZheJiang made the set interesting with an 8-2 run that narrowed the gap to four points at 23-19. Klineman gave the U.S. several set points at 24-19, and after ZheJiang saved two, Busse scored her only point of the match to close out the set 25-21.
Although the match was won by the U.S., both coaching staffs agreed to play an additional set to 15 to allow all the players to see action for the night. ZheJiang used a 4-0 run to put distance between it and the U.S. at 6-2. ZheJiang extended its lead to seven points at 12-5. Stalls and Faucette scored back-to-back kills and the U.S. took advantage of an opponent error to close to within four at 12-8. Spicer served a floating ace to narrow the deficit to three at 13-10, but the teams traded points the rest of the way for a ZheJiang 15-11 victory.
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 vs. ZheJiang in FuYang, 7:30 p.m.
April 1: Team USA vs. TBA in Nanjing, Time TBA
April 2: Team USA vs. TBA in Nanjing, Time TBA
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