Stanford grads Foluke Akinradewo and Kristin Richards each sparked rallies that helped propel the United States national women's volleyball team to a dramatic 25-18, 25-19, 23-24, 12-25, 23-21 victory over Dominican Republic on Friday in the second weekend of the FIVB Grand Prix.
Akinradewo finished with 17 points and Richards had 13 as the Americans (1-0, 2-2) prepare to meet the Netherlands on Saturday in Miao Lie, Chinese Taipei. The Netherlands beat Germany in four sets.
"It was an exciting match for us," said U.S. team member Nancy Metcalf, who had a team-high 20 points. "And it is important for us to know that we can fight and fight and fight to win."
The U.S. trailed, 10-8, when they started a 7-0 run, highlighted by a block and two kills from Akinradewo.
In the tiebreaker, Team USA reached match point first on a kill by Richards that made it 15-14. But the Dominican Republic tied it with a block and took the lead on a U.S. attack error. Team USA fought that off with a kill from Akinradewo and fought off two more match points.
The DR reached match point one more time at 21-20, but the United States tied the score on a Metcalf kill. The U.S. Women reached match point on a Dominican attack error and won the 2-hour, 31-minute match on a block by Richards.
Although I am happy to win, I thought we played inconsistently," U.S. coach Hugh McCutheon said. "Our main goal is to train these young players and help them get more experience."
Akinradewo recorded 12 kills and four blocks, while Richards had 11 kills and two blocks. Stanford grad Cynthia Barboza added a kill and a block in limited playing time.
Swimming \Stanford sophomore Curtis Lovelace just missed his second medal of the U.S. Open Championships, finishing in the 100 breast with a time of 1:00.60. He won the 200 breast earlier in the week at the meet in Federal Way, WA.
Cardinal junior John Criste was eighth in the 100 breast with a time of 1:01.71.
Stanford sophomore Bobby Bollier finished seventh in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:50.69. Bollier's time of 1:50.06 was fourth-best heading into the finals.
Stanford juniors Liz Smith and Kerry Kraemer competed in consolation finals of the women's 100 breast. Smith was 10th overall with a time of 1:09.04 while Kraemer went 1:09.46 to finish 17th overall.
Palo Alto High sophomore Jasmine Tosky finished 17th overall in the 200 free with a time of 2:00.64.
In Leeds, England, Stanford grad Paul Kornfeld swam to a gold medal in the 100 breast Friday at the Grand Prix Short Course Championships on Friday, twice setting a personal-best in the event.
Kornfeld swam a personal best 57.10 to win the title. He joined the Canadian team at the championships after earning two silver medals and a bronze medal at the World Championship trials in Montreal last month.
Stanford freshman Matthew Swanston finished ninth in the 100 free with a time of 49.62, just off his personal best.