Stanford grad Foluke Akinradewo had 10 kills in 13 attempts but it wasn't enough as the U.S. women's national volleyball team fell to Germany, 25-22, 25-18, 27-25, on Sunday to complete the second round of pool play in the FIVB World Grand Prix in Miao Lie in Chinese Taipei.
Team USA plays its final round of pool play beginning Friday in Bangkok, Thailand, competing with Puerto Rico, Russia and the host country. The Russians are first on the schedule at Keelawes Gym.
Akinradewo, who set an NCAA record for hitting percentage while playing for the Cardinal, recorded a .692 percentage against the Germans. She ranks 12th among all players with 0.58 blocks per game.
Stanford grads Kristin Richards and Cynthia Barboza combined for another four kills, a block, an ace and a dig as U.S. coach Hugh McCutcheon continues to experiment with younger players.
"Germany played a good game tactically," McCutcheon said. "It was a good lesson for our young players. We need more experience and trust on the court at critical moments to grasp the key chance to win in the future."
The U.S. staged a valiant rally, which just fell short in Saturday's 25-12, 22-25, 16-25, 25-20, 15-13 loss to undefeated Netherlands.
Akinradewo had seven points on three kills, three blocks and one ace and Richards added seven points on five kills and two blocks. Cardinal grad Cynthia Barboza scored five points on four kills and one ace.
A Richards kill and Akinradewo block gave the U.S. an 8-6 lead at the crossover in the tiebreaker.
Akinradewo and Richards each sparked rallies that helped propel the United States to a dramatic 25-18, 25-19, 23-24, 12-25, 23-21 victory over Dominican Republic on Friday.
"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.
Akinradewo recorded 12 kills and four blocks, while Richards had 11 kills and two blocks. Barboza added a kill and a block in limited playing time.