Sports

Akinradewo has team-high five blocks in USA volleyball victory

Stanford grad Foluke Akinradewo recorded 11 kills and five blocks and Destinee Hooker collected a match-high 17 points as the U.S. Women's national volleyball team opened the 18th FIVB World Grand Prix with a 26-24, 22-25, 25-14, 25-19 victory over NORCECA-rival Dominican Republic on Friday in Gdynia, Poland.

Team USA, currently ranked fourth in the FIVB world rankings, meets Germany on Saturday in FIVB World Grand Prix Pool B play.

"Obviously we are happy to win," U.S. coach Hugh McCutcheon said. "The good thing for us was that we had a lot of young players from the bench playing today. We want to create the new generation, so I am glad that we checked new players. It is good that we won 3-1, we gained three points."

Hooker, playing her first official match with the U.S. Women's National Team in international competition, scored 12 kills on 33 swings, four blocks and an ace for her 17 points. Stanford grad Cynthia Barboza was a sub in all four sets.

The U.S. had a 17-9 block advantage to go with a 52-44 kill advantage. Both teams recorded three aces in the match.

"It is always four or five set games with Dominican Republic, so we knew it would be a challenge," U.S. team captain Jennifer Tamas said. "We are happy with the result, it was a good start. When we were ahead in the fourth set and then the Dominicans almost tied the score, it was because of the great performance by their team."

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA volleyball

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