American women remain undefeated in FIVB Grand Prix volleyball tournament


Stanford grad Foluke Akinradewo recorded 13 points, seven on kills an four on blocks, and the United States women's national volleyball team beat host China, 25-20, 25-17, 25-16, Sunday in the finale of the FIVB World Grand Prix's Pool D preliminary weekend in Luohe, China.

Destinee Hooker recorded 18 points on 15 kills and three blocks for the United States, ranked second in the FIVB world ranking and defending FIVB World Grand Prix champions.

Megan Hodge and Heather Bown each added eight kills as the Americans improved to 3-0 in the tournament and extended their Grand Prix winning streak to 14 matches.

The U.S. travels to Komaki, Japan for further action next weekend in Pool H. The Americans face the Dominican Republic on Friday, host Japan on Saturday and Serbia next Sunday.

"I am happy with our performance," U.S. coach Hugh McCutcheon said. "We improved every match and this is our best game in this round. Now we focus on Japan. We will immediately prepare for the next round in Japan."

The U.S. were better in all three scoring categories with a 42-32 advantage in kills, 12-6 margin in blocks and 8-3 edge in aces. Meanwhile, China converted 33.0 percent of its attacks for points with a .186 hitting efficiency.

"We have achieved our goal to get better and better each game," U.S. captain Jennifer Tamas said. "We did better than Friday and Saturday. We are hoping we can do it as well as here in Japan."

Men's volleyball

Russia came from behind to remain the lone unbeaten team in the FIVB MenĀ“s Junior World Championship, edging the United States, 19-25, 27-29, 25-21, 25-17, 15-13, in the last match of Pool E of the second round at Maracanazinho Gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

"Russia deserves a lot of credit for coming back to the match after losing the first two sets," U.S. captain Taylor Crabb said. "The player number 14 (Pluzhnikov) made good runs in the serve and we could not handle it."

The Americans, who had already clinched a spot in the semifinals, play pool F winner Argentina, the world's top-ranked team, on Tuesday. Russia plays Brazil or Serbia.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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