Team USA reaches the semifinals at NORCECA volleyball tournament


Stanford grads Logan Tom and Foluke Akinradewo each recorded six kills as the United States women's national volleyball team beat Mexico, 25-11, 25-8, 25-19, Thursday in the NORCECA Women's Continental Championship quarterfinals being held in Caguas, Puerto Rico.

The U.S., ranked second in the world by the FIVB, advances to Friday's semifinal round and will play Cuba. Dominican Republic, which topped Canada, 25-17, 25-22, 25-21, in the other quarterfinal, will take on host Puerto Rico in the second semifinal.

Both Puerto Rico and Cuba bypassed the quarterfinal round and moved directly into the semifinals by being the top two first-round pool winners. The Americans won Pool B, but their points scored ratio was the third-best among the three pools.

The NORCECA Women's Continental Championship concludes Saturday. The top teams earn a berth in the FIVB World Cup, the first 2012 Olympic Games qualification event, being held in Japan beginning Nov. 4.

"I am very happy with the way we played," U.S. coach Hugh McCutcheon said. "It is always good to play Cuba as they are one of the best teams in the world."

Destinee Hooker scored a match-high 12 points for the U.S. with nine kills on 18 attacks. Tom had 10 points overall, adding three aces and a block. Akinradewo had seven points, adding an ace.

Berg provided 11 assists in the match and Alisha Glass added six to help the Americans to a 54.1 kill percent and a .500 hitting efficiency. The U.S. committed just three attack errors in the match. Meanwhile, Team USA held Mexico to a 28.1 kill percent and .157 hitting efficiency.

"It was a good, competitive match and I am happy with our performance," U.S. team captain Jennifer Tamas said. "We played a clean match tonight and we will be ready for tomorrow."

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA volleyball

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