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USA recovers v Argentina

Okayama, Japan, November 11, 2011 – USA overcame Argentina 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-19) in their sixth match of the FIVB World Cup at Momotaro Arena in Okayama on Friday. Foluke Akinradewo collected the Most Impressive Player award after scoring 13 points. Logan Tom top-scored for the Americans with 14 points, while Destinee Hooker also had 13 points. The top scorer for Argentina were Leticia Boscacci with eight points. USA out blocked Argentina 9-1 and out served them 3-0.

The early stages were pretty close and the scores were level at 4-4 when Lucia Fresco sent a serve long that put USA in the lead for good. Foluke Akinradewo came up with a tip over and block on Maria Jimena Nizetich as USA stretched their lead. After Destinee Hooker had delivered a rocket and Fresco put the ball into the net, making the score 13-6, Argentina coach Horacio Bastit called a timeout. But USA continued to pull away. Another big blow by Hooker and a tipover by Jordan Larson saw Argentina fall 20-8 behind and Bastit called his players off court again. Akinradewo blocked Leticia Boscacci to bring up set point and Florencia Natasha netted a serve to put the Americans 1-0 up.

Larson continued to hit big in the second set as USA moved into an 8-4 lead at the first technical timeout, but both teams were prone to errors in the second phase. Another netted serve – by Busquets – put the Americans 10-5 up and they stretched that lead to six points at the second TTO. Argentina came up with two good blocks in the final phase, but another error brought up setpoint. Hooker duly converted to put USA 2-0 up.

The third set was closer. Hooker started off hot with two massive kills and a great block on Antonella Bortolozzi, but Busquets responded as Argentina closed to within one point at 7-6 and three at 10-7. But USA pulled away from the halfway point on the back of some Argentine errors. Fresco tried to pull her team back into the match with a pair of excellent spikes, but it was too big a mountain to climb for the Argentine team. When Cynthia Barboza blocked Boscacci, she earned match point and a clever long push shot by Alisha Glass ended the match.

Press Conference:

USA coach Hugh McCutcheon: We’re happy to win tonight. Obviously, every win in this tournament is important. We know Argentina and I think our group was able to come out and control a lot of the elements of the game from the beginning and we made it difficult for them. So I was very happy that we were able to play hard and to make some improvements in a few areas from some of the things we were doing at the beginning of the tournament so I’m very satisfied with our performance. The World Cup is a very unique tournament. You play this round-robin format and it’s really a marathon event, but it’s a very fair way to play – everyone play everyone. It’s a great tournament. All teams have to learn the importance of consistency and the importance of embracing the moment of the competition. Every day you have to go to battle and unless you’re prepared for that and unless you train accordingly it can get a little overwhelming.

USA captain Lindsey Berg: Today, we continued our journey to get to London and to qualify. Every day we step on the court with a new opponent with respect for the other team, but we have to stay focused on what our plan is and what we’re doing and today we did that and came out very focused and put the smiles back on our faces from our last game and it was a positive day for USA. Now it’s done and we continue tomorrow.

Argentina coach Horacio Bastit: I want to congratulate my colleagues for the win today. We knew before the match there was a big difference between the two teams, but we set our goals about how many points we should get. For moments in the game we did that, but in general it was not a good game for us. The important thing at this stage is to get international experience, which is important and to learn from each match against big teams. We must learn from these teams. Now I want to play against the other teams and enjoy the experience. We learn from every match, especially playing against teams like USA. The positive thing about today is that we could serve well and you always learn from a team that play good in blocking and defense.

Argentina captain Emilce Sosa: I think our team raised their level – from the start to the final set we played better and it’s a learning experience for us.

Argentina No. 3 Paula Yamila Nizetich: I want to congratulate the USA team. As the captain said, we improved through the match. It was a beautiful match for us and we took advantage to learn on every point. We know there is a very big difference between our team and USA, who I think are a candidate for the title, but we will continue enjoying this experience.

P2 - P3 | Photos: FeVA - FIVB | Results