Macau, China, August 24, 2011 – USA did all the right things in both attack and defense on the way to seeing off Japan in straight sets (25-22, 25-17, 5-23) in the opening match of final round of the 2011 World Grand Prix at the Macau East Asian Games Dome on Wednesday.
USA top scorer Destinee Hooker towered over the Japanese blockers showing a variety of unstoppable attacks.
2011 FIVB Volleyball World Grand
USA illustrated their excellent coverage at the net, limiting Japan on their attack attempts at in the first set. The Americans likewise displayed tight floor defense that allowed hitters Jordan Larson and Hooker to attack the Japanese.
Japan struggled to contain the strong attacks from the Americans and could not set-up their offense properly, but did manage to find their rhythm later on in the set thanks to creative plays from setter Yoshie Takeshita, confusing the American defence. The Americans regained momentum and took the first and second set easily.
The Japanese held their ground in the third to keep the margins close in the third. Last minute defensive stops were made by Japan and some service mishaps on the American side gave Japan a window to close in on the Americans. USA immediately escaped this Japanese surge thanks to a Jordan Larson attack hit from the left side. The defending champions then held on to take the win to keep their hopes of retaining their World Grand Prix crown alive.