London 2012

Press release

USA look unstoppable and find their way to Olympic final after routing Korea in straight sets

Will their third run for Olympic gold be successful? For the time being, the US American ladies celebrate their classy 3-0 win over Korea in the first semi-final

London, Great Britain, August 9, 2012 – Team USA qualified for the final match of the Olympic tournament for the third time in history after routing Korea in three straight sets (25-20, 25-22, and 25-22) in the first semi-final played on Thursday afternoon at Earls Court.
The US American side missed out on Olympic gold four years ago in Beijing losing to Brazil as well as back in 1984 as China had edged the local heroines in Los Angeles. With this result the star-studded group coached by Hugh McCutcheon prolonged their winning streak in London by beating Korea for the second time after doing so also in the opening match of pool play.

Destinee Hooker claimed the much awaited duel with Korean opposite Kim Yeon-Koung by scoring 24 points with Jordan Larson and Foluke Akinradewo also finishing the game in double digits with 14 and 12 respectively. Kim anchored Korea’s offense with 20, including 2 aces, but the Asian ladies could not stand the terrific power and consistency showed by the winners of the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix and current leaders of the world ranking. USA will play the winners of the second semi-final starring Japan and Brazil as the Olympic gold will be at stake this coming Saturday, August 11.

The two teams had performed brilliantly throughout the tournament, with world No.1 ranked USA losing only two sets on their way to the semifinal. During pool play, USA had beaten Korea 3-1.
Kim Yeon-Koung had been the outstanding performer of the tournament, scoring 165 points before this match, while Destinee Hooker had been lethal for her side. USA were also boosted by the return of inspirational captain and setter Lindsey Berg, who had missed the quarterfinal through injury.

Foluke Akinradewo and Han Song-Yi got points early as the teams ran up 10-10. Kim Yeon-Koung began score with power and precision, while Logan Tom showed off her all-round skills; Jordan Larson and Destinee Hooker also grounded winners as USA edged ahead. Libero Nicole Davis defended Korea's attacks expertly, and USA took the set 25-20.

Setters Berg and Kim Sa-Nee continued to create great spiking opportunities through the second set, with Akinradewo, Tom, Hooker, Larson and Christa Harmotto killing for USA and Han Song-Yi and Kim Yeon-Koung hitting back. Again it was very tight, levelling at 16-16. But USA held their nerve better again, winning the set 25-22.

USA got a five point lead early in set three, as Akinradewo, Larson and Hooker in particular found gaps in the Asian side’s defence. Han Song-Yi and Kim Yeon-Koung fought hard to get back level. But after tying on 21-21, USA sealed the win, with spikes from Hooker then Tom ending the set 25-22.    

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