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 Match info | Description
USA overcomes Dominican Republic in three sets

USA's Heather Bown spikes as Dominican Republic captain Milagros Cabral de la Cruz looks to block in their clash on Friday
Komaki, Japan, August 12, 2011 – USA continued their unbeaten run in the 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-10) win over the Dominican Republic at Park Arena Komaki on Friday.

Destinee Hooker led the U.S. with 15 points, supported by Heather Bown and Foluke Akinradewo with 12 each. The Dominican Republic were led by Bethania de la Cruz with 14 points. USA outblocked their opponents 11-3.

The Americans got off to a very slow start and at 1-6 coach Hugh McCutcheon had seen enough and hauled his players off court. Destinee Hooker responded with a grand thump, but a service error by Logan Tom gave the advantage back to the Dominicans, who led 8-3 at the first technical timeout. Two errors and a big hit by Bown prompted Dominican coach Marcos Kwiek to call a timeout at 8-6 and his team improved. But USA kept chipping away and were level at 12-12. A brilliant dig by Carmen Rosa Caso set up a spike for Prisilla Rivera that put the Dominicans 16-14 up at the second TTO, but a Caso service reception error saw USA level again at 16. USA took the lead for the first time at 19-18 after another poor service reception, prompting Kwiek to call his players off court again. A great block by Foluke Akinradewo put the Americans ahead for good at 21-20 and she set up setpoint with a spike down the middle. Hooker finished off the set with a huge blast.

There was nothing to choose between the two teams at the start of the second set until 8-8 when the Dominicans went on a three-point run that the Americans ended with two great blocks – by Akinradewo and Bown – but a big mistake on service by Hooker allowed the Dominicans to take the initiative again and stretch their lead to 16-11. The Americans closed to within two, but sloppy serving saw the Dominican Republic five points ahead again at 20-15. A huge hit by Logan Tom got the U.S. back on track and the teams were level at 21-21. Once again, USA left it late, going ahead for the first time in the set at 23-22 on a block by Hooker, who then brought setpoint with a spike (aided by sloppy play from the Dominicans). Bown put the Americans 2-0 up with a rasping thump.

The Dominicans looked deflated at the start of the third set and USA were soon 5-1 up, when Kwiek called a timeout. Although the Dominicans landed some decent spikes – notably de la Cruz – the Americans had their tails up and were enjoying having a comfortable lead for a change. USA were 16-7 ahead at the second TTO and encountered no major resistance thereafter. A great block by Lindsey Berg on Milagros Cabral brought up setpoint and the match ended when the Dominicans failed to get the next serve back.

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