Monday, May 21, 2018
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Top seed U.S. gets past No. 3 China


Destinee Hooker (19) spikes over China's Ma Yunwen (15) and Wei Qiuyue during a preliminary match Wednesday as the No. 1- ranked U.S. won all three sets.

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LONDON -- Destinee Hooker scored 22 points and the U.S. women's volleyball team improved to 3-0 with a three-set preliminary round victory over China at the London Olympics on Wednesday.

Megan Hodge added 18 points for the top-ranked U.S. team in the 26-24, 25-16, 31-29 win. Zeng Chunlei scored 10 points, including two aces, for No. 3 China, which fell to 2-1 in the preliminary round.

It was the United States' eighth straight victory over China in international competition.

The U.S. women are among the favorites to medal in London. The team has never won an Olympic gold medal in indoor volleyball.

They brought the silver home from Beijing after falling in the final to Brazil. In an early-round rematch in London, the U.S. came away with a 3-1 victory over No. 2-ranked Brazil.

On Wednesday, South Korea upset the Brazilians three straight sets, dropping them to 1-2 in the preliminary round.

"Megan came off the bench and provided us some great offense in the second and third sets," coach Hugh McCutcheon said. "We feel very comfortable with her out there taking those big swings with the set on the line or the match on the line."

Chinese star Wang Yimei, a 6-foot-2 wing spiker known for her powerful jump serve, was coming off of surgery to repair ligament damage in her right ankle and was held out of the third set. She had six points in the match against the United States.

In the early matches on Wednesday, Japan swept the Dominican Republic (25-20, 25-19, 25-23), Russia defeated Algeria in straight sets (25-7, 25-14, 25-15) and Turkey swept Serbia (25-20, 25-12, 25-21).

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