Stanford Players Wrap-Up China Tour With U.S. National Team

April 3, 2008

Stanford, Calif. - Stanford's Foluke Akinradewo and Alix Klineman wrapped up play with the U.S. National Training Team in China yesterday, helping the team to a 5-3 record over the course of its tour. The team will now travel to Beijing for two days to visit the site of the 2008 Olympic Games. The squad leaves Beijing on Sunday and arrives back in the United States on the same day.

Akinradewo started seven of the eight matches as a middle blocker, and played the majority of all eight. Klineman won a starting outside hitter spot midway through the tour, and started the last three contests. Akinradewo, Klineman or both led the team offensively in four of the team's final five matches.

The squad started the tour with a pair of matches against Tianjin club on Mar. 21 and Mar. 22 in Tianjin and WuChing, China. In the first match, a 25-22, 25-21, 25-21 loss that was televised live by Tianjin TV China, Akinradewo chipped in eight points on three kills, a team-high four blocks and an ace. Klineman made a brief appearance to make her debut with the team.

In the second match, Team USA suffered a five-set loss 23-25, 21-25, 25-16, 25-21, 15-9. Klineman played in all five sets and turned in eight kills and a block for nine points, while Akinradewo tallied 13 points on 10 kills, two blocks and an ace.

On Mar. 24 and Mar. 26, the U.S. took on the China Army Club team. In the first match, Akinradewo chipped in 15 points with 12 kills on 17 swings with just one error (71 kill percent) and three aces and helped the squad to its first win, 21-25, 25-21, 25-19, 26-24, before a full house at Olympic Park in YiYang, China. Klineman played two sets and added five kills, one block and one ace for seven points.

In the next match, held in Changshu, China, Akinradewo scored five of her match-high 20 points in the deciding fifth set in to carry the team to a 23-25, 25-17, 26-24, 21-25, 15-13 victory over the China Army Club. The Stanford junior scored her 20 points with 18 kills on 24 attacks as part of a 75 kill percent and .708 attack percentage, while adding two blocks in the victory. Klineman earned her first start and contributed six kills, an ace and a block for eight points.

In the team's fifth match (Mar. 28), the first against ZheJiang, Akinradewo totaled 16 points in a 19-25, 25-17, 27-25, 25-21 win in Hangzhou, China. Her points came on 11 kills, four blocks and an ace. Klineman turned in five points in less than two sets of action.

In the second match against ZheJiang (Mar. 29), and the squad's sixth overall, Klineman led all players with 26 points in a 15-25, 25-16, 25-22, 23-25, 15-10 win in FuYang, China. She charted her 26 points with 19 kills on 46 attacks, six blocks and an ace. Akinradewo, the team's second-leading scorer, chipped in 16 points with 10 kills on 16 attacks, five blocks and an ace.

In the team's seventh match on Apr. 1 against Jiangsu in Nanjing, the team had its four-match win streak snapped with a 25-20, 28-26, 25-23, 25-20 loss. Klineman and Akinradewo tied for team-high points with 14 apiece. Klineman scored 11 kills and three blocks, while Akinradewo collected nine kills on 19 swings to go with three blocks and two aces.

In the team's final match yesterday, Akinradewo scored 18 points on 12 kills, four blocks and two aces to carry the team to a sweep of JiangSu, 25-22, 25-23, 25-22 to conclude the tour. In her third straight start, Klineman totaled five points, all on kills.

Team USA's three-week training tour of China was designed to allow the coaches to evaluate a younger group of players in preparation for Olympic Games roster selections. The U.S. qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games, held Aug. 8-24 in Beijing, by finishing with a bronze medal at the 2007 FIVB World Cup.

Akinradewo and Klineman, both 2007 All-Americans, were key players in the Cardinal's run to the national title match this season. The duo helped the squad to a Pac-10 Championship, a 32-3 overall record, a No. 2 national ranking and an NCAA Final Four appearance, all collected while playing the toughest schedule in the nation. Akinradewo was named the AVCA National Player of the year, while Klineman was named the Pac-10 and Regional Freshman of the Year and the Volleyball Magazine National Freshman of the Year.

Both players earned spots on the U.S. National Training Team roster in January and have been training with the team in Colorado Springs since then. The pair will continue to train with the team throughout the spring, and will be joined by teammate Cynthia Barboza in Colorado Springs when the team returns from China.

Former Cardinal players Logan Tom and Ogonna Nnamani are also expected to compete for spots on the Olympic roster this year.

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