LONDON - The U.S. women's volleyball team trailed an inferior Serbian side by three points in the first set Friday. Then Destinee Hooker took over.
She served up points, played sharp defense and exploited the tiniest of holes on the opponent's side of court. The American squad went on to win the pool-round match in three sets at Earls Court.
The victory (25-17, 25-20, 25-16) moved the top-ranked U.S. team's record to 4-0 and ensured that it would finish atop its group with one match remaining.
Hooker, a former University of Texas standout, finished with 19 points, bringing her tournament total to 70 spikes and 12 blocks. She has nearly twice the number of points as the U.S. team's No. 2 scorer.
"Destinee's obviously doing fantastic," said U.S. coach Hugh McCutcheon, who is also the incoming coach of the Gophers volleyball team. "She's a wonderful asset to our team and a great complement to the pieces that we have."
A three-time NCAA outdoor high jump champion, Hooker played in her first international tournament with the team in 2010.
"She's really come into a different game," said U.S. captain Lindsey Berg, a former Gophers player. "She's not only a hitter now. She blocks. She plays defense. She's really developed her game to be a volleyball player instead of just this great athlete who jumps high and hits the ball hard."