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U.S. beats China, thanks to Destinee

Published: Tuesday, July 7 2015 12:55 a.m. MDT

Britain's Rachel Laybourne blocks a shot during a women's preliminary volleyball match against Italy at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Associated Press) Britain's Rachel Laybourne blocks a shot during a women's preliminary volleyball match against Italy at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Associated Press)

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 team's last loss came at the 2007 World Grand Prix. 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.

Italy's Jenny Barazza celebrates during a women's preliminary volleyball match against Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Associated Press) Italy's Jenny Barazza celebrates during a women's preliminary volleyball match against Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Associated Press)

In the late match Wednesday, South Korea upset the Brazilians three straight sets.

Hugh McCutcheon, who led the American men to the gold medal in Beijing before shifting to the women's team, led the U.S. to the top spot in the international rankings late last year to end Brazil's four-year run at No. 1.

Salt Lake City native Logan Tom's ace in the first set made it 12-10 and it appeared the U.S. was making a move, but China pulled in front 19-18 on Wei Qiuyue's kill. Tom's misplayed dig gave China a short-lived 23-20 advantage.

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