U.S. Women's National Team Hosts Brazil in 2008 Olympic Exhibition Matches

April 14, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bill.kauffman@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 14, 2008) – USA Volleyball, in conjunction with NBC and the U.S. Olympic Committee, will host three matches as part of a 2008 Olympic Exhibition series between the U.S. Women’s National Team and Brazil during June prior to the FIVB World Grand Prix and the Olympic Games in Beijing.

All three matches will be played in Colorado Springs between June 11 and June 14. Team USA and Brazil will play at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Sports Center I on June 11 and June 13 at 7:30 p.m. each night with approximately 1,200 tickets available for each session.

The 2008 Olympic Exhibition tour will conclude on June 14 at the Air Force Academy’s Clune Arena, which has a 5,939-seating capacity. The match held at Clune Arena will be played at 7 p.m.

NBC will produce the June 14 contest at the Air Force Academy and televise the contest on MSNBC on a tape-delayed basis on June 29 at noon Eastern Time.

Tickets prices and avenues to purchase seats for each of the exhibition matches will be announced at a later date.

Both the United States and Brazilian women’s teams qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games with medal-stand performances at the 2007 FIVB World Cup. Brazil finished with the silver medal at the World Cup, while the U.S. finished with the bronze despite defeating their exhibition match opponent in head-to-head competition during the World Cup. The Americans came back from two sets down to defeat Brazil 17-25, 16-25, 25-21, 25-23, 15-9 as Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) scored 26 points.

“The Olympic Exhibition series with Brazil will be a great opportunity for our team to make final preparations for the World Grand Prix, and ultimately, the 2008 Olympic Games,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach ‘Jenny’ Lang Ping said. “For the first time in two years, our team will have the chance to play here in the United States in front of a home crowd with a television broadcast for the last exhibition match allowing more fans to watch us, thanks to NBC.”

The U.S. and Brazil took part in a similar exhibition series to begin the 2005 season. The Front Range Tour was a three-match series in Denver, Fort Collins, Colo., and Colorado Springs. The trio of matches marked Lang Ping’s debut leading Team USA. The U.S. won the first and third matches in the series.

The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team is currently ranked fourth in the FIVB World Ranking. Brazil leads the international ranking, followed by Italy and Cuba.

The U.S. Women’s National Team played its last home domestic match nearly two years ago. Team USA, playing with a split squad in the second year of the current Olympic quadrennial, faced Poland on May 26, 2006. Poland won 25-14, 25-22, 28-26.

At the conclusion of the 2008 Olympic Exhibition series, the U.S. and Brazil will compete in the 12-team FIVB World Grand Prix in various European and Asian countries from June 20-July 13. The two teams will not face each other in any of the three preliminary round weekends, but could meet in the six-team, round-robin World Grand Prix Final round in Yokohama, Japan.

The 2008 Olympic Exhibition series with Brazil, along with the World Grand Prix and the Pan American Cup (scheduled for May 30-June 8), will assist the U.S. Women’s National Team coaching staff in making its choices for the 12-player Olympic Games roster.

The Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies is Aug. 8 with the Closing Ceremonies Aug. 24. Starting Aug. 9, the indoor volleyball competition dates alternate between women’s and men’s with the finals on Aug. 23 and Aug. 24.

For the most up-to-date information on the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, visit the team’s home page at http://www.usavolleyball.org/National/wnthome.asp. The page contains the latest USA Volleyball news on the women’s national team, FIVB and NORCECA news, 2008 Olympic Games updates, outside media coverage on the team and photo galleries.

NBC Universal will present more than 3,600 hours of coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the most ambitious single media project in history and more than the combined total of every Summer Olympics ever televised in the United States. The Beijing Games begin August 8, with unprecedented around-the-clock coverage and, for the first-time ever in the U.S., live streaming Olympic broadband video coverage, 2,200 hours in all.

Over the 17 days of the Beijing Games (Aug. 8-24), NBC Universal will present more than 3,600 hours of coverage highlighted by NBC in primetime which will feature live swimming, gymnastics and beach volleyball, despite the 12-hour time difference from the U.S.’s eastern time zone to Beijing.