U.S. Women Claim Olympic Silver Medals

Aug. 23, 2008, 2:22 p.m. (ET)

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

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BEIJING (Aug. 23, 2008) – The U.S. Olympic Women’s Indoor Volleyball Team had its run toward a first-ever Olympic Games gold medal end just short of the target with a loss to top ranked-Brazil 25-15, 18-25, 25-13, 25-21 Saturday evening in the Olympic Games title match at Beijing’s Capital Gymnasium.

The U.S. silver medal matched its previous best finish from the 1984 Olympic Games. Team USA, ranked fourth in the world by the FIVB, also finished with a bronze in 1992, its last time reaching the medal round.

“We knew the match was going to be very difficult,” U.S. Olympic Women’s Indoor Head Coach ‘Jenny’ Lang Ping (Beijing) said. “Brazil is definitely the best team in this tournament. I’d like to congratulate Brazil. It was a wonderful performance. They’ve been working so many years. Actually they had lots of chances, but this time they got it.

“I’d like to congratulate my team, my assistants, my players. I think they had a very good tournament. I’d also like to congratulate China. They won a medal, too.”

The Americans defeated second-ranked Italy in the quarterfinals and third-ranked Cuba in the semifinals to reach the gold-medal match, but ran into a hot Brazil squad that had not lost a single set in the tournament before the night started. Despite recently winning their seventh World Grand Prix title, though, the South Americans had never won the Olympics, FIVB World Championships or FIVB World Cup.

“The gold-medal match is always bittersweet for the loser,” U.S. setter Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) said after the match. “We’ve got to look at it as, ‘We got here and won a silver medal.’ Nobody expected it. We knew deep down inside that we were that good. We came out here in this tournament and fought our hearts out.”

China, the 2004 Olympic Games champion, captured the 2008 bronze medal with a 25-16, 21-25, 25-13, 25-20 victory over Cuba earlier today.

Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) tallied a team-high 16 points in the loss with 15 kills and an ace. Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) added 12 points via nine kills and three aces .Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) contributed 10 kills and two blocks for 12 points. Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) charted five kills and two blocks for seven points, while Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.) added four kills, an ace and a block for six points. Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.) rounded out the scoring with three kills.

Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) tallied a team-high 14 digs and 15 excellent receptions on 35 errorless attempts. Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) and Robyn Ah Mow-Santos (Honolulu) handed out 10 and nine assists, respectively. Tom added nine digs in the match.

Brazil dominated the block with a 16-5 advantage that assisted in holding the Americans to a 15.71 hitting efficiency (kills minus errors divided attacks). The U.S. served a 5-1 ace margin, but 11 service errors were part of 23 overall errors by the Americans. The Brazilian attack produced a 31.45 hitting efficiecy despite a 20.31 excellent success percent on service receptions.

Brazil, which was playing for its first gold medal-match after bronzes in 1996 and 2000, was led by Sheilla Castro’s 16 kills and three blocks for a match-high 19 points. Paula Pequeno charted 16 points, while Marianne Steinbrecher recorded 15 points.

Brazil finished the tournament with a 24-1 set record, the only loss coming in the final against the U.S. Meanwhile, Team USA finished the Olympics with a 6-2 record, with its only other loss to Cuba in pool play.

USA and Brazil have now played 32 times in major FIVB competitions (Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup, World Grand Prix), and the Brazilians hold a slim 17-15 advantage. However, Brazil has won eight of the last nine meetings of FIVB/Olympic Games meetings. The Americans topped Brazil at the 2007 FIVB World Cup to aid them into qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Tom finished the tournament as the Best Scorer with 124 points (96 kills, 19 blocks, nine aces) to out-distance second-leading scorer Yimei Wang’s (China) 120 points. She also ranked eighth in Best Blocker with 0.58 blocks per set. Haneef-Park finished with the sixth-most points with 102, while Bown and Scott-Arruda finished 10th and 11th, respectively. Davis averaged 2.88 digs per set to rank sixth overall in Best Digger.

Lang Ping, head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team, made a third appearance in an Olympic Games gold-medal match. She was a star outside hitter for the Chinese national team that won the gold medal over the U.S. at the 1984 Olympic Games. She later went on to coach China to a silver medal at the 1996 Olympic Game.

Glass and Haneef-Park scored aces to give the U.S. leads of 3-1 and 6-4 in the opening set, but both times Brazil came back to tie the score with consecutive points. After Tom nailed a kill at 10-all, Brazil rattled off a 10-1 run taking a commanding 20-11 advantage en route to the 25-15 victory.

Team USA rebounded with a 5-1 start to the second set with kills from Scott-Arruda, Tom and Haneef-Park. The U.S. extended the advantage to 8-3 with a Bown kill and Haneef-Park ace followed by a Brazil error. Haneef-Park scored a kill followed by a Brazil error to push the lead to 14-9. After Brazil close to within three at 16-13, Tom and Glass connected for consecutive kills at 18-13. Haneef-Park put up a block to follow a Brazilian error to jump the lead to 23-16 as the Americans went on to win 25-18.

Brazil inched a 7-5 lead in the third set to a 12-6 advantage with five of the next six points. It gained an eight-point lead at 19-11 as it scored two 3-0 runs around a Tom and Nnamani kill on consecutive plays. Brazil went on to score six of the next eight points to pocket a 25-13 victory.

The U.S. grabbed an 8-6 lead going into the fourth set’s first technical timeout as Bown hammered a slide followed by a Tom ace and Brazil error. Brazil came back to tie the set at 10-all and led 15-13 with three unanswered points. After a Brazil error, Bown put up a block and slammed a kill to put the U.S. back in front 16-15 at the second technical timeout. Bown collected a kill to put the U.S. in front 18-16, only to have Brazil answer with two straight points to tie it at 18-all. Brazil regained the lead at 21-20, and after a Haneef-Park kill tied the set, ran off the final four points including two blocks for a 25-21 victory.

The route through the Olympic Games has been an emotional roller coaster for the American squad. On its first day of competition on Aug. 9, Team USA was informed of the tragic death of Todd Bachman, father-in-law of the U.S. Men’s Olympic Indoor Volleyball Team and father of 2004 U.S. Olympic volleyball player Elisabeth “Wiz” Bachman. Less than five hours of learning of the death, the team won an emotion-filled four-set match over Japan. However, the team suffered a letdown the following match on Aug. 11 against Cuba before bouncing back to defeat Venezuela on Aug. 13.

Team USA defeated host China in five sets on Aug. 15 to clinch a spot in the quarterfinals. It concluded the five-match round-robin pool with a five-set come-from-behind victory over Poland. For the third straight match, the U.S. fell behind 2-1 in sets only to rally to defeat second-ranked Italy in the quarterfinals. During the quarterfinals, the Americans executed nearly perfect in a three-set victory over Cuba.

Team USA is ranked fourth in the world by the FIVB taking into accounts results of the 2008 FIVB World Grand Prix, 2007 FIVB World Cup, 2007 Continental Championship, 2006 World Championships and 2004 Olympic Games.

The U.S. Women qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games by finishing third at the 2007 FIVB World Cup, the first qualifying event for the Olympic Games. Team USA has earned a silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games and a bronze medal at the 1992 Olympic Games.

For additional information on the U.S. Women’s National Team, click here.

U.S. Women’s Indoor Volleyball Olympic Roster
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Hometown, Colloege)
1 - Ogonna Nnamani (OH, 6-1, Bloomington, Ill., Stanford)
2 - Danielle Scott-Arruda (MB, 6-2, Baton Rouge, La., Long Beach State)
3 - Tayyiba Haneef-Park (OPP, 6-7, Laguna Hills, Calif., Long Beach State)
4 - Lindsey Berg (S, 5-8, Honolulu, Hawaii, Minnesota)
5 - Stacy Sykora (L, 5-10, Burleson, Texas, Texas A&M)
6 - Nicole Davis (L, 5-4, Stockton, Calif., Southern California)
7 - Heather Bown (MB, 6-3, Yorba Linda, Calif., Hawaii)
9 - Jennifer Joines (MB, 6-4, Milpitas, Calif., Pacific)
10 - Kimberly Glass (OH, 6-2, Lancaster, Pa., Arizona)
11 - Robyn Ah Mow-Santos (S, 5-7, Honolulu, Hawaii, Hawaii)
12 - Kim Willoughby (OH, 5-10, Napoleonville, La., Hawaii)
15 - Logan Tom (OH, 6-1, Salt Lake City, Utah, Stanford)

Head Coach: “Jenny” Lang Ping
Assistant Coach: Sue Woodstra
Therapist/Trainer: Li Yong
Technical Consultant: Tom Hogan
Technical Coordinator: Diane French
Team Leader: Joan Powell

Past Olympic Games Women’s Champions
1964: Japan (USA 5th)
1968: Soviet USA (USA 8th)
1972: Soviet Union (USA did not qualify)
1976: Japan (USA did not qualify)
1980: Soviet Union (USA did not play due to boycott)
1984: China (USA Silver)
1988: Soviet Union (USA 7th)
1992: Cuba (USA 3rd)
1996: Cuba (USA 7th)
2000: Cuba (USA 4th)
2004: China (USA 5th)
2008: Brazil (USA Silver)

Women's 2008 Olympic Games Indoor Volleyball Schedule

Tuesday, Aug. 19 – Quarterfinal Round at Capital Indoor Stadium
1A Cuba def. 4B Serbia, 26-24, 25-19, 26-24
1B Brazil def. 4A Japan, 25-12, 25-20, 25-16
3A China def. 3B Russia, 25-22, 27-25, 25-19
2A USA def. 2B Italy, 20-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-18, 15-6

Thursday, Aug. 21 – Semifinals at Capital Indoor Stadium
USA def. Cuba, 25-20, 25-16, 25-17
Brazil def. China, 27-25, 25-22, 25-14

Saturday, Aug. 23 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
China def. Cuba 25-16, 21-25, 25-13, 25-20 (bronze medal)
Brazil def. USA 25-15, 18-25, 25-13, 25-21 (gold medal)

Pool A:
Cuba 5-0
USA 4-1
China 2-2
Japan 2-2
Poland 1-4
Venezuela 0-5

Pool B:
Brazil 4-0
Italy 4-0
Russia 2-2
Serbia 2-2
Kazakhstan 1-4
Algeria 0-5

Saturday, Aug. 9 - at Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium
Pool B: Italy def. Russia, 25-20, 17-25, 25-16, 25-23
Pool B: Serbia def. Kazakhstan, 25-21, 25-17, 23-25, 25-21

Saturday, Aug. 9 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Pool B: Brazil def. Algeria, 25-11, 25-11, 25-10
Pool A: Cuba def. Poland, 21-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-17
Pool A: China def. Venezuela, 25-13, 25-13, 25-18
Pool A: USA def. Japan, 25-20, 20-25, 25-19, 25-21

Monday, Aug. 11 - at Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium
Pool B: Serbia def. Algeria, 25-14, 25-13, 25-13
Pool B: Italy def. Kazakhstan, 25-19, 25-15, 25-21

Monday, Aug. 11 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Pool A: Cuba def. USA, 25-15, 26-24, 25-17
Pool B: Brazil def. Russia, 25-14, 25-14, 25-16
Pool A: China def. Poland, 22-25, 25-15, 25-20, 25-22
Pool A: Japan def. Venezuela, 25-12, 25-17, 25-12

Wednesday, Aug. 13 - at Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium
Pool B: Italy def. Algeria, 25-7, 25-20, 25-12
Pool A: USA def. Venezuela, 25-17, 20-25, 25-14, 25-18

Wednesday, Aug. 13 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Pool B: Russia def. Kazakhstan, 25-19, 25-18, 25-11
Pool B: Brazil def. Serbia, 25-15, 25-13, 25-23
Pool A: Cuba def. China, 18-25, 14-25, 25-23, 32-30, 15-13
Pool A: Japan def. Poland 25-21, 25-20, 18-25, 23-25, 15-11

Friday, Aug. 15 - at Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium
Pool B: Russia def. Algeria 25-11, 25-19, 25-10
Pool B: Brazil def. Kazakhstan, 25-13, 25-6, 27-25

Friday, Aug. 15 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Pool A: Poland def. Venezuela 25-12, 25-12, 25-20
Pool B: Italy def. Serbia, 25-23, 25-20, 25-19
Pool A: USA def. China, 23-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-20, 15-11
Pool A: Cuba def. Japan 25-17, 25-22, 25-22

Sunday, Aug. 17 - at Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium
Pool B: Kazakhstan def. Algeria, 25-18, 25-20, 17-25, 25-16.
Pool A: Cuba def. Venezuela, 25-20, 25-20, 25-19

Sunday, Aug. 17 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Pool A: USA def. Poland, 18-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-19, 15-13
Pool B: Brazil def. Italy, 25-16, 25-22, 25-17
Pool A: China def. Japan, 26-24, 25-16, 25-14
Pool B: Russia def. Serbia, 25-21, 25-16, 25-20

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