U.S. Women Rally Past Poland 3-1 at World Grand Prix

July 04, 2008, 6:17 a.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 4, 2008) – The U.S. Women’s National Indoor Volleyball Team took a step closer to qualifying for the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round by overcoming a mistake-filled first set to defeat Poland 20-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-10 for the second time in less than five days Friday afternoon during Pool H action at Taipei, Chinese Taipei.

Team USA, 6-1 overall in the World Grand Prix with six consecutive victories, challenges Turkey on July 5 at 3 p.m. local time in Taipei (1 a.m. Mountain Time). Turkey, which plays Italy later today, presented the U.S. its only loss of the tournament to open the World Grand Prix on June 20. The Americans conclude the World Grand Prix preliminary round on July 6 versus Italy.

The U.S. is in second place in the 12-team tournament with the same number of losses as Brazil and Italy, who have yet to play today. Team USA trails tournament leader China, the only undefeated team, by one match in the loss column. The Americans improved their points won ratio, the first tie-breaker in case of a tie, to 1.207 versus Brazil’s 1.191 and Italy’s 1.117.

The FIVB World Grand Prix includes three preliminary round weekends with three different sites each weekend hosting round-robin events of four teams. The World Grand Prix Finals, a round-robin format of the top five teams from the preliminary round plus host Japan, will be played July 9-13 at Yokohoma, Japan. The overall ranking in the preliminary rounds is decided by the total number of World Grand Prix Points (GPP) gained by the teams in the preliminary matches with two points awarded for a win and one point for a loss.

Poland grabbed an 11-7 lead in the opening set with seven points coming on Team USA errors en route to a 25-20 victory in which the two teams combined for 23 errors. The U.S. never trailed in the second set, but also could not pull away in the tight 25-23 victory. The Americans gained a 16-8 lead at the second technical timeout of the third period on the strength of a 9-3 run to win 25-19. Poland led 4-2 in the opening stages of the fourth set, but the U.S. rolled off 23 of the next 29 points for the victory.

“We were slow in progress in this match and were under pressure because of the strong serve from the Polish team,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach ‘Jenny’ Lang Ping said. “As there is only a slight gap amongst all top teams, it is important for players to maintain their concentration throughout the match. A second of relaxation could cost us the set as we have learned the lesson today.”

Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) led Team USA with 18 points on 16 kills, one block and one ace. Kim Willoughby (Napoleonville, La.) added 12 kills, one block and one ace for 14 points. Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) chipped in 13 points with nine kills on 15 attacks, a match-high three blocks and an ace. Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.) contributed eight points via five kills, two blocks and an ace coming off the bench. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) tacked on six kills and a block for seven points. Robyn Ah Mow-Santos (Honolulu) rounded out the scoring with an ace to go with 32 assists. Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) set five assists in limited action at the start of the first set. Nicole Davis tallied a team-high 12 digs. Glass led the U.S. serve-receive with 15 excellent receptions on 29 attempts with one error.

Team USA started Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Willoughby at outside hitter, Scott-Arruda and Bown started middle blocker, Haneef-Park started at opposite and Berg started at setter. Davis is the designated libero for this leg of the World Grand Prix. Glass entered the match for Tom in the first set and started in her spot the final three sets. Ah Mow-Santos replaced came off the bench in the first set and started in place of Berg the final three sets. Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) was a reserve in the opening set. Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah) took to the court briefly in the second set, while Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) did the same in the fourth set.

Team USA held a 48-41 advantage in aces and used 34 Poland errors – 17 on service errors – to its benefit in the four-set victory. The Americans also held an 8-5 block margin and out-served the Polish team 5-3 in aces. The U.S. also held a 36-22 dig advantage and had 30excellent receptions compared to Poland’s 17. Team USA converted 41 percent of its attack attempts into kills, while Poland could manage only a 30 percent conversion rate.

Anna Wozniakowska led Poland with 16 points with 15 kills and an ace. Joanna Kaczor charted nine kills and a block for 10 points, while Karolina Ciaskiewicz tallied nine points.

In other World Grand Prix matches played today, Kazakhstan edged Thailand 25-19, 25-19, 19-25, 17-25, 16-14 for its first World Grand Prix victory this year and Cuba plays Germany in Thailand in Group G. At Macau, China, Brazil faces Dominican Republic and China hosts Japan.

The U.S. has qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and is using the World Grand Prix as an evaluation tool to help determine the 12-player roster for the Olympic Games. Team USA faces Japan on Aug. 9 to open the 2008 Olympic Games. Other teams in the American pool are Cuba (Aug. 11), Venezuela (Aug. 13), China (Aug. 15) and Poland (Aug. 17).

Poland lead 11-7 early in the opening set, thanks to seven early USA errors. Trailing 12-8, the U.S. cut into the deficit with a Haneef-Park kill and Scott-Arruda block at 12-10. However, Poland reached the first technical timeout leading 16-11 with a 4-1 run. The teams traded points until the U.S. scored consecutive points on Poland errors at 19-16. Poland jumped its lead back to five points at 23-19 and sided out the rest of the set for a 25-20 victory. Haneef-Park and Scott-Arruda led the U.S. in the first set with three points apiece. The U.S. provided Poland 12 of its 25 points on errors, while Poland reciprocated by giving the Americans 11 of its 20 points via error.

Leading 8-7 in the second set, Haneef-Park hammered a kill followed by a Scott-Arruda block to push the American advantage to 10-7. Poland answered with consecutive points to move to one, 10-9. Glass found open floor for an ace at 14-11, only to have Poland come back with three of the next four point to trail 15-14. Team USA put together a 3-0 run with a Scott-Arruda kill and Willoughby ace after a Poland error to yield a 20-17 American lead. Poland recorded three unanswered points to get to within one at 21-20. Willoughby scored consecutive points to yield a three-point cushion for the U.S. with three set points, 24-21. Poland saved the first two American opportunities, but Scott-Arruda concluded the frame with a kill at 25-23. Haneef-Park charted six points in the second set, while Scott-Arruda added two blocks as part of five points in the frame.

The U.S. took a 5-3 lead in the third set with a Glass kill and Poland error. The American lead reached four with two Willoughby kills around a Poland error. Willoughby and Haneef-Park extended the lead to 11-6 on consecutive kills. Haneef-Park collected two kills around a Bown block, followed by a Poland error to push the Team USA lead to 16-8 on four unanswered points. Poland cut into the deficit with consecutive points at 16-10. Team USA returned to an eight-point lead at 18-10 on a Willoughby kill and Poland error. Poland sliced the deficit to five at 20-15 on a 4-1 run. Willoughby and Scott collected consecutive kills to push the lead back to seven, 22-15. After Poland saved two set points, Glass ended the frame with a kill at 25-19. Willoughby netted seven points in the third set.

After Poland took a 4-2 lead in the fourth set, the U.S. recovered to take a 7-4 advantage with two Poland errors around a Haneef-Park ace and kills from Willoughby and Bown for five unanswered points. Willoughby scored a block after a Poland error to push the American advantage to 9-5. Ah Mow-Santos landed an ace followed by a Scott-Arruda kill to extend the U.S. lead to 14-7. Team USA doubled-up Poland at the second technical timeout at 16-8, then followed with a Poland error and Glass kill to extend the gap to double digits at 18-8 on four straight points. Haneef-Park continued the run with a block followed by a Poland error and kills from Scott-Arruda and Glass at 22-8 for an 8-0 run. Team USA closed out the set at 25-10 with two Poland errors. Haneef-Park chipped in six points in the final set to lead the U.S.

To download the U.S. Women’s National Team Press Kit for the third FIVB World Grand Prix preliminary weekend, visit click here.

To view the FIVB World Grand Prix home page, visit click here.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for FIVB World Grand Prix Weekend in Taipei
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Hometown, College)
2 - Danielle Scott-Arruda (MB, 6-2, Baton Rouge, La., Long Beach State)
3 - Tayyiba Haneef-Park (OPP/OH, 6-7, Laguna Hills, Calif., Long Beach State)
4 - Lindsey Berg (S, 5-8, Honolulu, Hawai’i, Minnesota)
6 - Nicole Davis (L, 5-4, Stockton, Calif., Southern California)
7 -
Heather Bown (MB, 6-3, Yorba Linda, Calif., Hawai’i)
8 - Cynthia Barboza (OH/OPP, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Stanford)
10 - Kim Glass (OH, 6-2, Lancaster, Pa., Arizona)
11 - Robyn Ah Mow-Santos (S, 5-8, Honolulu, Hawai’i, Hawai’i)
14 - Kim Willoughby (OH, 5-10, Napoleonville, La., Hawai’i)
15 - Logan Tom (OH, 6-1, Salt Lake City, Utah, Stanford)
17 - Angie McGinnis (S, 5-11, Fraser, Mich., Florida)
18 - Kristin Richards (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford)
19 - Foluke Akinradewo (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford)
Head Coach: “Jenny” Lang Ping
Assistant Coaches: Sue Woodstra, Tom Hogan, Li Yong (not traveling)
Technical Coordinator: Diane French
Team Leader/Manager: Joan Powell

FIVB World Grand Prix Standings
China 6-0 (1.143 Point Ratio; 7/4 vs. Japan; 7/5 vs. Dominican Republic; 7/6 vs. Brazil)
USA 6-1 (1.207 Point Ratio; 7/5 vs. Turkey; 7/6 vs. Italy)
Brazil 5-1 (1.191 Point Ratio; 7/4 vs. Dominican Republic; 7/5 vs. Japan; 7/6 vs. China)
Italy 5-1 (1.117 Point Ratio; 7/4 vs. Turkey; 7/5 vs. Poland; 7/6 vs. USA)
Turkey 4-2 (1.093 Point Ratio; 7/4 vs. Italy; 7/5 vs. USA; 7/6 vs. Poland)
Cuba 3-3 (1.053 Point Ratio; 7/4 vs. Germany; 7/5 vs. Kazakhstan; 7/6 vs. Germany)
Dominican Republic 3-3 (0.933 Point Ratio; 7/4 vs. Brazil; 7/5 vs. China; 7/6 vs. Japan)
Germany 2-4 (0.953 Point Ratio; 7/4 vs. Cuba; 7/5 vs. Thailand; 7/6 vs. Kazakhstan)
Japan 2-4 (0.947 Point Ratio; 7/4 vs. China; 7/5 vs. Brazil; 7/6 vs. Dominican Republic)
Thailand 1-6 (0.870 Point Ratio; 7/5 vs. Germany; 7/6 vs. Cuba)
Kazakhstan 1-6 (0.756 Point Ratio; 7/5 vs. Cuba; 7/6 vs. Germany)
Poland 0-7 (0.877 Point Ratio; 7/5 vs. Italy; 7/6 vs. Turkey)

Pool G: Bangkok, Thailand, Huamark Stadium
July 4: Thailand vs. Kazakhstan, 2 p.m.
July 4: Cuba vs. Germany, 5 p.m.
July 5: Germany vs. Thailand, 2 p.m.
July 5: Kazakhstan vs. Cuba, 5 p.m.
July 6: Thailand vs. Cuba, 2 p.m.
July 6: Germany vs. Kazakhstan, 5 p.m.

Pool H: Taipei, Chinese Taipei, Hsinchuang Gym
July 4: USA def. Poland, 20-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-10
July 4: Italy vs. Turkey, 6:20 p.m.
July 5: USA vs. Turkey, 3 p.m.
July 5: Italy vs. Poland, 5 p.m.
July 6: Poland vs. Turkey, 3 p.m.
July 6: Italy vs. USA, 5 p.m.

Pool I: Macau, Macau Forum
July 4: Brazil vs. Dominican Republic, 6 p.m.
July 4: China vs. Japan, 9 p.m.
July 5: Brazil vs. Japan, 2 p.m.
July 5: China vs. Dominican Republic, 5 p.m.
July 6: Dominican Republic vs. Japan, 1 p.m.
July 6: China vs. Brazil, 4 p.m.

Final Round: Yokohama, Japan
July 8-13

Pool A: Kobe Japan, Green Arena
June 20: Turkey def. USA, 28-26, 25-16, 21-25, 25-19
June 20: Japan def. Kazakhstan, 25-17, 25-13, 25-23
June 21: USA def. Kazakhstan, 25-16, 25-17, 25-19
June 21: Japan def. Turkey, 21-25, 25-16, 17-25, 25-19, 15-12
June 22: Turkey def. Kazakhstan, 25-17, 26-24, 25-15
June 22: USA def. Japan, 27-29, 25-18, 18-25, 25-16, 15-13

Pool B: Ningbo, China, Beilun Sports Centre
June 20: Brazil def. Thailand, 25-22, 25-18, 25-20
June 20: China def. Germany, 19-25, 25-19, 25-11, 25-21
June 21: China def. Thailand, 25-11, 25-16, 25-19
June 21: Brazil def. Germany, 15-25, 25-23, 25-20, 30-28
June 22: Germany def. Thailand, 19-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-22
June 22: China def. Brazil, 22-25, 26-24, 22-25, 25-22, 15-13

Pool C: Alassio, Italy, Palavavizza Hall
June 20: Cuba def. Poland, 25-20, 29-31, 25-21, 26-24
June 20: Italy def. Dominican Republic, 19-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-15
June 21: Cuba def. Dominican Republic, 25-22, 25-15, 25-19
June 21: Italy def. Poland, 25-17, 25-22, 23-25, 25-16
June 22: Dominican Republic def. Poland, 25-21, 23-25, 19-25, 25-23, 15-11
June 22: Italy def. Cuba, 25-23, 27-25, 27-25

Pool D: Vinh Phuc, Vietnam, Vinh Phuc Hall
June 27: Brazil def. Kazakhstan, 25-10, 25-17, 25-19
June 27: Turkey def. Germany, 25-21, 25-22, 25-27, 25-18
June 28: Germany def. Kazakhstan, 25-17, 25-19, 25-21
June 28: Brazil def. Turkey, 25-23, 25-19, 25-15
June 29: Turkey def. Kazakhstan, 25-16, 25-20, 25-17
June 29: Brazil def. Germany, 25-15, 27-25, 25-16

Pool E: Wroclaw, Poland, Centennial Hall
June 27: Dominican Republic def. Poland 25-22, 19-25, 25-17, 25-20
June 27: USA def. Thailand, 25-18, 25-17, 26-28, 25-13
June 28: Thailand def. Poland, 19-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-23, 15-4
June 28: USA def. Dominican Republic, 25-13, 25-21, 25-20
June 29: USA def. Poland, 25-17, 25-16, 25-20
June 29: Dominican Republic def. Thailand, 25-19, 24-26, 25-21, 25-22

Pool F: Hong Kong, Hong Kong Coliseum
June 27: Italy def. Japan, 25-17, 25-20, 25-22
June 27: China def. Cuba, 25-18, 25-27, 21-25, 25-21, 15-13
June 28: Italy def. Cuba, 21-25, 25-19, 19-25, 25-20, 15-13
June 28: China def. Japan, 25-16, 29-27, 25-22
June 29: Cuba def. Japan, 22-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-16
June 29: China def. Italy, 18-25, 25-20, 21-25, 27-25, 15-8