U.S. Women Sweep Argentina at Pan American Cup

June 01, 2008, 11:39 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 1, 2008) - Behind a match-high 18 points from middle blocker Tracy Stalls (Denver), the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team swept Argentina 25-16, 25-18, 30-28 Sunday evening during the Pan American Cup's third day of pool play at Mexicali, Mexico.

Stalls scored seven of her 18 points in the first set as the U.S. jumped to a 5-0 lead and never trailed en route to the 25-16 victory. Team USA converted 12 of 18 attacks into kills in the second set and the Americans used a 6-0 run to take a 10-5 lead and never allowed Argentina closer than three points in the 25-18 victory. The U.S. needed five match points in the third set and saved one set point of its own to cap the victory with a 30-28 score.

The U.S. (2-1), ranked fourth in the world by FIVB but using a young roster at the Pan American Cup, continues pool play on Monday against host Mexico at 8 p.m. Pacific Time. The tournament field of 12 teams is broken into two pools of six teams. Pool play consists of five matches in five days. The winner of each pool advances directly to the semifinal round on June 6. The second- and third-place finishers in each pool will have crossover quarterfinal matches on June 5 to determine semifinal opponents for the pool winners.

Argentina, ranked 31st in the world by FIVB, entered the contest having won both its Pool A matches without dropping a single set.

Team USA started captain Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) at setter, Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) and Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah) at outside hitter, Stalls and Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) at middle blocker, Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) at opposite and Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) at libero. Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) entered as a sub in the third set.

Stalls charted her 18 points with 14 kills on 22 attacks and a match-high four blocks. She held a .545 attack percentage and 64 kill percent. Richards added 10 kills on 14 errorless swings to go with an ace for 11 points. Crimes, the leading scorer for the U.S. in the first two pool play matches, contributed eight points with seven kills and a block. Hughes tacked on seven kills in the victory, while Barboza chipped in four kills and two blocks. McGinnis rounded out the scoring with three points on a kill, block and ace. Sykora passed at a 82 positive percent on 11 chances, while Barboza handled 27 of the team's 53 service receptions with a 63 excellent percent.

Georgina Pinedo led Argentina with nine points, all on kills. No other Argentina player scored more than six points in the match.

Behind the setting of McGinnis, the U.S. converted 45 percent of its attacks into kills with a .333 attack percentage. Team USA held an 8-1 advantage in blocks to offset Argentina's 5-2 edge in service aces.

The Pan American Cup will yield four berths into the 2009 World Grand Prix. The top three teams from NORCECA and the top South American team will advance to next year's annual FIVB tournament.

The United States is ranked fourth in the FIVB world ranking. However, Team USA is using a young team at the Pan American Cup to evaluate individuals for potential Olympic roster spots in 2008, as well for future teams in the next quadrennial beyond the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Team USA led from start to finish in the opening set after gaining an early 5-0 lead as Crimes scored the first two points followed by a Richards ace. Argentina cut the deficit to three at 7-4, only to have Hughes and Stalls converted consecutive kills to regain a 9-4 edge. After Argentina moved back to within three at 9-6, the U.S. rolled off three straight points with kills coming from Richards and Hughes for a 12-6 lead. Crimes downed a kill followed by an Argentina error out of the second technical timeout to give the Americans a 17-9 cushion. The U.S. scored five unanswered points as Stalls put down two kills and a block to yield a 22-10 lead. Argentina regrouped to scored four straight points to move to within eight at 22-14. Stalls scored two kills as the teams traded points giving the U.S. set point at 24-15. Richards ended the set with a kill at 25-16.

With Argentina leading 5-4 in the second set, the U.S. rolled off six unanswered points as Richards provided two kills in the run for a 10-5 margin. Argentina closed to within three points at 12-9, but former Stanford teammates Richards and Barboza scored consecutive points to push the lead back to five points, 14-9. After Argentina scored back-to-back points at 14-11, the teams traded points through 17-13. Hughes collected a kill and McGinnis put up a block as part of a 3-0 spurt giving the U.S. a 19-13 edge. Argentina answered with its own 3-0 run at 19-16, but McGinnis followed a Richards kill with an ace at 22-17. Team USA scored the final three points of the set, capped by a Hughes kill at 25-18. The U.S. converted 12 of its 18 second set attacks into kills to go with three blocks in the frame. In contrast, Argentina gave away six points on service errors in the middle set.

The U.S. gained a quick 3-1 lead in the third set, only to have Argentina tie the frame at 4-4. Trailing 7-6, Argentina scored three unanswered points for a 9-7 edge and increased its margin to three points at 12-9. Stalls hammered two kills around a Barboza kill to push the U.S. into a tie at 12-all. Team USA regained the lead at 15-14 on consecutive Argentina errors, but the lead swung back to Argentina at 16-15. The teams traded points until Crimes crushed a kill and Stalls put up a block to give the U.S. a 19-18 advantage. Argentina regained the lead at 21-20 with an ace. However, the lead was short-lived as Barboza and McGinnis connected for consecutive kills at 23-22. The U.S. gained match point at 24-23 with a Richards kill, but Argentina saved the opportunity. Crimes put away a quick kill at 25-24 for Team USA's second match point opportunity. After a third opportunity at 26-25, Argentina scored back-to-back points for a 27-26 advantage and its first set point of the third frame. Stalls saved the opportunity with a kill, then put up a block to give the Americans a fourth set point at 28-27. Argentina saved that chance, but committed its 11th service error of the match giving the U.S. a 29-28 lead. Stalls ended the match with her fourth block at 30-28.

For the U.S. Women's National Team Press Kit for the 2008 Pan American Cup, visit http://www.usavolleyball.org/media/national/08PanAmCupPressKit.pdf.

U.S. Women's National Team Roster for Pan American Cup
# - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
3 - Cynthia Barboza (OH, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Stanford University)
4 - Alix Klineman (OH, 6-4, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Stanford University)
5 - Stacy Sykora (L, 5-10, Burleson, Texas, Texas A&M University)
7 - Tracy Stalls (MB, 6-4, Denver, Colo., University of Nebraska)
9 - Lauren Paolini (MB, 6-4, Ann Arbor, Mich., University of Texas)
10 - Alexis Crimes (MB, 6-3, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Long Beach State University)
12 - Heather Hughes (OPP, 6-2, Fallbrook, Calif., Loyola Marymount University)
13 - Katie Olsovsky (OPP, 6-3, Hermosa Beach, Calif., University of Southern California)
16 - Lindsey Hunter (S, 5-10, Papillion, Neb., University of Missouri)
17 - Angie McGinnis (S, 5-11, Fraser, Mich., University of Florida)
18 - Kristin Richards (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford University)
19 - Juliann Faucette (OH, 6-2, San Diego, Calif., University of Texas)

Head Coach: "Jenny" Lang Ping (not traveling)
Pan American Cup Head Coach: Tom Hogan
Pan American Cup Assistant Coaches: Gen Kawakita, Denise Corlett

Pan American Cup Schedule at Tijuana Mexicali, Mexico

Pool A at Mexicali, Mexico (all times listed as Pacific Time)
5/30: Argentina def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-13, 25-17, 25-16
5/30: Dominican Republic def. USA, 20-25, 25-18, 25-27, 25-23, 15-8
5/30: Mexico def. Costa Rica, 25-19, 21-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-10
5/31: USA def. Costa Rica, 25-20, 25-10, 27-25
5/31: Dominican Republic def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-12, 25-17, 25-17
5/31: Argentina def. Mexico, 25-16, 25-18, 25-16
6/1: Dominican Republic vs. Costa Rica, 4 p.m.
6/1: United States def. Argentina, 25-16, 25-18, 30-28
6/1: Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 8 p.m.
6/2: Trinidad & Tobago vs. Costa Rica, 4 p.m.
6/2: Dominican Republic vs. Argentina, 6 p.m.
6/2: USA vs. Mexico, 8 p.m.
6/3: USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 4 p.m.
6/3: Argentina vs. Costa Rica, 6 p.m.
6/3: Dominican Republic vs. Mexico, 8 p.m.

Pool A Standings
Dominican Republic 2-0
USA 2-1
Argentina 2-1
Mexico 1-1
Costa Rica 0-2
Trinidad & Tobago 0-2

Pool B at Tijuana, Mexico (all times listed as Pacific Time)
5/30: Brazil def. Venezuela, 25-11, 25-21, 25-19
5/30: Puerto Rico def. Peru, 25-20, 25-17, 25-21
5/30: Canada def. Cuba, 20-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-12, 17-15
5/31: Peru def. Venezuela, 22-25, 25-19, 25-23, 20-25, 15-11
5/31: Puerto Rico def. Cuba, 20-25, 25-16, 25-16, 25-16
5/31: Brazil def. Canada, 25-14, 23-25, 25-13, 25-13
6/1: Canada vs. Venezuela, 4 p.m.
6/1: Brazil vs. Puerto Rico, 6 p.m.
6/1: Cuba vs. Peru, 8 p.m.
6/2: Cuba vs. Venezuela, 4 p.m.
6/2: Canada vs. Puerto Rico, 6 p.m.
6/2: Brazil vs. Peru, 8 p.m.
6/3: Puerto Rico vs. Venezuela, 4 p.m.
6/3: Peru vs. Canada, 6 p.m.
6/3: Cuba vs. Brazil, 8 p.m.

Pool B Standings
Brazil 2-0
Puerto Rico 2-0
Canada 1-1
Peru 1-1
Cuba 0-2
Venezuela 0-2

Classification Rounds at Mexicali, Mexico
6/5: Quarterfinals or Classification 5-8 Mexicali, Mexico
6/6: Semifinals or Classification 5-8 Mexicali, Mexico
6/7: Championship or Classification 3-4, 7-8 or 5-6 Mexicali, Mexico