U.S. Women Place Fifth at Pan Am Cup

June 07, 2008, 8:32 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 7, 2008) - The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team overcame several challenges against Venezuela including the absence of libero Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) due to illness, but still came away with a hard-fought 27-25, 28-26, 17-25, 22-25, 15-7 victory Saturday afternoon in the Pan American Cup fifth-place match at Mexicali, Mexico.

The U.S., ranked fourth in the world by FIVB but using a young roster for the Pan American Cup, achieved both its main goals for the tournament. First, it qualified for the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix as one of the top three finishing NORCECA teams in the tournament. Second, the coaching staff was able to evaluate the 12-player roster for possible inclusion on future U.S. National Teams, including the 2008 Olympic Games which Team USA has qualified.

As part of its new-look lineup, Team USA started captain Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) at setter, Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah) at outside hitter, Tracy Stalls (Denver) and Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) at middle blocker, Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) at opposite and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) at libero. Juliann Fauctte (San Diego) subbed into the match in the second set, while Lindsey Hunter (Papillion, Neb.) was a sub in the third set.

Later today, Brazil will face Dominican Republic at 6 p.m. Pacific Time to determine the Pan American Cup gold medalist. In the bronze medal match after the USA-Venezuela contest, Puerto Rico will play Argentina.

Using its adjusted lineup without Sykora, the U.S. overcame a 14-8 deficit in the first set to win 27-25 as Stanford teammates Barboza and Klineman each scored six points in the stanza. Team USA battled back from deficits of 11-3 and 23-18 to win the second set 28-26 with its first lead at 27-26. Venezuela built a 13-4 lead in the third set, but this time did not allow the U.S. back in the set with a 25-17 victory. Team USA lead 20-18 late in the fourth set, but Venezuela scored seven of the final nine points for a 25-22 victory. Unlike all the other sets, the U.S. never trailed in the tiebreaking set as it started with a 3-0 lead, never allowed Venezuela to score consecutive points and worked its way to the 15-7 final.

Stalls tallied a team-high 18 points as she collected 10 kills on 20 swings, a match-high seven blocks and an ace. Barboza, starting her second straight match at opposite, contributed 17 points with 16 kills and a block. Crimes added seven kills, six blocks and an ace in the victory. Klineman tacked on nine kills, two blocks and two aces for 13 points. Richards provided six kills, two blocks and an ace for nine points. McGinnis rounded out the scoring with four kills, two aces and a block for seven points to go with 20 assists. Hughes, playing her first-ever match at libero, handled 46 of Team USA’s 95 serve-receive chances, and despite her four reception errors, recorded an 83 positive reception percent for the match.

Team USA held a sizeable 19-9 block advantage for the match. Despite Venezuela’s early success serving with the new USA libero and lineup, the U.S. closed the margin to 8-7 by the end of the match. Venezuela held a 75-52 kill advantage and converted on 47 percent of its attacks compared to Team USA’s 41 percent. However, Venezuela committed 15 service errors and 28 attack errors to the Americans’ four service miscues and 16 attack errors. Venezuela recorded a 15-8 margin in digs.

Desiree Glod totaled a match-high 26 points to lead Venezuela, while Jayce Andrade added 24 points in the loss.

Venezuela built an early 5-2 lead with three aces. Klineman helped the U.S. crawl back into the set with two kills and an ace in addition to a Stall quick attack kill to close to within 7-6. Leading 10-8, Venezuela turned in four unanswered points to assume a 14-8 lead. Barboza answered with consecutive kills to cut the deficit to 14-11. After Venezuela took a 16-12 lead into the second technical timeout, Barboza collected two straight kills to cut the gap in half at 16-14. Team USA tied the set at 17-all with a Stalls block in the middle of two Venezuela errors. However, Venezuela gained two points in a row to regain a two-point cushion at 19-17. Klineman started a 5-0 U.S. run with a kill that included an ace from Stalls and capped by a Barboza kill at 22-19. Venezuela recovered with four of the next five points to tie the set at 23-all. Klineman scored a kill at 26-25 and McGinnis ended the set at 27-25 on Team USA third set point opportunity. The U.S. out-blocked Venezuela 5-2 in the opening set to offset a 4-2 Venezuela edge in aces.

Similar to the first set, Venezuela took a commanding lead early in the second set at 11-3. Team USA scored four consecutive points with two Stalls kills, a Barboza kill and capped by a Klineman ace at 11-7. Venezuela extended its lead back to six points at 15-9, only to have the U.S. score five of the next six points with blocks coming from Crimes, Barboza and Stalls to move within two at 16-14. Venezuela jumped its lead to 23-18. The U.S. answered the challenge with five straight points with Crimes putting up two blocks along with a Richards kill. Team USA saved three set point opportunities as Klineman hammered a kill at 26-all. Stalls put up a block at 27-26 and McGinnis finished the set with a kill.

Venezuela scored seven unanswered points, including two aces, to take a 13-4 lead in the third set. Venezuela grabbed a 16-6 advantage at the second technical timeout. Richards scored two kills and McGinnis served a floating ace as part of a 5-2 run that closed the gap to 18-11. Venezuela used two blocks as part of a 5-1 spurt to take a 23-12 lead. Richards and Stalls tallied kills to put the score at 23-14 before Venezuela gained multiple set point opportunities at 24-14. The Americans saved three set points before falling 25-17.

Venezuela assumed a 5-2 lead in the early stages of the fourth set before Stalls turned in a kill and block around a Klineman kill to tie the set at 5-all. Venezuela regained a two-point cushion at the first technical timeout, but Richards put up a block after a service error to knot the score at 9-all. Venezuela scored three unanswered points to take a 12-9 lead, but Crimes scored three straight points with a kill and two blocks to put the score at 12-all. The U.S. took its first lead of the set at 14-13 with a block from Stalls after a Klineman kill. After Venezuela scored two straight points, Klineman responded with a kill and block to enable the U.S. to lead 16-15 at the second technical timeout. Barboza gave the U.S. a two-point cushion at 20-18 with a kill, but Venezuela came back to tie the score with the next two points and gained the lead at 22-21. Venezuela scored the final three points of the set to win 25-22.

Barboza collected the first two points of the fifth set with kills and Richards followed with an ace to lift the U.S. into a 3-0 lead. Team USA grabbed a four-point cushion at 6-2 as Stalls put down a kill followed by a Venezuela error. Leading 8-5, McGinnis took the second touch for a kill and followed with an ace. Richards added to the run with a kill for an 11-5 advantage. The U.S. captured the final three points of the set with Barboza starting it with a kill, followed by a Crimes ace and Venezuela error at 15-7.

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.

For additional information on the Pan American Cup, visit http://www.norceca.org/2008%20VII%20Pan-American%20Women’s%20Volleyball% 20Cup.htm.

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

Classification Rounds at Mexicali, Mexico
6/5: Cuba (6B) def. Trinidad & Tobago (6A), 25-14, 25-12, 25-14 (11th Place)
6/5: Peru (4B) def. Costa Rica (5A), 25-15, 25-19, 25-13 (Classification for 5-10)
6/5: Venezuela (5B) def. Mexico (4A), 25-27, 25, 16, 25-19, 25-19 (Classification for 5-10)
6/5: Argentina (3A) def. Canada (2B), 22-25, 26-24, 25-14, 21-25, 15-13 (Quarterfinals)
6/5: Puerto Rico (3B) def. USA (2A) vs. Puerto Rico (3B), 25-21, 34-32, 14-25, 25-18 (Quarterfinals)

6/6: Venezuela def. Canada, 25-17, 25-16, 25-17, 14-25, 15-9 (Classification 5-8)
6/6: USA def. Peru, 25-19, 25-15, 25-16 (Classification 5-8)
6/6: Brazil def. Argentina, 25-14, 25-15, 25-23 (Semifinal)
6/6: Costa Rica def. Mexico, 31-29, 18-25, 25-19, 25-23 (Classification for 9-10)
6/6: Dominican Republic def. Puerto Rico, 18-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-17 (Semifinal)

6/7: Canada versus Peru, 2 p.m. (7th Place)
6/7: USA def. Venezuela, 27-25, 28-26, 17-25, 22-25, 15-7 (5th Place)
6/7: Puerto Rico vs. Argentina, 6 p.m. (3rd Place)
6/7: Brazil vs. Dominican Republic, 8 p.m. (1st Place)

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 def. Costa Rica, 25-15, 25-17, 25-19
6/1: United States def. Argentina, 25-16, 25-18, 30-28
6/1: Mexico def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-23, 25-14, 20-25, 25-14
6/2: Costa Rica def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-21, 25-15, 25-21
6/2: Argentina def. Dominican Republic, 15-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-22
6/2: USA def. Mexico, 25-18, 25-22, 25-14
6/3: USA def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-11, 25-11, 25-14
6/3: Argentina def. Costa Rica, 25-15, 25-7, 25-15
6/3: Dominican Republic def. Mexico, 25-19, 25-15, 25-7

Pool A Standings
Dominican Republic 4-1 (1.301 point ratio)
USA 4-1 (1.287 point ratio)
Argentina 4-1 (1.232 point ratio)
Mexico 2-3
Costa Rica 1-4
Trinidad & Tobago 0-5

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 def. Venezuela, 25-20, 25-21, 25-22
6/1: Brazil def. Puerto Rico, 25-20, 25-14, 25-14
6/1: Peru def. Cuba, 26-24, 25-14, 25-16
6/2: Venezuela def. Cuba, 25-23, 25-20, 25-23
6/2: Canada def. Puerto Rico, 25-16, 25-19, 22-25, 25-20
6/2: Brazil def. Peru, 25-11, 25-20, 25-22
6/3: Puerto Rico def. Venezuela, 25-17, 25-21, 25-12
6/3: Canada def. Peru, 25-20, 25-12, 25-18
6/3: Brazil def. Cuba, 25-20, 25-11, 25-16

Pool B Standings
Brazil 5-0
Canada 4-1
Puerto Rico 3-2
Peru 2-3
Venezuela 1-4
Cuba 0-5