U.S. Women Blank Kazakhstan at FIVB World Grand Prix

June 21, 2008, 4:26 a.m. (ET)

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

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 21, 2008) - Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) scored 16 points as the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team blanked Kazakhstan 25-16, 25-17, 25-18 on Saturday afternoon during the FIVB World Grand Prix at Kobe, Japan. The U.S. improves to 1-1 in the tournament, while Kazakhstan falls to 0-2.

Team USA, ranked fourth in the world but without the services of two two-time Olympians (Logan Tom and Robyn Ah Mow-Santos) this weekend, challenges host Japan at 6 p.m. (3 a.m. Mountain Time) to conclude the first preliminary round.

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.

Team USA broke a 4-all tie in the opening set with a 4-0 run and closed out the period on a 5-0 run to win 25-16. Trailing 4-1 to start the second set, the U.S. used a 7-1 run to take an 8-5 lead into the technical timeout and parlayed an 8-2 spurt into a 25-17 victory. The Americans raced to a 7-3 lead in the third set and never allowed their opponent back in the match by taking the period 25-18.

Haneef-Park scored her 16 points via 13 kills and match-high three blocks. Kim Willoughby (Napoleonville, La.) added 12 kills and two blocks for 14 points. Jennifer Joines (Milpitas, Calif.) contributed 10 kills and a block for 11 points. Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.) charted seven points with six kills and a block, while Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) matched her total with four kills, two blocks and an ace. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) recorded two kills in the victory, while Lindsey Berg (Honolulu, Hawai’i) rounded out the U.S. scoring with an ace. She added 40 assists on Team USA’s 47 kills. Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) contributed 10 digs, while Willoughby added seven digs and 19 excellent service receptions on 25 errorless attempts. Glass tacked on nine digs.

Team USA started Berg at setter, Bown and Joines at middle blocker, Glass and Willoughby at outside hitter and Haneef-Park at opposite. Davis is the designated American libero for the opening weekend of the World Grand Prix. Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) and Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) subbed into the match as late substitutions in the second set, while Akinradewo saw late action in the third set.

The U.S. held a commanding 47-29 advantage in kills and had the only two aces of the match. Team USA also tallied a slim 9-7 block advantage with eight of its stuffs coming in the first two sets to establish the block early. Kazakhstan converted just 27.4 percent of its attacks into kills while Team USA turned in a 46.1 kill percent.

Both the U.S. and Kazakhstan have qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games. Team USA earned its spot by claiming the bronze medal at the 2007 FIVB World Cup, while Kazakhstan was the top Asian team in the 2008 World Olympic Qualification Tournament.

Natalya Zhukova paced Kazakhstan with eight points on seven kills and a block, while Olga Grushko tallied six kills and a block for seven points in the loss. Yuliya Kutsko chipped in six points for Kazakhstan.

The U.S. scored the first two-point cushion of the opening set with a Joines kill and Bown block at 6-4, then added a third and fourth straight point to reach the first technical timeout leading 8-4 after a Willoughby block. Bown and Glasss connected for consecutive kills followed by a Kazakhstan error to stretch the American lead to 12-6. Kazakhstan cut the deficit to four at 12-8 on consecutive points. Kazakhstan chipped away at the lead to close to two, 15-13, on a 4-1 scoring spurt. Haneef-Park answered with a kill and the U.S. took a 17-13 advantage on a Kazakhstan error. Willoughby provided back-to-back kills to extend the U.S. margin to 19-14. Joines and Glass followed a Kazakhstan error with a kill to push the gap to seven points, 23-16. Team USA closed out the set on a 5-0 run capped by a Bown ace and Kazakhstan error. Bown, Joines, Glass and Willoughby all provided four points in the period. The U.S. scored four blocks in the opening set and committed just four errors.

Kazakhstan netted an early 4-1 lead in the second set with four unanswered points. However, Joines and Haneef-Park scored consecutive points to pull the U.S. to one at 4-3. Haneef-Park tied the set at 4-all on a block. Team USA took a 7-5 lead with blocks from Willoughby and Haneef-Park, along with a Haneef-Park kill that started the 3-0 run. Willoughby added a fourth straight point at the technical timeout to yield an 8-5 American lead. Kazakhstan answered with two straight points out of the break to close one, 8-7. The U.S. extended its lead to 14-10 on consecutive Kazakhstan errors and a Joines kill. Kazakhstan scored three straight points to cut the lead to one, 14-13. Haneef-Park tallied a kill and was followed by a Joines block to push the U.S. lead back to three at 17-14. Willoughby scored three kills and Bown and Haneef-Park added a kill apiece in a 5-0 run to give the U.S. a 23-16 advantage. Team USA closed out the set with a Glass kill and Kazakhstan error for a 25-17 victory. Haneef-Park tallied seven points in the second set, while Willoughby added six points.

Joines and Haneef-Park scored consecutive kills to give the U.S. a 3-1 cushion early in the third set. Team USA increased its lead to 7-3 on a Joines kill followed by a block and kill by Haneef-Park. Willoughby connected for consecutive kills to increase the American advantage to 9-4. Willoughby followed a Kazakhstan error with a kill to push the gap to six points, 11-5. Kazakhstan scored consecutive points to chip away at the lead, 12-8. The U.S. answered with three straight points on kills from Glass and Joines, in addition to a Berg ace at 15-8. Haneef-Park tallied a kill and Kazakhstan followed with an error to give the U.S. a 17-9 advantage. Kazakhstan closed the gap to six points at 19-13. Haneef-Park and Willoughby collected kills on consecutive plays to push the Team USA lead back to eight points, 23-15. Kazakhstan saved two match points before the Americans closed out the set 25-18. Haneef-Park totaled seven points in the final period.

Team USA will face an average world ranking of 13.22 during the three-week preliminary rounds. The Americans will face only one team – Italy – ranked among the top seven teams in the current world ranking during the preliminary rounds.

To read or download the U.S. Women's National Team Press Kit for the opening preliminary weekend of the FIVB World Grand Prix, click here.

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

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for Opening Weekend World Grand Prix
# - 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)
9 - Jennifer Joines (MB, 6-4, Milpitas, Calif., Pacific)
10 - Kim Glass (OH, 6-2, Lancaster, Pa., Arizona)
14 - Kim Willoughby (OH, 5-10, Napoleonville, La., Hawai’i)
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, Li Yong, Tom Hogan (not traveling)
Technical Coordinator: Diane French
Technical Consultant: Gen Kawakita
Team Leader/Manager: Joan Powell

FIVB World Grand Prix Standings
Brazil 1-0 (6/21 vs. Germany)
Japan 1-0 (6/21 vs. Turkey)
Turkey 1-0 (6/21 vs. Japan)
Italy 1-0 (6/21 vs. Poland)
China 1-0 (6/21 vs. Thailand)
Cuba 1-0 (6/21 vs. Dominican Republic)
USA 1-1
Germany 0-1 (6/21 vs. Brazil)
Poland 0-1 (6/21 vs. Italy)
Dominican Republic 0-1 (6/21 vs. Cuba)
Thailand 0-1 (6/21 vs. China)
Kazakhstan 0-2

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, 25-8
June 21: Japan vs. Turkey, 6 p.m.
June 22: Kazakhstan vs. Turkey, 3 p.m.
June 22: Japan vs. USA, 6 p.m.

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 vs. Thailand, 3 p.m.
June 21: Germany vs. Brazil, 7:30 p.m.
June 22: Germany vs. Thailand, 1:30 p.m.
June 22: China vs. Brazil, 5 p.m.

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: Dominican Republic vs. Cuba, 4 p.m.
June 21: Italy vs. Poland, 6:30 p.m.
June 22: Poland vs. Dominican Republic, 4 p.m.
June 22: Italy vs. Cuba, 6:30 p.m.

Pool D: Vinh Phuc, Vietnam, Vinh Phuc Hall
June 27: Brazil vs. Kazakhstan, 2 p.m.
June 27: Turkey vs. Germany, 4:30 p.m.
June 28: Kazakhstan vs. Germany, 2 p.m.
June 28: Brazil vs. Turkey, 4:30 p.m.
June 29: Turkey vs. Kazakhstan, 2 p.m.
June 29: Germany vs. Brazil, 4:30 p.m.

Pool E: Wroclaw, Poland, Centennial Hall
June 27: Poland vs. Dominican Republic, 5:30 p.m.
June 27: Thailand vs. USA, 8 p.m.
June 28: Poland vs. Thailand, 3 p.m.
June 28: USA vs. Dominican Republic, 5:30 p.m.
June 29: Poland vs. USA, 3 p.m.
June 29: Dominican Republic vs. Thailand, 5:30 p.m.

Pool F: Hong Kong, Hong Kong Coliseum
June 27: Italy vs. Japan, 5 p.m.
June 27: China vs. Cuba, 8 p.m.
June 28: Cuba vs. Italy, 1:15 p.m.
June 28: China vs. Japan, 3:45 p.m.
June 29: Japan vs. Cuba, 1:15 p.m.
June 29: China vs. Italy, 3:45 p.m.

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 vs. Poland, 3 p.m.
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