U.S. Women Block Thailand in Four-Set World Grand Prix Victory

June 27, 2008, 4:36 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 27, 2008) – The U.S. Women’s National Indoor Volleyball Team used an 18-3 block advantage and a balanced scoring offense with five starters in double-digit scoring to defeat Thailand 25-18, 25-17, 26-28, 25-13 on Friday evening to begin FIVB World Grand Prix Pool E action at Wroclaw, Poland.

Team USA, 3-1 overall in the World Grand Prix, continues action in Poland on June 28 versus NORCECA rival Dominican Republic at 5:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. Mountain Time). The U.S. concludes the weekend against host Poland on June 29 at 3 p.m. (8 a.m. Mountain Time). Earlier today in Group E action, Dominican Republic defeated Poland 25-22, 19-25, 25-17, 25-20. The U.S., in a three-way tie for third place in the World Grand Prix after four matches, is one loss behind undefeated leaders Italy and China in the tournament. Based on the tiebreaker procedure, the U.S. is in third place ahead of Brazil and Turkey.

“For us, it is important not only to win, but also to improve our teamwork,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach ‘Jenny’ Lang Ping said. “Our main goal is to prepare for the Olympic Games and that’s what we want to use this tournament for, but we also want to get to the final six.”

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.

The U.S. built a 12-6 lead in the opening set and never allowed Thailand closer than three points as the Americans won 25-18 scoring the final four points of the set. Team USA built and early 10-4 advantage in the second set and steamrolled to a 25-17 victory with seven blocks in the set. Thailand, using 10 American errors in the third set to its advantage, came back from a 20-18 deficit in the third set and won 28-26 after saving one match point attempt. The U.S. built an early 9-2 lead in the fourth set with eight unanswered points en route to a 25-13 victory.

Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah), who did not play the first weekend of the FIVB World Grand Prix, led the U.S. with 17 points on 13 kills, three blocks and an ace. Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) chipped in 15 points with 12 kills and three blocks. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) was credited with 11 kills and two blocks for 13 points. Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.) contributed 10 kills, two blocks and an ace for 13 points in the victory. Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) added seven kills, a match-high four blocks and an ace for 12 points. Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) charted three points with a block in a reserve role. Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) put up two blocks from her setter position to go with 51 assists. She set the Team USA offense to a 52 kill percent and .412 attack efficiency for the match. Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) tallied a team-high 10 digs and handled 14 service receptions with a 57 excellent percent. Glass handled 25 of the 60. U.S. service receptions with just one error and a 72 excellent percent, along with eight digs on defense. Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) added five assists in limited action in two sets.

“We are very happy with this victory because it brings us one step closer to our goal - the top six,” Berg said. “Thailand is not a team that you can sleep on and let them make errors, because they don’t make errors. That’s what happened in the third set. We didn’t take advantage of how we played in the first two sets and relaxed a little too much. As a team, we’ve got to work on finishing the whole game and being consistent."

The U.S. started Tom and Glass at outside hitter, Scott-Arruda and Bown at middle blocker, Haneef-Park at opposite and Berg at setter. Davis is the designated libero for this leg of the World Grand Prix. Akinradewo started the third set in place Scott-Arruda, who re-entered the starting lineup in the fourth set. Barboza and McGinnis were used a late-set double substitution in the second and fourth sets.

Team USA used its height to secure an 18-3 advantage in blocks for the match. The Americans held a 56-45 margin in kills as both teams served four aces. The U.S. limited Thailand to a 37 kill percent for the match and held a 34-29 margin in digs.

Malika Buakaew led Thailand with 12 points, while Narumon Khanan added 11 points in the loss.

In other World Grand Prix matches played today, Brazil defeated Kazakhstan 25-10, 25-17, 25-19 and Turkey topped Germany 25-21, 25-22, 25-27, 25-18 at Vinh Phuc, Vietnam. Italy defeated Japan 25-17, 25-20, 25-22 and China edged Cuba 25-18, 25-27, 21-25, 25-21, 15-13 at Hong Kong.

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).

Haneef-Park followed a Tom kill with a block to provide the U.S. an early 3-1 advantage in the opening set. Bown and Glass connected for consecutive kills and Thailand committed an error leading into the first technical timeout to give the Americans an 8-4 lead. Out of the break, Glass scored a kill for a fourth straight U.S. point and 9-4 advantage. Glass and Tom followed a Thailand error with a kill apiece to expand Team USA’s lead to 12-5. Thailand cut the gap back to four at 14-10 with a 5-2 run. Haneef-Park and Bown scored consecutive kills going into the second technical timeout with the U.S. leading 16-10. Thailand sliced the deficit back to three points at 17-14 with three unanswered points. Bown and Glass turned in back-to-back kills to stop the bleeding and put the U.S. in front by five, 19-14. Thailand clawed to within three at 21-18, but Tom and Haneef-Park answered with consecutive kills to push the margin to five at 23-18. A Thailand error gave Team USA a 24-18 lead and Haneef-Park finished the set with a block on the next point. Haneef-Park finished the set with six points, including both Team USA blocks.

Scott-Arruda picked up a kill and block around a Glass ace and Haneef-Park kill to yield a 4-1 U.S. advantage to start the second set. Team USA doubled its lead going into the first technical timeout with a block from Berg and a kill from Glass. Bown added a block and kill and Glass hammered a kill out of the break for an 11-4 advantage on a 5-0 run. Thailand chipped away at the deficit and closed to 13-8. Scott-Arruda crushed a kill and Tom followed immediately with a block to push the American lead to 16-9 at the second technical timeout. Haneef-Park added a kill out of the break to extend the margin to eight, 17-9. Thailand answered with consecutive points to move to within six at 17-11. Tom followed a Thailand error with a block to increase the margin to eight, 19-11. Thailand tacked on consecutive points to drop the deficit to six at 19-13. Haneef-Park scored a kill and Tom dropped in an ace to push the American lead back to eight at 21-13. After a Thailand error, Barboza picked up a block to give Team USA a 23-14 lead. After Thailand scored back-to-back points at 23-16, the teams traded points through the final 25-17 score. Tom scored six points in the set and Team USA scored seven points off the block.

Akinradewo and Tom started the third set with consecutive kills for a 2-0 U.S. advantage. Thailand came back to tie the set at 5-all. Thailand reached its first lead of the match at 10-9 and extended the lead to 11-9 with three straight points. Thailand extended its lead to 14-11. Glass started a mini-run with a block to cut the gap to 14-13. Haneef-Park tied the set at 15-all with a kill after a Thailand error. Thailand answered with points on each side of the second technical timeout for a 17-15 advantage. Akinradewo tied the set at 18-all with an ace after a Haneef-Park kill. Glass picked up a third straight U.S. point with a kill to yield a 19-18 American edge. Team USA advantage increased to 20-18 with a Thailand error. However, Thailand came back to take the lead at 22-21 with three unanswered points. Team USA saved a set point at 24-23 as Glass scored a kill a block to give Team USA set point at 25-24. Thailand went back in the lead at 26-25 and won 28-26. Glass scored five points for the Americans in the third set as Thailand netted three aces and benefited from 10 USA errors in the frame.

The U.S. grabbed an early 4-2 lead in the fourth set as Tom downed a kill followed by two Thailand errors. Bown added a block and Scott-Arruda served an ace to extend the lead to 6-2 on five straight points. Tom and Haneef-Park added a sixth and seventh consecutive points at 8-2 with a kill each. Bown added a kill out of the break for a 9-2 advantage. Thailand cut the deficit to 9-4 with back-to-back points. Team USA increased its lead to 17-6 with a Haneef-Park kill, Scott-Arruda block and Thailand error. Haneef-Park and Glass turned in back-to-back kills going into the second technical timeout with the U.S. leading 16-7. Scott-Arruda added two blocks out of the break to lift the U.S. in front 18-7. The teams traded points until Barboza and Scott-Arruda collected kills on the final two points of the match at 25-13 in the fourth set. Scott-Arruda scored seven points in the final set, including three blocks. The U.S. converted 59 percent of its 27 fourth set attacks into kills.

To download the U.S. Women’s National Team Press Kit for the opening FIVB World Grand Prix preliminary weekend, 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)
10 - Kim Glass (OH, 6-2, Lancaster, Pa., Arizona)
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, Li Yong, Tom Hogan (not traveling)
Technical Coordinator: Diane French
Technical Consultant: Gen Kawakita
Team Leader/Manager: Joan Powell

2008 FIVB World Grand Prix Statistical Leaders Through First Weekend
Best Scorers: 9T. Tayyiba Haneef-Park (45 points); 14. Kim Glass (38); 25. Kim Willoughby (31); 33. Jennifer Joines (28); 40. Danielle Scott -Arruda (26); 57. Heather Bown (16); 75. Cynthia Barboza (9); 94. Lindsey Berg (4); 97. Kristin Richards (3); 102. Foluke Akinradewo (2); 109. Angie McGinnis (1)
Best Spikers: 13. Tayyiba Haneef-Park (44.05 kill percent); 14. Kim Willoughby (43.10); 23. Kim Glass (35.96)
Best Blockers: 13. Tayyiba Haneef-Park (0.58 blocks per set); 21. Danielle Scott-Arruda (0.50); 29. Kim Willoughby (0.42); 36. Heather Bown (0.33); 46. Jennifer Joines (0.25); 49. Cynthia Barboza (0.25); 64. Lindsey Berg (0.17)
Best Servers: 24. Lindsey Berg (0.17 aces per set); 46. Kristin Richards (0.08); 55. Heather Bown (0.08); 58. Kim Willoughby (0.08); 59. Kim Glass (0.08); 60. Angie McGinnis (0.08); 62. Tayyiba Haneef-Park (0.08)
Best Diggers: 11. Nicole Davis (2.00 digs per set); 28. Kim Willoughby (1.33); 30. Kim Glass (1.25); 55. Tayyiba Haneef-Park (0.67); 77. Lindsey Berg (0.33); 91. Jennifer Joines (0.17); 93. Cynthia Barboza (0.17); 103. Heather Bown (0.08)
Best Setters: 5. Lindsey Berg (6.83 assists per set); 22. Angie McGinnis (0.50)
Best Receivers: 4. Kim Willoughby (60.24 efficiency); 16. Kim Glass (42.86)

FIVB World Grand Prix Standings
Italy 4-0
China 4-0
USA 3-1
Brazil 3-1
Turkey 3-1
Cuba 2-2
Japan 2-2
Dominican Republic 2-2
Germany 1-3
Poland 0-4
Thailand 0-4
Kazakhstan 0-4

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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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