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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 13, 2009) – The current U.S. Women's National Team Weekly update released on April 13 includes recaps of the team’s matches against Egypt, 2009 statistics, briefs on upcoming U.S. events, national team players competing overseas, trivia questions and much more.
For the complete PDF version that includes the trivia questions, 2009 season stats, international transfer list and other fan interaction sections, click here.
TRIVIA QUESTIONS: 1. What is the only mother-daughter combination to have both worn the U.S. Women’s National Team jersey in a senior-level event (at different times)? 2. Which U.S. Women’s National Team player has not been part of a losing match since Sept. 15, 2007? Answers can be found on page two in the full PDF version (click here) of the current U.S. Women’s National Team Weekly update.
McCUTCHEON, U.S. WIN SEASON OPENER OVER EGYPT: The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team defeated Egypt 25-14, 25-27, 25-18, 28-26 on April 10 at Cairo to open its 2009 season. The two teams will play again on April 12 at Cairo. The match represented the first contest for Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) serving as the head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team. He accepted the position in December of 2008 after leading the U.S. Men’s National Team to a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games. Middle blockers Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) and Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) led the Americans with a combined 33 points. Harmotto scored a team-high 18 points with 16 points on 25 attacks for a 64 kill percent and .560 attack efficiency, one block and one ace. Paolini chipped in 13 kills on 23 swings, one block and one ace in the victory. Outside hitters Therese Crawford (Kalamazoo, Mich.) contributed 13 kills on 28 attacks, while outside hitter Brittany Moore (Orange, Calif.) recorded 10 kills on 23 attempts with only one error to go with a block and ace. Outside hitter Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif.) added six kills, one block and one ace for eight points and eight digs in the victory, while opposite Morgan Beck (Coto De Caza, Calif.) tallied three kills and five digs. Setter Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) provided six kills and a block in leading Team USA to a 42.8 kill percent and .314 attack efficiency against the Egyptian defense. Libero Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) handled 19 digs in the match, along with a 62 positive percent on 32 service receptions. Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) was a reserve off the bench adding five digs and 10 service receptions in the back row. Davis and Sykora are the only two players from the 2008 Olympic Games also part of the 12-player roster competing in Egypt. Middle blocker Emillie Toone (American Fork, Utah) added a block and setter Nicole Vargas (Seal Beach, Calif.) entered the match but did not score. For the complete press release, click here.
TEAM USA SWEEPS EGYPT IN REMATCH: Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif.) scored a match-high 16 points in leading the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team to a 25-13, 25-15, 27-25 victory over Egypt at Cairo on April 12 to conclude its brief two-match cultural exchange exhibition series arranged by the United States Olympic Committee and the Egyptian Olympic Committee. Team USA won the first match in four sets on April 10. Rubenstein charted her 16 points with 11 kills on 26 attempts and five aces on 19 errorless serves to go with five digs and a 46 percent positive service reception. Brittany Moore (Orange, Calif.) contributed 13 kills on 24 attacks with just one error to go with a block and ace for 15 points. Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Mekana Barnes (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) added eight points apiece from the middle blocker position. Paolini tallied five kills on seven errorless attempts to go with three aces. Barnes notched seven kills on 17 attacks with an ace. Therese Crawford (Kalamazoo, Mich.) added six kills and a block for seven points. Emillie Toone (American Fork, Utah) scored two kills on four attacks with a block and ace for four points in her reserve role. Nicole Vargas (Seal Beach, Calif.) set Team USA to a 43 kill percent for the match. The Americans limited their attack errors to 14 on 106 attacks for a .302 hitting efficiency. Vargas chipped in two kills and two blocks from her setter position. Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) tallied 15 digs, while Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) added one in a limited role. McCutcheon started Vargas at setter, Crawford at opposite, Paolini and Barnes at middle blocker and Moore and Rubenstein at outside hitter. Davis served as the libero for the match. Toone played as a reserve in the opening two sets before starting the third set in place of Paolini. Sykora was a defensive specialist in both the second and third sets. For the complete press release, click here.
TOM UPDATE: Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah), a three-time U.S. Olympian and Best Scorer of the 2008 Olympic Games, is playing with Hisamitsu Springs in the Japanese V-League. After a rough start to the season, Tom and Hisamitsu bounced back to finish second in the regular season. After finishing second in the four-team, round-robin semifinal round, Hisamitsu advanced to the championship match against Toray on April 11. However, top-seed Toray walked away with the winner-take-all championship match with a 25-13, 25-18, 25-15 victory in Tokyo. Tom tallied 10 kills on 34 swings with two errors, while being held to zero blocks and aces. Hisamitsu finishes the playoffs in second place. By virtue of reaching the V-League title match, Hisamitsu Springs and Toray will also play in a cross-over championship tournament with the Korean professional league on April 18-19. Korea will be represented by GS Caltex and the Pink Spiders.
SCOTT-ARRUDA UPDATE: Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.), a four-time U.S. Olympian middle blocker, is playing for CGF Recycle Florens Castellana Grotte in the Italian Serie A league. Scott-Arruda and her Castellana Grotte concluded the Italian Serie A League regular season on a high note with a 25-18, 23-25, 25-18, 25-19 victory over Famila Chieri on April 11. Scott-Arruda scored a match-high 22 points with 16 kills on 28 attacks with only two errors. She added six of her team’s 11 blocks in the victory. Coupled with Zoppas Industries Conegliano’s loss to Asystel Volley Novara, Castellana Grotte snuck into the eighth and final playoff spot with a 13-13 record and 38 points – one more point than Conegliano. Castellana Grotte’s reward is a quarterfinal home-and-home playoff series against top-ranked Scavolini Pesaro on April 15 and April 17.
WILLOUGHBY UPDATE: Kim Willoughby (Napoleonville, La.), a 2008 U.S. Olympic Games silver medalist, is now playing for Despar Perugia in the Italian Serie A league. Willoughby and Perugia completed the league’s regular season with a 25-19, 25-14, 25-15 loss to regulars season champion Scavolini Pesaro on April 11. Willoughby scored eight points in the match with seven kills on 16 attacks and a block. Perugia finishes the regular season with a 13-13 record and 41 points, which puts the squad as the sixth-seed in the quarterfinal playoff round. Perugia will face third-seed Bergamo on April 15 and April 17 in a home-and-home quarterfinal playoff series.
BOWN UPDATE: Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.), a three-time Olympian and middle blocker on the silver-medal winning 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, is playing for Monte Schiavo Banca Marche Jesi this winter. Jesi finished the regular season with a 25-23, 21-25, 25-16, 35-33 loss to fourth-place Yamamay Busto Arsizio on April 11. Bown netted 13 points in the loss with nine kills, three blocks and an ace. Jesi ends the regular season with a 16-10 record and 46 points in the league standing for fifth place. The same two teams will meet in the Italian Serie A quarterfinal playoff round with a home-and-home schedule on April 15 and April 17 to decide who advances to the semifinals.
NNAMANI UPDATE: Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.), a two-time U.S. Olympian, is now playing professionally in Turkey for Galatasaray. After upsetting top-seed V. Gunes Sigorta in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs, eighth-seed Galatasaray was held in check by Fenerbahce in a 25-18, 25-23, 25-21 loss on April 10. Nnamani scored 16 points via 13 kills on 36 attacks, two blocks and an ace. The two teams continue their semifinal playoff series on April 13 and April 14.To view pictures of Nnamani and her team’s first-round playoff upset victory over regular-season champion V. Gunes Sigorta, click here.
METCALF, STALLS UPDATE: Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa), a 2004 Olympian, is playing for Eczacibasi Zentiva of the Turkish professional league along with 2008 Olympic Games alternate Tracy Stalls (Denver, Colo.). Eczacibasi is playing a Turk Telekom, which has 2008 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team head coach leading the squad, in the Turkish League playoff semifinal round. In a nail-biting five-set match, Turk Telekom held off Eczacibasi 22-25, 25-22, 25-23, 23-25, 15-13. Metcalf, who came off the bench in the fourth set and started the fifth set, scored seven points in her limited action with five kills and two blocks. Stalls, who started the middle three sets and came off the bench in the first and fifth sets, added three aces, two blocks and two kills on six attacks for seven points. The teams will meet again on April 13 and April 14 as part of the semifinal round.
BUSSE, CRIMES, UPDATE: Toa Baja, competing in the Puerto Rico Super League, features three players who trained with the U.S. Women’s National Team during 2008. Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) and Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) are sharing a heavy offensive load for Toa Baja, while the team released former U.S. National Team member Angie Pressey (Lake Worth, Fla.) on April 1 with two matches remaining in the regular season. As the top seed in the playoffs, Toa Baja topped Guaynabo 25-18, 25-20, 25-14 on April 8 to open the four-team double round robin Group A playoff schedule. Busse scored 10 points in the victory, while Crimes added seven points. The Llaneras return to action on April 14 against Caguas, followed by an April 16 contest against Juncos and April 18 re-match versus Caguas.
OTHER AMERICAN STANDOUTS IN PUERTO RICO LEAGUE: Kristee Porter scored 14 points in helping Corozal to a playoff-opening five-set victory over Bayamon on April 8. Jordan Larson scored 31 points in the loss, while Erin Moore chipped in 17 points for Bayamon…Kylie Atherstone scored a match-high 25 points on April 8 to lead Carolina to a five-set victory over Mayaguez. Jessica VanderKooi scored 10 points in the loss…Kelly Wing paced Juncos to a five-set victory over Caguas with 19 points…For more highlights from the Puerto Rico Super League, click here.
PUERTO RICO LEAGUE AWARDS: Jordan Larson, who played collegiately at University of Nebraska, was the big winner at the Puerto Rico League Gala Awards ceremony. She received eight awards, including the coveted Most Valuable Player honor. She added awards for season leader in points, points average, attacks, attacks by average, team All-Star and team Offensive Player of the Year. Larson was named on 21 of the 33 ballots for Most Valuable Player, while Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) was second in voting with five votes. In other awards, Jessica Jones earned the Leader in Blocks award. Along with Larson, Shonda Cole and Cassie Busse were selected to the six-player Offensive Team.
JOINES, RICHARDS UPDATE: Jennifer Joines (Milpitas, Calif.), a 2008 U.S. Olympian, and Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah), a 2008 U.S. Olympic Team alternate, are competing for Fakel in the Russian professional league this winter. Fakel ended the regular season with a 25-22, 18-25, 25-20, 25-15 victory over Universitet Belogorie on April 6. Richards scored 19 points, all on kills from 40 attacks. Joines sat out the match to rest her shoulder. Fakel will compete in the 9-12 playoff round April 14-17 at Moscow and April 24-27 at Chelyabinsk.
GLASS UPDATE: Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.), a 2008 U.S. Olympian, is playing professionally in Russia with Universitet Belogorie. Her team, playing mainly its second team on April 6, lost a 25-22, 18-25, 25-20, 25-15 match to Fakel without Glass attending. Belogorie, which finished the regular season sixth after being in a tie for first midway through the regular season, will face third-seed Uralochka-NTMK on April 12, April 16 and April 19 in the playoffs.
HOOKER WINS USA TODAY HONOR: Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas), who trained with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team last spring, was named the USA Today Athlete of the Week for her performance at the Texas Relays. She won the high jump event at the Texas Relays with a height of 6 feet, 3 ½ inches, a world-best for the 2009 season. Added to that, she then got engaged on the track’s infield after her performance.
2009 PAN AMERICAN CUP POOLS SET: The Eighth Annual Women’s Pan American Cup, hosted by USA Volleyball in Miami from June 26 to July 4, has grouped its 12 participating teams into two six-team pools. The nine-day Pan American Cup, which has three of the four 2008 Olympic Games semifinalists (Brazil, USA and Cuba), will be played on the campuses of the University of Miami and Florida International University. A total of 12 teams are scheduled to compete in the event, which serves as a qualifying event into the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix. The top three teams from NORCECA in the Women’s Pan American Cup and the highest placing South American country will earn berths to next year’s premier annual event. The U.S. Women’s National Team, the 2008 Olympic Games silver medalist, has been grouped into Pool A with Dominican Republic (No. 13 FIVB world ranking), Peru (No. 17), Canada (No. 23), Uruguay (No. 29) and Argentina (No. 31). Pool B consists of 2008 Olympic Games gold medalist Brazil (No. 1), 2008 Olympic Games semifinalist Cuba (No. 3), 2008 Olympic Games participant Venezuela (No. 24), Puerto Rico (No. 19), Mexico (No. 26) and Costa Rica (No. 30). Ticket prices and online purchasing will be available at http://usavolleyball.org/event/event/572 once determined. For the full story, click here.
USAV, ANAHEIM MOVE FORWARD ON WOMEN’S TEAM RELOCATION: The Anaheim City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to authorize City staff to negotiate an agreement with USA Volleyball that would relocate the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team to train in Anaheim at the American Sports Centers as early as this spring. The vote is a step forward in the process that would move the U.S. Women’s National Team to Anaheim from its current home at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Once the agreement is finalized, Anaheim would be designated the Official Host City for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball Teams through the 2016 Olympic Games. The American Sports Centers, which has been the training site of the U.S. Men’s National Team since it moved to Anaheim in 2006, has agreed to host the U.S. Women’s National Team as well. The facility, which opened in March of 2004, is the largest indoor court facility in the United States featuring 22 volleyball courts, 16 basketball courts and nine indoor soccer courts. Among the ASC’s other tenants is the Southern California Volleyball Association, one of 40 regions within USA Volleyball. For the complete story, click here. For player reactions to Anaheim City Council’s vote, click here. To read an Orange County Register article on Hugh McCutcheon, click here.
REPLICA JERSEY AVAILABLE FOR LIMITED TIME: Are you looking for a unique gift for your volleyball loved ones? USA Volleyball has the answer with replica jerseys from its 2008 Olympic Games indoor teams being made available for a limited time by clicking here. The U.S. Olympic Women’s Team replica jerseys, priced at $65 apiece, are available in extra small, small, medium, large and extra large. Replica jerseys are available for all 12 U.S. players who participated in the 2008 Olympic Games. Each replica jersey will have the Olympian’s name on the back with their jersey number on both the front and back. In addition, USA Volleyball has several other 2008 Olympic Games apparel items commemorating the unprecedented indoor and beach volleyball success obtained in Beijing. Products available on the online store include short and long-sleeve T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies in multiple designs.
OLYMPIC COMMEMORATIVE APPRAREL ON SALE: USA Volleyball has unveiled five commemorative logo designs to appear on apparel saluting USA Volleyball’s medal successes at the recent Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Beijing. Apparel can be purchased by clicking here. Men’s and ladies’ T-shirt designs are $15, while the youth T-shirt size is $13. Long sleeve t-shirts are $18, crew sweatshirts are $23 and hoodies are $30. Sizes XXL and larger have a slightly higher price. USA Volleyball’s success on the Olympic grand stage in Beijing has never been achieved by any other nation since volleyball was added to the Olympics in 1964. The U.S. Olympic Men’s Indoor Volleyball Team, which was named the United States Olympic Committee Team of the Month for August 2008, captured the gold medal at the Olympic Games without losing a single match. Women’s Beach Volleyball (Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh) and Men’s Beach Volleyball (Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers) both came back from Beijing with Olympic Games gold medals. The U.S. Olympic Women’s Indoor Volleyball Team captured the silver medal in Beijing, as did the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team during the Paralympic Games. No other country has ever participated in the gold-medal match of all four Olympic Games volleyball disciplines during the same year. Team USA added a fifth gold-medal appearance at the Paralympic Games.