Germany Gets Jump on U.S. Women at Grand Prix

July 31, 2009, 1:53 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800

ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 31, 2009) – Germany swept a young U.S. Women’s National Team, 25-15, 25-15, 25-16 in its first 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix pool play match on Friday at Maracanazihno Gym in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Team USA will try to bounce back on Saturday when it plays Puerto Rico at 9 a.m. PT in Rio de Janeiro.

Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) led the U.S. Women with 11 points on seven kills, a match-high three blocks and one ace. Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah) added eight points on six kills and two blocks.

Germany’s Margareta Kozuch led all scorers with 15 points on 14 kills and one ace. Heike Beier added 10 points on eight kills and two aces.

Team USA out-blocked Germany 7-1. But Germany won the ace race with 10, including five in the first set, while Team USA had three. The U.S. Women were also hurt by 21 team errors as opposed to 11 for Germany.

"Germany played a great match today, especially in serving,” said U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand). “They were able to control the score during the whole match. We need to play in major competitions such as the World Grand Prix to improve.”

Germany converted 43.88 percent of its kill attempts into points (43/98) while the U.S. Women converted 26.6 percent (25/94).

Among other U.S. scorers, Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) totaled five points on three kills and two blocks. Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) added four points on three kills and one ace. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) scored four points on four kills.

Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) scored two points on one kill and one ace and Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) had one points on one kill.

McGinnis, who started at setter, was credited with three running sets on 34 attempts. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.), who substituted for McGinnis in the second set and started the third, was credited with seven on 39 attempts.

U.S. libero Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) was credited with 18 digs on 28 attempts and three excellent receptions on six attempts. Larson led receiving with four excellents on 15 attempts.

McCutcheon started Larson and Richards at outside hitter, Akinradewo and Harmotto at middle blocker, Fawcett at opposite, McGinnis at setter and Davis at libero.

Barboza started the second set for Richards. Thompson subbed for McGinnis and Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.) also played as a substitute.

The U.S. Women fell behind right away and trailed 4-8 at the first technical timeout (TTO) of the first set and increased the lead to 16-10 at the second TTO. A U.S. block made it 16-11. Germany responded with a four-point run to lead 20-11, causing McCutcheon to call timeout. A left-side kill by Richards ended the deluge, but the damage was done. Germany reached set point first at 24-13 on an ace by Maren Brinker. The U.S. scored twice on a tip and ace by McGinnis. But Germany’s Beier ended the set with a kill at 25-15.

Germany opened up a 5-1 lead in the second set causing McCutcheon to call timeout. Richards responded with a kill to make it 5-2, but Germany held an 8-3 lead at the first TTO. The lead increased to 16-9 at the second TTO and the U.S. never threatened.

Germany jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the third set but the U.S. did not back down. With Germany leading 7-3, a kill and block by Harmotta kept Team USA in the set. Germany led 8-5 at the first TTO, but Team USA scored three straight points on two left-side kills by Richards and Germany’s error to tie the score. With Germany leading 10-9, the Germans went on a 9-1 scoring run to take a commanding 19-10 lead that the U.S. Women could not surmount.

More information and photos are available on the FIVB Grand Prix web site.

The raw match footage can be watched at

The U.S. Women’s Grand Prix media guide is available on the USA Volleyball web site.

2009 FIVB World Grand Prix
July 31-Aug. 2 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

U.S. Women’s National Team  Roster
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Hometown, College)
1 – Nicole Fawcett (OH, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State)
4 C – Angela McGinnis (S, 5-11, Fraser, Mich., Florida)
6 – Nicole Davis (L, 5-6, Stockton, Calif., Southern California)
7 – Angie Pressey (OH, 5-8, Lake Mary, Fla., California-Berkeley)
8 - Cynthia Barboza (OH, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Stanford)
9 – Alexis Crimes (MB, 6-3, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Long Beach State)
10 - Kristin Richards (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford)
11 - Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Nebraska)
14 - Heather Hughes (OPP, 6-2, Fallbrook, Calif., Loyola Marymount)
15 - Courtney Thompson (S, 5-7, Kent, Wash., Washington)
16 - Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, Aliquippa, Pa., Penn State)
18 – Foluke Akinradewo (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford)

Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Assistant Coach: Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Beth Launiere (Salt Lake City, Utah) – at Brazil and Chinese Taipei
Assistant Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.) – at Thailand and Finals
Technical Coordinator/Team Leader: Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek

Pool A Standings
Germany 1-0, 2 points
Brazil 1-0, 2 points
Puerto Rico 0-1, 1 point
USA 0-1, 1 point

Schedule and Results for U.S. Women's National Team

Pool A - at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Maracanazihno Gym)
July 31: Germany def. USA, 25-15, 25-15, 25-16
Aug. 1: vs. Puerto Rico, 1 p.m.
Aug. 2: vs. Brazil, 10 a.m.

Pool D - at Li Miao, Chinese Taipei (Miao Li Country Gymnasium)
Aug. 7: vs. Dominican Republic, 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 8: vs. Netherlands, 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 9: vs. Germany, 4:30 p.m.

Pool I - at Bangkok, Thailand (Keelawes Gym)
Aug. 14: vs. Russia, 2 p.m.
Aug. 15: vs. Puerto Rico, 2 p.m.
Aug. 16: vs. Thailand, 4:30 p.m.