U.S. Women to Host 2009 Pan Am Cup in Miami

March 12, 2009, 4:20 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 12, 2009) – USA Volleyball will host the Eighth Annual Women’s Pan American Cup June 26-July 4 in conjunction with the USA Junior Olympic Girls’ Volleyball Championships in the Miami area.

The nine-day Pan American Cup, which will tentatively have 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.

“USA Volleyball is extremely excited about the opportunity to host one of the largest international volleyball events in Miami and to pair it with the 2009 USA Junior Olympic Girls’ Volleyball Championships,” USA Volleyball Chief Executive Officer Doug Beal said. “It will provide a unique opportunity for our developing young volleyball players to be exposed to elite international volleyball teams from North America, South America and the Caribbean. The two events will also generate terrific excitement in the community and lead to greater popularity for the sport.”

The tournament schedule and competing teams should be available soon once teams have confirmed participation. Ticket prices and online purchasing will be available at http://usavolleyball.org/event/event/572 once determined.

Miami will be a busy location for volleyball the last week of June and first week of July. The 2009 USA Junior Olympic Girls’ Volleyball Championships will be played June 26-July 5 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Typically, the tournament attracts 788 teams and approximately 9,500 athletes in addition to parents and relatives. A total of 19 championships are contested in age groups ranging from 12 to 18.

USA Volleyball has never hosted the Women’s Pan American Cup in the seven previous years of the event’s history. The 2009 Women’s Pan American Cup is the largest international volleyball event hosted by USA Volleyball in terms of country participation.

Further, Team USA has not hosted a women’s senior-level international tournament since the 1998 FIVB World Championship Qualifier tournament in 1998. Due to international scheduling and professional league commitments, matches on domestic soil have become a rarity with only seven contests against foreign teams in the most recent Olympic quadrennial (2005-2008).

The U.S. Women’s National Team placed fifth at the 2008 Women’s Pan American Cup with a young roster, yet still qualified for the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix. Dominican Republic captured the gold medal with a five-set victory over Brazil, which was using a junior-level team at the competition.

USA won its only Women’s Pan American Cup in 2003, its first year competing in the event after missing the first two competitions in 2001 and 2002. The U.S. earned the silver at the 2004 Women’s Pan American Cup. During the 2005-2008 Olympic quadrennial, Team USA primarily used young rosters at the event and finished with back-to-back fourth-place spots in 2005 and 2006, followed by a bronze medal in 2007.

U.S. Women’s National Team Finishes at the Pan American Cup
2008: 5th
2007: 3rd
2006: 4th
2005: 4th
2004: 2nd
2003: 1st
2002: did not compete
2001: did not compete