U.S. Women Start with Brazil at Final 4 Cup

Sept. 04, 2009, 1:07 p.m. (ET)

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


ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 4, 2009/Updated Sept. 7, 2009) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, ranked second in the latest FIVB World Ranking released Aug. 24, will opens the 2009 Final Four Intercontinental Cup versus top-ranked Brazil in the event being played Sept. 9-13 at Lima, Peru, according to the schedule released by the event organizers on Thursday evening.

The Final Four Intercontinental Cup comprises four teams from the Pan-American Volleyball Union, which includes countries from NORCECA and the South American Volleyball Confederation. NORCECA is represented in the tournament by the Americans and 14th-ranked Dominican Republic. South America is represented by world top-ranked Brazil and 16th-ranked Peru. The teams qualified through the 2009 Women’s Pan American Cup hosted by USA Volleyball in Miami, Fla.

During the three-day round-robin phase of the Final Four Intercontinental Cup, USA faces Brazil on Sept. 9 at 5 p.m. local time, followed by a Sept. 10 match against the host Peruvians at 7 p.m. local time. The U.S. concludes the round robin on Sept. 11 at 5 p.m. local time against NORCECA rival Dominican Republic. Based on the round robin results, the fourth day (Sept. 12) pits ranked teams one versus four and two versus three in the semifinal round. The final and fifth day (Sept. 13) of competition includes the gold- and bronze-medal match.

Team USA has faced all three of its Final Four Intercontinental Cup opponents in 2009. The Americans faced both Brazil and Peru during the Pan American Cup. The U.S. defeated Peru in three close sets during pool play, while Brazil won a four-set battle in the semifinals. During the opening weekend of the World Grand Prix, Brazil swept the USA at Rio De Janeiro, but the U.S. bounced back to win a marathon five-set match (23-21 in the tiebreaking set) over Dominican Republic the following weekend at Chinese Taipei.

In addition to the schedule announcement, U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) has named the squad’s 12-player final roster for the Final Four Intercontinental Cup, which includes three outside hitters, three middle blockers, two setters, two opposites and two liberos.

The outside hitters traveling to Peru are Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.), Jane Collymore (Seattle, Wash.) and Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.). Collymore was a late addition to the team replacing Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.). The middle blockers group includes three-time Olympian Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.), Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) and Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.).

Two-time Olympian Lindsey Berg (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) will handle the setting duties for the U.S. during the Final Four Intercontinental Cup. The opposites are represented by 2004 Olympian Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) and Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio). The liberos are three-time Olympian Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) and 2008 Olympian Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.).

“We are planning to look at some different lineups at the Final Four Cup,” McCutcheon said when the team originally announced the 19-player preliminary roster earlier this week. “And as always, our goal is to get better with each day.”

After the Final Four Intercontinental Cup, the U.S. Women’s National Team will only have a brief break from action before hitting the competition trail again. Team USA will take part in the 2009 NORCECA Continental Championship held Sept. 22-27 at Bayamon, Puerto Rico. The NORCECA Continental Championship, held every other year, is a qualifying event with the gold medalist earning a berth into the 2009 FIVB World Championship Cup to be held Nov. 10-15 in Japan.

“The tournament in Peru will hopefully provide us with a lot of information about our team leading into the NORCECA Championship,” McCutcheon said.

Through the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix, Metcalf is the USA’s leading scorer in 2009 with 178 points and a 4.45 points per set average. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), who is not part of the upcoming tournament roster, and Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) have averaged 0.86 blocks per set during 2009. Scott-Arruda has 25 blocks in 29 sets. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) has a team-leading 21 service aces during the 2009 season, resulting in a 0.37 ace average. She also averages a team-leading 4.75 assists per set.

Among hitters with at least 10 sets played and 10 attack attempts in 2009, Jane Collymore (Seattle, Wash.) has a 53.6 kill percent on 56 attacks to lead the team. Other top kill percentages include Harmotto’s 51.3 percent and Scott-Arruda’s 50.0. Davis has a team-leading 179 digs for the season, while Sykora has added 113. Davis averages 2.59 digs per set, while Sykora averages 2.57 digs per set.

The U.S. Women’s National Team Press Kit for the Final Four Intercontinental Cup can be downloaded clicking here.

The Final Four Intercontinental Cup Web site can be viewed at www.final4.pe.

U.S. Women’s National Team Final Roster for 2009 Final Four Intercontinental Cup
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Hometown, College)
1 - Nicole Fawcett (OPP, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State)
3 - Angie Pressey (OH, 5-8, Lake Mary, Fla., California-Berkeley)
4 - Lindsey Berg (S, 5-8, Honolulu, Hawaii, Minnesota)
5 - Stacy Sykora (L, 5-10, Burleson, Texas, Texas A&M)
6 - Nicole Davis (L, 5-6, Stockton, Calif., Southern California)
7 - Heather Bown (MB, 6-3, Yorba Linda, Calif., Hawaii)
8 - Cynthia Barboza (OH, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Stanford)
9 - Alexis Crimes (MB, 6-3, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Long Beach State)
12 - Nancy Metcalf (OPP, 6-1, Hull, Iowa, Nebraska)
16 - Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, Aliquippa, Pa., Penn State)
17 - Nellie Spicer (S, 5-10, Barrington, Ill., UCLA)
19 - Jane Collymore (OH, 6-0, Seattle, Wash., Florida)

Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Assistant Coach: Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.), Tom Pestolesi (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator/Team Leader: Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek (Silver Lake, Minn.)

2009 Final Four Intercontinental Cup Schedule

Round Robin Phase
Sept. 9: USA vs. Brazil, 5 p.m.
Sept. 9: Dominican Republic vs. Peru, 7 p.m.
Sept. 10: Brazil vs. Dominican Republic, 5 p.m.
Sept. 10: USA vs. Peru, 7 p.m.
Sept. 11: USA vs. Dominican Republic, 5 p.m.
Sept. 11: Brazil vs. Peru, 7 p.m.

Semifinal Round
Sept. 12: #2 Round Robin vs. #3 Round Robin, 5 p.m.
Sept. 12: #1 Round Robin vs. #4 Round Robin, 7 p.m.

Classification Round
Sept. 13: Semifinal losers, 4 p.m. (Bronze-Medal Match)
Sept. 13: Semifinal winners, 6 p.m. (Gold-Medal Match)