U.S. Women Rally Falls Short vs Brazil

Sept. 09, 2009, 8:47 p.m. (ET)

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

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 9, 2009) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team lost to Brazil 25-12, 18-25, 25-22, 19-25, 15-13 Wednesday evening during the opening day of the 2009 Final Four Intercontinental Cup being staged Sept. 9-13 at Lima, Peru.

Brazil is ranked atop the FIVB world ranking, while the U.S. is ranked second in the world. Brazil now has won both matches between the two teams in 2009 after it captured the 2008 Olympic Games gold medal against the U.S.

Team USA continues the three-day round-robin portion of the tournament on Thursday against Peru at 7 p.m. local time (5 p.m. Pacific Time). Dominican Republic defeated host Peru 25-14, 25-22, 25-13 in the second match on Wednesday. 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.

Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.) led the USA in scoring with 19 points coming from 15 kills on 41 swings and just four errors, plus three blocks and an ace. Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) chipped in 10 kills on 15 attacks with only one error, five blocks and an ace for 16 points. Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) contributed 12 points on 10 kills and two blocks.

Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) added seven kills, three aces and a block for 11 points. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) tacked on five kills on 13 errorless swings and four blocks. Lindsey Berg (Honolulu, Hawaii), playing her first match since the 2008 Olympic Games, produced two kills, two blocks and an ace for five points. Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) added a kill from her defensive specialist position.

Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) had a team-high 22 digs and had a 61 positive percent on 31 service receptions. Metcalf added 19 digs, while Barboza totaled 13 digs to go with 30 service reception attempts as part of a 43 positive percent. Pressey registered eight digs and a 40 positive percent on 25 service receptions.

McCutcheon started Berg at setter, Metcalf at opposite, Bown and Harmotto at middle blocker and Barboza and Pressey at outside hitter. Davis was the U.S. libero for the match. Sykora subbed into the match in all five sets, while Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) entered in the first and third sets. Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) came off the bench in the first set.

Brazil’s Adenizia Silva led all scorers with 21 points, including a team-high five blocks. Joyca Silva contributed 17 points in the victory, while teammate Welissa Gonzaga added 16 points.

Brazil converted on 41 percent of its attacks, compared to USA’s 32 percent for the match. Brazil’s service reception netted a 75 percent positive rating as it was able to stay in system much of the match. Meanwhile, USA had a 47 positive percent on reception. The U.S. held a 17-13 advantage in blocks and a slim 6-5 edge in aces.

Brazil opened the match strong by taking a commanding 8-1 lead in the first set, then stretched its lead to 16-6 at the second technical timeout. The reigning Olympic Games champions progressed to a 13-point victory, 25-12, in the first set.

The tides reversed quickly in the second set as USA gained an 8-1 advantage at the first technical timeout. Metcalf scored three points in the early run that was started and end with Barboza aces at 7-0. The U.S. jumped its advantage to 14-2 as Bown scored two kills and a block, while Pressey kicked in two kills. USA went into the second technical timeout leading 16-7 as Brazil ran off five of the next seven points. Brazil closed to five points at 21-16 on a 6-1 scoring run. However, the USA hung on for the 25-18 victory ending with a block from Berg.

In the middle set, the score remained close throughout. Brazil held leads of 8-7 and 16-14 at the technical timeouts. USA battled back to take the lead at 20-19 as Harmotto and Metcalf tallied kills around a Brazil error. However, Brazil answered with five of the next six points to assume a 24-21 set point before winning 25-22.

After trailing 6-4 early in the fourth set, USA responded to tie the score at 6-all and went into the first technical timeout leading 8-7 on a Harmotto block. Bown scored a block yielding an 11-9 American advantage, and the margin was extended to 16-10 on five unanswered points ending with a Pressey ace. Barboza tallied a block at 19-12 to give the U.S. a seven-point cushion. Bown gave USA set points at 24-18 with a block, then hammered a kill at 25-19.

In the tiebreaking fifth set, Barboza slammed a kill to put the USA in front 1-0, but Brazil answered with three consecutive points with a block and overpass spike to take a 3-1 advantage. Brazil pushed its margin to four at 6-2 with an ace and overpass kill. As the teams switched sides of the court, Brazil held an 8-3 lead on back-to-back points. The USA deficit reached 11-5 on back-to-back points. Team USA inched to within 11-8 with a Metcalf block between a Brazil service error and bad pass on Berg’s serve. Pressey found the back of the court for a kill to close the USA within two at 12-10. The U.S. moved to within one at 13-12 on consecutive Brazil attack errors. Harmotto nailed an ace to tie the set at 13-all. However, Brazil netted the final two points capped by a block on match point at 15-13.

The Final Four Intercontinental Cup matches can be watched online at clicking here.

The U.S. Women’s National Team Press Kit for the Final Four Intercontinental Cup can be downloaded by 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: Brazil def. USA 25-12, 18-25, 25-22, 19-25, 15-13
Sept. 9: Dominican Republic def. Peru 25-14, 25-22, 25-13
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)