U.S. Women Advance to Final 4 Gold Match

Sept. 12, 2009, 8:38 p.m. (ET)

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

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 12, 2009) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team used a balanced offense to power past NORCECA rival Dominican Republic 25-20, 23-25, 25-22, 26-24 Saturday evening in the first semifinal match of the 2009 Final Four Intercontinental Cup being staged at Lima, Peru.

Team USA advance to the gold-medal match on Sunday and will face top-ranked Brazil as it defeat host Peru 25-21, 25-13, 25-15 in the other semifinal tonight. The U.S. lost to Brazil a five-set battle to open the Final Four Intercontinental Cup pool play on Sept. 9.

The U.S. used a key 3-0 run to take an 18-14 lead in the opening set as it took control in the 25-20 set victory. Trailing 12-10 in the second set, Dominican Republic put together a 7-1 run to take 17-13 lead and scored three of the final four points to win 25-23. Team USA put together an 8-2 spurt to rally from a 10-7 deficit in the third set, then scored five of six points to build a 21-16 advantage en route to the 25-22 victory. Although Dominican Republic overcame a 20-12 deficit with a 10-1 scoring run to take a 22-21 lead in the fourth set, the U.S. regrouped to take the set 26-24 on its third match point opportunity.

On Friday night, Dominican Republic had swept the U.S. 25-20, 25-19, 25-23 to conclude the pool play portion of the tournament.

Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.) each tallied 14 points according to the bench statistics (official stats not available at press time). Bown scored nine kills on 13 errorless swings to go with five blocks. Pressey tallied 12 kills and two blocks for her 14 points. Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) scored all 13 of her points on kills, while Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) contributed 13 points on 11 kills and two blocks. Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) posted nine points, including a match-high seven blocks to go with two kills on three attacks. Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) charted five kills on nine errorless swings with a block in a reserve role, while Lindsey Berg (Honolulu, Hawaii) rounded out the scoring with one kill, one block and the only USA ace for three points.

Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) tallied a team-leading 25 digs for the Americans while posting a 56 percent positive service reception on 34 attempts. Metcalf added 15 digs, while Pressey chipped in 11. Barboza scored a 69 positive percent on 29 reception attempts to go with nine digs.

U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) started Berg at setter, Metcalf at opposite, Pressey and Barboza at outside hitter, and Harmotto and Bown at middle blocker. Sykora was the U.S. libero for the match. Fawcett and Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) were part of double switches for Metcalf and Berg in all four sets.

Bethania De La Cruz led Dominican Republic with a match-high 23 points, including 20 kills, two blocks and an ace. Annerys Vargas and Milagros Cabral each tallied 13 points in the loss.

The U.S. converted 39 percent of its 135 swings into points as part of a .244 hitting efficiency. The Americans held Dominican Republic to a 33 percent conversion ratio on offense and .158 hitting efficiency after committing 31 attack errors. Team USA held an 18-13 advantage in blocks to offset a 5-1 deficit in service aces. However, Dominican Republic committed 14 service errors to the USA’s five.

The U.S. gained the first two-point cushion of the opening set at 6-4 after a Pressey kill and Dominican Republic error. However, Dominican Republic came back to tie the set at 6-all. Pressey and Barboza connected for consecutive kills to yield an 8-6 USA advantage at the first technical timeout. Out of the break, Bown combined for separate blocks with Berg and Barboza as part of a 4-0 run that pushed the lead to 10-6. Dominican Republic responded with four of the next five points to close to within one at 11-10. Metcalf connected for a kill before a Dominican Republic error that extended the American lead to 15-12. Dominican Republic took advantage of consecutive USA errors to close to 15-14. After a Dominican Republic service error, Bown won a joust at the net and Fawcett connected for a kill at 18-14. Dominican Republic cut the gap in half with a service ace at 18-16. Fawcett crushed a kill and combined with Fawcett for a block at 21-17. Metcalf collected a kill for set points, then Harmotto followed immediately with at block at 25-20. Metcalf scored five points for the USA in the opening set.

Dominican Republic scored twice in a row to take a 3-1 advantage early in the second set. USA answered with consecutive Dominican Republic errors to tie the score at 3-all, then Bown and Pressey combined for a block to yield a 4-3 USA advantage. Dominican Republic scored three of the next four points to retake a 6-5 lead. After a Metcalf crushing kill, Barboza won a joust at the net off an overpass to produce an 8-7 USA advantage at the first technical timeout. Harmotto scored consecutive blocks to jump USA’s lead to 11-9. Dominican Republic answered with a 7-1 run to take a 17-13 lead. Barboza scored a cross-court winner after a Dominican Republic error to cut the gap in half at 19-17. USA moved to within one at 20-19 with a Metcalf kill after a Dominican Republic service error. Consecutive blocks by Dominican Republic extended its lead to 22-19 prompting a USA timeout. Metcalf tallied a kill and combined for a block with Bown to move the USA to within one at 22-21. The Americans tied the set at 22-all on a Pressey kill. Dominican Republic scored the next points to grab set points at 24-22. After Metcalf saved the first set point with a kill, Dominican Republic closed out the set 25-23 with a kill on the next point.

Dominican Republic scored the first four of five points of the third set to take a 4-1 advantage. USA closed to one at 5-4 with a Metcalf kill and Dominican Republic error. USA tied the set at 6-all with a Bown block and Berg cover that crossed over the net untouched. Dominican Republic answered by taking a 10-7 lead after an ace and block. A Harmotto block after a Dominican Republic service error moved the Americans to within one at 10-9. Once again, Harmotto followed a Dominican Republic service error with a block, then USA picked up a point off an errant Dominican Republic pass to take a 12-11 lead. For the third time in the third set, Harmotto followed a Dominican Republic service error with a block at 14-12. Pressey added to the USA lead with a third straight point off a kill at 15-12. Out of the second technical timeout, Dominican Republic scored two in a row to move to within one at 16-15. A Fawcett kill and Dominican Republic error allowed the U.S. to regain a three-point cushion at 19-16. Out of a Dominican Republic timeout, Bown tapped an overpass for a kill and Barboza claimed a cross-court winner at 21-16. Dominican Republic rallied for three consecutive points to whittle the gap to 21-19. Barboza answered with consecutive kills to produce a 23-19 USA advantage, only to have Dominican Republic score two points in a row to inch back to 23-21. Team USA sided out to the 25-22 victory ended on a Dominican Republic error. USA scored five points off its opponent’s service errors, while Barboza and Harmotto collected four points each.

The Americans came out of the fourth set with a 3-1 lead after a Harmotto kill and two Dominican Republic errors. However, Dominican Republic came back to tie the set 3-all after a block. Dominican Republic gained its first lead of the fourth set at 5-4 on an ace. Metcalf and Bown connected for consecutive kills to push the U.S. back in front at 6-5. After a Dominican Republic service error, Bown hammered an overpass for a kill to extend USA’s advantage to 8-6 at the first technical timeout. A Bown kill and Dominican Republic error stretched the American lead to 10-7. Consecutive errors by Dominican Republic allowed the U.S. to establish a four-point cushion at 12-8 prompting a Dominican Republic timeout. Out of the break, Berg served an ace lifting the advantage to 13-8. Harmotto scored consecutive blocks after a Barboza kill to increase the American advantage to 16-9 at the second technical timeout. Out of the break, Dominican Republic scored three consecutive points to close the gap to four points, 16-12. Harmotto and Metcalf combined for a block and Pressey followed with consecutive kills to allow the U.S. back to a seven-point edge, 19-12. Metcalf and Bown added another point to the run with a block at 20-12. Dominican Republic answered with five straight points to cut the deficit to 20-17. Dominican Republic’s rally continued as it tied the set at 21-all with four consecutive points capped with an ace. Dominican Republic then took the lead at 22-21 as part of a 10-1 scoring run. Pressey and Bown scored consecutive kills for the Americans to put the U.S. in front again at 23-22. A Dominican Republic attack error gave the U.S. a 24-22 lead. Dominican Republic saved both match points to tie the set at 24-all. Bown crushed a kill on the slide and the U.S. finished the match at 26-24 with a Dominican Republic hitting error. Bown scored five points in the fourth set.

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 def. Dominican Republic 25-18, 25-18, 25-18
Sept. 10: USA def. Peru 25-10, 20-25, 25-14, 25-20
Sept. 11: Dominican Republic def. USA 25-20, 25-19, 25-23
Sept. 11: Brazil def. Peru 25-18, 26-24, 25-11

Semifinal Round
Sept. 12: #3 USA def. #2 Dominican Republic 25-20, 23-25, 25-22, 26-24
Sept. 12: #1 Brazil def. #4 Peru 25-21, 25-13, 25-15

Classification Round
Sept. 13: Dominican Republic vs. Peru, 4 p.m. (Bronze-Medal Match)
Sept. 13: USA vs. Brazil, 6 p.m. (Gold-Medal Match)