U.S. Women Earn Silver at Final Four Cup

Sept. 13, 2009, 9:10 p.m. (ET)

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

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 13, 2009) - The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team lost to top-ranked Brazil 25-17, 25-16, 25-27, 25-19 Sunday afternoon in the gold-medal match of the 2009 Final Four Intercontinental Cup being staged at Lima, Peru.

The U.S., ranked second in the world, finishes the tournament with the silver medal, while Brazil staked claim to the gold medal. Earlier today, Dominican Republic defeated host Peru 25-17, 25-21, 27-25 in the bronze medal match.

Brazil led 8-3 and 17-11 in the first set, but needed to answer two comebacks from the USA before scoring seven of the final eight points to win 25-17. Brazil jumped to an 11-5 lead in the second set and pushed its lead to 19-9 en route to a 25-16 victory in which the USA scored consecutive points just twice in the set. Team USA led most of the third set, but Brazil came back from a 20-17 deficit and gained two match points before the Americans rallied to win 27-25. Brazil scored two 5-0 runs and added a 4-0 spurt to take a 21-11 lead in the fourth set as it picked up the 25-19 victory.

Team USA advanced to the gold-medal match by defeating NORCECA rival Dominican Republic in four sets during the semifinals on Saturday evening. Brazil reached the finals by defeating South American rival Peru in three sets in the second semifinal on Saturday.

The U.S. opened the tournament with a five-set loss to Brazil on Sept. 9. Since the two countries met in the 2008 Olympic Games gold-medal match in which Brazil won in four sets, Brazil has won all four meetings in 2009.

Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) paced the U.S. attack with 19 points including 12 kills on 21 attacks with one error and a team-high six blocks. Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) and Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) each contributed 11 points in the match, while Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) tacked on 10 points with six kills on 10 swings and four blocks. Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) added six points, followed by Angie Pressey’s (Lake Mary, Fla.) four points. Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) and Jane Collymore (Seattle, Wash.) each recorded three points.

Berg added 19 digs on defense from her setter position, while Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) added another 13 digs. Barboza took 44 of the team’s 97 reception attempts and added 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 was a sub in the first two sets and started the final two sets in place of Metcalf. Davis came of the bench as a defensive replacement in the first two sets, while Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) entered in the first set as a sub. Collymore came off the bench late in the fourth set.

Regianne Bidias tallied a match-high 21 points to lead Brazil. Adenizia Silva and Welissa Gonzaga each added 14 points in the victory, while Caroline Gattaz tacked on six blocks as part of a 10-point performance.

Brazil’s serve kept the USA off-balance as it held a 9-2 advantage in aces and the Americans had just a 45 positive percent in service reception to the victor’s 80 percent. Both teams converted 38 percent of their attack attempts into points and produced 13 blocks apiece.

Brazil gained the first two-point edge of the opening set at 4-2 after an ace, then stretched its advantage to 6-3 with a block. Out of a USA timeout, Brazil gained a third and fourth straight point on an American hitting error and Brazil block at 8-3. Out of the break, Brazil added another point to the 5-0 run for a 9-3 advantage. USA battled back to within two at 10-8 with three straight points started by a combined block from Berg and Harmotto followed by two Brazil errors. A Barboza kill and Harmotto block moved the USA to within one at 11-10. Brazil regained a five-point edge at 16-11 with an ace and three kills as part of a 4-0 run into the second technical timeout. Brazil scored a fifth straight point out of the break to push its margin to 17-11. Bown and Pressey combined for a block to stop the run, Fawcett added a kill and Brazil hit wide to close the gap to 17-14. Bown combined for a block with Fawcett at 17-15 prompting a Brazil timeout. Brazil tallied consecutive kills to push its advantage to 20-16 leading to USA’s second timeout of the set. Out of the break, Brazil put up three blocks and served an ace extending its lead to 24-16 as par t of a 6-0 run. Barboza saved one set point with a kill before Brazil finished the set at 25-17.

Similar to the first set, Brazil built a 4-2 lead in the second set after serving an ace, then stretched its lead to 5-2 with an overpass kill. Brazil went into the first technical timeout leading 8-4 with back-to-back points. Brazil upped its advantage to 11-5 with three consecutive points. Barboza stopped the run with an ace, then Bown served a winner at 11-7. Brazil answered with four of the next five points to take a 15-8 lead. Brazil added to the margin with two kills and an ace out of the second technical timeout to take a 19-9 lead. After Brazil reached set point at 24-14, Fawcett collected a kill and Harmotto put up a block to save set points before Brazil ended the set at 25-16.

Team USA took a 5-2 lead in the third set with a 4-0 run that included kills from Bown and Berg, a combined block from Bown and Barboza and capped by a Pressey ace leading to a Brazil timeout. The Americans went into the first technical timeout with an 8-4 advantage after a Harmotto block and Brazilian lift. Out of the break, Brazil answered with consecutive points to cut the deficit to one at 8-7 with a kill and two USA errors. Brazil tied the set at 11-all with an ace. The Americans scored consecutive points on Bown kills to take a 13-11 edge. Fawcett scored a kill after a Bown block to push the USA lead to 15-12, only to have Brazil score consecutive points of its own to close back to within 15-14. Brazil knotted the set at 17-all with consecutive points leading McCutcheon to call timeout. Harmotto, Pressey and Fawcett notched consecutive kills to put the USA back in front by three at 20-17. Brazil secured four of the next five points to tie the set back up at 21-all. Brazil took the lead at 23-22 and reached match point at 24-23. USA saved two match points and took the lead with a Harmotto kill and Brazil error at 26-25. Harmotto then followed with a block for the winner at 27-25.

Brazil earned the first two-point edge of the fourth set at 4-2, then increased its advantage to 8-4 with a 3-0 run going into the first technical timeout. Brazil added to its lead with a block and ace out of the timeout for a 10-4 advantage. Brazil stretched the margin to 10 points at 15-5 with a 5-0 scoring run. Collymore scored two kills around a Bown kill to cut the margin to 16-9 out of the second technical timeout break. After a Brazil timeout, Bown and Collymore teamed for a block for a fourth straight point at 16-10. Brazil scored four consecutive points at 21-11. Bown followed a Barboza kill with an ace to close the gap to 21-13. Harmotto put up a block after a Barboza kill to get the USA to 22-15. Fawcett and Collymore scored kills, then Brazil hit long to save three match points at 24-19. However, Brazil won the set 25-19 on its fourth match-point opportunity.

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 def. Peru 25-17, 25-21, 27-25 (Bronze-Medal Match)
Sept. 13: Brazil def. USA 25-17, 25-16, 25-27, 25-19 (Gold-Medal Match)