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ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 21, 2009) – U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) has turned in the 14-player roster today which will represent Team USA at the NORCECA Continental Championship Sept. 22-27 at Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
McCutcheon has selected four outside hitters, four middle blockers, two setters, two opposites and two liberos to compete in the NORCECA Continental Championship.
The middle blocker group includes four-time Olympian Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.), three-time Olympian Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.), Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) and Elisha Thomas (Grass Valley, Calif.). The outside hitters include 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games alternate Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.), 2008 Olympic Games alternate Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah), Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) and Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.).
The setters selected for the final roster include two-time Olympian Lindsey Berg (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.). 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.). Metcalf will serve as the team captain for Team USA at the NORCECA Continental Championship.
Teams submit a 19-player preliminary roster (O-2 Form) prior to each event, but must reduce the roster to either 12 or 14 players (O-2bis Form) depending on the regulations for the event. The O-2bis final roster must be turned in during the team’s preliminary inquiry held the day before the tournament begins.
The NORCECA Continental Championship winner qualifies for the 2009 FIVB Grand Champions Cup to be held Nov. 10-15 in Japan. Each of the four continental champions earns a spot into the FIVB Grand Champions Cup, along with host Japan and one wild card team.
For the NORCECA Continental Championship, the U.S. is grouped in Pool B with defending champion Cuba, Mexico and Costa Rica. Historically, this year’s Pool B participants have ruled the NORCECA Continental Championship with all 20 previous titles. Cuba (1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2007) has won the event 13 times, while the United States (1981, 1983, 2001, 2003, 2005) has won the championship five times and Mexico twice (1969, 1971). Further, USA and Cuba have played against each other in 16 of the last 17 finals.
Team USA opens pool play against 26th-ranked Mexico on Sept. 22, then faces fifth-ranked Cuba on Sept. 23 as part of the marquee match on the middle day of the round-robin competition. The Americans finish out pool play against 30th-ranked Costa Rica on Sept. 24.
The U.S. has faced both Mexico and Costa Rica this summer, but has not played Cuba since defeating it during the 2008 Olympic Games semifinals. The Americans topped Mexico (25-19, 25-14, 25-11) on June 28 during pool play at the 2009 Pan American Cup held in Miami. Team USA started the 2009 Pan American Cup with a three-set victory (25-7, 25-6, 25-16) over Costa Rica on June 26. The Americans also defeated Costa Rica 25-15, 25-9, 25-15 nine days later on July 8 in the gold-medal match of the 2010 FIVB World Championship Qualification Tournament NORCECA Pool G at Orlando.
On the opposite side of the bracket, 23rd-ranked Canada, 14th-ranked Dominican Republic, 18th-ranked Puerto Rico and 53rd-ranked Trinidad & Tobago comprise Pool A. The U.S. has won two of three meetings against both Dominican Republic, while winning three of four matches against Puerto Rico. Team USA has not faced Trinidad & Tobago in 2009.
The winner of each pool receives an automatic berth into the semifinals on Sept. 26. The second- and third-place pool finishers will compete in crossover quarterfinal matches on Sept. 25. The championship and all classification matches take place on Sept. 27.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for 2009 NORCECA Continental Championship
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Hometown, College)
1 - Nicole Fawcett (OPP, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State)
2 - Danielle Scott-Arruda (MB, 6-2, Baton Rouge, La., Long Beach 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)
10 - Kristin Richards (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford)
11 - Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Nebraska)
12 - Nancy Metcalf (OPP, 6-1, Hull, Iowa, Nebraska)
13 - Elisha Thomas (MB, 6-3, Grass Valley, Calif., Long Beach State)
16 - Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, Aliquippa, Pa., Penn State)
18 - Courtney Thompson (S, 5-7, Kent, Wash., Washington)
Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Assistant Coach: Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.), Tom Pestolesi (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek (Silver Lake, Minn.)
Team Leader/Manager: Carl McGown
2009 NORCECA Continental Championship Schedule
Pool A: Canada, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago
Pool B: Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, United States
Pool A Round Robin
Sept. 22: Canada vs. Dominican Republic, 6 p.m. (Match 3)
Sept. 22: Puerto Rico vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 8 p.m. (Match 4)
Sept. 23: Dominican Republic vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 4 p.m. (Match 6)
Sept. 23: Canada vs. Puerto Rico, 8 p.m. (Match 8)
Sept. 24: Canada vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 2 p.m. (Match 9)
Sept. 24: Puerto Rico vs. Dominican Republic, 8 p.m. (Match 12)
Pool B Round Robin
Sept. 22: USA vs. Mexico, 2 p.m. (Match 1)
Sept. 22: Cuba vs. Costa Rica, 4 p.m. (Match 2)
Sept. 23: Costa Rica vs. Mexico, 2 p.m. (Match 5)
Sept. 23: USA vs. Cuba, 6 p.m. (Match 7)
Sept. 24: Cuba vs. Mexico, 4 p.m. (Match 10)
Sept. 24: USA vs. Costa Rica, 6 p.m. (Match 11)
Sept. 25: 2nd Pool B vs. 3rd Pool A, 6 p.m. (Match 13)
Sept. 25: 2nd Pool A vs. 3rd Pool B, 8 p.m. (Match 14)
Sept. 26: 4th Pool A vs. Loser Match 13 or 14, 2 p.m. (Match 15)
Sept. 26: 4th Pool B vs. Loser Match 13 or 14, 4 p.m. (Match 16)
Sept. 26: 1st Pool A vs. Winner Match 13 or 14, 6 p.m. (Match 17)
Sept. 26: 1st Pool B vs. Winner Match 13 or 14, 8 p.m. (Match 18)
Sept. 27: Loser Match 15 vs. Loser Match 16, 2 p.m. (Match 19)
Sept. 27: Winner Match 15 vs. Winner Match 16, 4 p.m. (Match 20)
Sept. 27: Loser Match 17 vs. Loser Match 18, 6 p.m. (Match 21)
Sept. 27: Winner Match 17 vs. Winner Match 18, 8 p.m. (Match 22)