U.S. Women Name World Grand Prix Roster for Poland

Aug. 05, 2010, 2:27 p.m. (ET)

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

U.S. Press Kit for FIVB World Grand Prix

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 5, 2010) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team has announced its 13-player roster that will be available for competition during the first week preliminary weekend of the FIVB World Grand Prix held Aug. 6-8 at Gdynia, Poland.

U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) has named outside hitters Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.), Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) and Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) to the roster for this weekend. Opposite hitters on the roster are two-time Olympian Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.), Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) and Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas). Middle Blockers are three-time Olympian Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.), 2008 Olympian and team captain Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.) and Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.). The two setters eligible to compete this weekend are Mary 'Nellie' Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) and Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.). The two liberos listed on the roster are three-time Olympian Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) and 2008 Olympian Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.).

Each team in the FIVB World Grand Prix can travel a maximum 14 players selected from the original 19-player roster to compete in each preliminary round weekend. However, only 12 players can participate in each match and determined prior to the start of each contest. Each team can make two substitutions to its preliminary round 14-player roster per weekend, so long as the new players were on the 19-player preliminary roster.

Team USA, which holds a 9-3 record in 2010 and currently ranked fourth in the FIVB world rankings, landed in Poland earlier this week for final preparations before starting the tournament. The U.S. opens the World Grand Prix against Dominican Republic on Aug. 6 at 8 a.m. Pacific Time. The Americans challenge Germany on Aug. 7 at 10:15 a.m. Pacific Time, followed by host Poland on Aug. 8 at 7:15 a.m. Pacific Time.

Next week the U.S. squad travels to Bangkok, Thailand, for the second preliminary round weekend and will challenge Italy on Aug. 13, Thailand on Aug. 14 and Puerto Rico on Aug. 15. The U.S. concludes pool play in Hong Kong with matches against Germany on Aug. 20, Thailand on Aug. 21 and China on Aug. 22.

Volleyball fans across the world will be able to watch three FIVB World Grand prix matches a week as FIVB TV announced on Aug. 5 that it will stream matches on the Internet. One match per day from the three preliminary rounds as well as all matches form the Final Round will be streamed live on http://www.laola1.tv/en/int/fivb/video/203---.html. USA matches will be shown twice during the World Grand Prix, including the Aug. 13 match against Italy and the Aug. 22 match versus China. This weekend’s matches on FIVB TV are Poland versus Germany on Aug. 6, Thailand versus China on Aug. 7 and Brazil versus Italy on Aug. 8.

In addition, fans can watch all three USA matches this weekend live on Universal Sports (www.universalsports.com), while the next six matches played in Thailand and Hong Kong will be available tape delayed for same-day coverage. Selected matches will also be shown on Universal’s television channel. All matches will be on-demand after they take place. To find out if Universal is in your home area and its daily schedule, click here.

The FIVB World Grand Prix, the annual premier international women’s volleyball tournament now in its 18th year since its introduction in 1993, is a 12-team event pitting most of the top teams in the world. The event has three consecutive weekends of preliminary round pool play divided into three locations per weekend with four teams each competing in a round-robin format.

Teams accumulate nine total matches through the three preliminary round weekends, with the top five teams in the standings joining the host country for the Final Round. During the preliminary round, match winners receive three points for a 3-0 or 3-1 victory and two points for a 3-2 victory in the overall standings to determine the teams advancing to the Final Round. A team that loses in five sets is awarded one point. The 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round, a round-robin format consisting of five matches over five days, will be held Aug. 25-29 at Ningbo, China.

Based on the preliminary round pools, the U.S. has a schedule with an overall 9.88 world ranking and only one match against a team ranked higher than No. 7. Yet, the bottom line for the tournament aside from winning is improvement with each opportunity on the court.

“We want to keep getting better with each match, and that is the main focus for this trip,” McCutcheon said. “We will use the World Grand Prix as further preparation for the FIVB World Championship. By the end of the World Grand Prix, we hope to know more about our team and what we need to do to be successful as we move closer to forming our core group of players for the rest of the quadrennial.”

The U.S. will be making its 17th appearance in the FIVB World Grand Prix having missed just the 1999 event. Only China and Japan have played in every World Grand Prix. Team USA won the World Grand Prix in 1995 and 2001, while earning the bronze in 2003 and 2004. Last year, the U.S. used a very young roster at the World Grand Prix to provide important international experience in their playing development. Despite an unimpressive 3-6 record and ninth-place finish, the players were able to improve and the results are showing this year.

The U.S. Women’s National Team has earned two podium finishes in its two tournaments in 2010. Team USA collected the silver medal at the Montreux Volley Masters event held June 8-13 in Switzerland, followed the bronze medal at the Pan American Cup held in Mexico June 18-26.

For more information the FIVB World Grand Prix, click here. For more information on the U.S. Women's National Team, visit its home page by clicking here.

U.S. Women’s National Team Preliminary Roster for FIVB World Grand Prix
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Hometown, College)
1 - Ogonna Nnamani (OPP, 6-1, Bloomington, Ill., Stanford)
2 - Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, Leland, Mich., Penn State)
5 - Stacy Sykora (L, 5-10, Burleson, Texas, Texas A&M)
6 - Nicole Davis (L, 5-4, 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 - Jennifer Tamas (MB, 6-4, Milpitas, Calif., Pacific)
11 - Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Nebraska)
14 - Nicole Fawcett (OPP, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State)
16 - Foluke Akinradewo (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford)
17 - Nellie Spicer (S, 5-9, Barrington, Ill., UCLA)
18 - Megan Hodge (OH, 6-3, Durham, N.C., Penn State)
19 - Destinee Hooker (OPP, 6-4, San Antonio, Texas, Texas)

Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Assistant Coach: Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Jim Stone (Columbus, Ohio)
Technical Coordinator: Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer/Medical Support: Jill Wosmek (Silver Lake, Minn.)
Team Leader for Poland/Thailand: Reed Sunahara (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Team Leader for Hong Kong/Japan: Laurel Iversen (Kalaheo, Hawaii)

2010 FIVB World Grand Prix Schedule

Pool A (Sao Carlos, Brazil * Ginasio Nilton Olaio Filho)
Aug. 6: Brazil vs. Chinese Taipei, 9:20 a.m.
Aug. 6: Italy vs. Japan, 1 p.m.
Aug. 7: Brazil vs. Japan, 10 a.m.
Aug. 7: Chinese Taipei vs. Italy, 1 p.m.
Aug. 8: Brazil vs. Italy, 9:30 a.m.
Aug. 8: Japan vs. Chinese Taipei, 1 p.m.

Pool B (Gdynia, Poland * Gdynia Competition Hall)
Aug. 6: USA vs. Dominican Republic, 5 p.m.
Aug. 6: Poland vs. Germany, 8 p.m.
Aug. 7: Poland vs. Dominican Republic, 4:15 p.m.
Aug. 7: USA vs. Germany, 7:15 p.m.
Aug. 8: USA vs. Poland, 4:15 p.m.
Aug. 8: Germany vs. Dominican Republic, 7:15 p.m.

Pool C (Chengdu, China * Sichuan Provincial Sports Bureau)
Aug. 6: Netherlands vs. Thailand, 4 p.m.
Aug. 6: China vs. Puerto Rico, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 7: Puerto Rico vs. Netherlands, 4 p.m.
Aug. 7: Thailand vs. China, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 8: China vs. Netherlands, 4 p.m.
Aug. 8: Thailand vs. Puerto Rico, 7:30 p.m.

Pool D (Bangkok, Thailand * Keelawes 2)
Aug. 13: USA vs. Italy, 3 p.m.
Aug. 13: Thailand vs. Puerto Rico, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 14: Puerto Rico vs. Italy, 2 p.m.
Aug. 14: USA vs. Thailand, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 15: USA vs. Puerto Rico, 3 p.m.
Aug. 15: Italy vs. Thailand, 5:30 p.m.

Pool E (Macau, China * Forum de Macau)
Aug. 13: Brazil vs. Dominican Republic, 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 13: China vs. Netherlands, 9 p.m.
Aug. 14: Brazil vs. Netherlands, 2 p.m.
Aug. 14: China vs. Dominican Republic, 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 15: Netherlands vs. Dominican Republic, 1 p.m.
Aug. 15: China vs. Brazil, 3:30 p.m.

Pool F (Okayama, Japan * Okayama Momotaro Arena)
Aug. 13: Chinese Taipei vs. Poland, 3 p.m.
Aug. 13: Japan vs. Germany, 6 p.m.
Aug. 14: Germany vs. Chinese Taipei, 2 p.m.
Aug. 14: Japan vs. Poland, 5 p.m.
Aug. 15: Germany vs. Poland, 2 p.m.
Aug. 15: Japan vs. Chinese Taipei, 5 p.m.

Pool G (Hong Kong, China * Hong Kong Coliseum)
Aug. 20: USA vs. Germany, 3 p.m.
Aug. 20: China vs. Thailand, 8 p.m.
Aug. 21: USA vs. Thailand, 1:15 p.m.
Aug. 21: China vs. Germany, 3:45 p.m.
Aug. 22: Germany vs. Thailand, 1:15 p.m.
Aug. 22: USA vs. China, 3:45 p.m.

Pool H (Taipei, Chinese Taipei * Taiwan University Gym)
Aug. 20: Brazil vs. Puerto Rico, 3:30 p.m.
Aug. 20: Poland vs. Chinese Taipei, 7 p.m.
Aug. 21: Puerto Rico vs. Poland, 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 21: Chinese Taipei vs. Brazil, 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 22: Brazil vs. Poland, 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 22: Chinese Taipei vs. Puerto Rico, 4:30 p.m.

Pool I (Tokyo, Japan * Yoyogi National Stadium)
Aug. 20: Italy vs. Netherlands, 3:30 p.m.
Aug. 20: Japan vs. Dominican Republic, 6:30 p.m.
Aug. 21: Dominican Republic vs. Netherlands, 2 p.m.
Aug. 21: Japan vs. Italy, 7 p.m.
Aug. 22: Dominican Republic vs. Italy, 2 p.m.
Aug. 22: Japan vs. Netherlands, 5 p.m.

Final Round (Ningbo, China * Ningbo Beilun Gymnasium)
Aug. 25-29: Teams TBA