U.S. Women Start Montreux with Win

June 08, 2010, 2:41 p.m. (ET)

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

Unofficial DataVolley Statistics

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 8, 2010) – Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.) scored a match-high 18 points in leading the U.S. Women’s National Team to a 25-23, 25-23, 25-21 victory over Japan on June 8 to open the 26th Annual Montreux Volley Masters Tournament held in Montreux, Switzerland.

Team USA, grouped in Pool A, continues preliminary round action on June 9 against Germany at 4:30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. PT) and concludes pool play on June 11 against Russia at 9 p.m. local time (noon PT). Pool crossover matches take place on June 12, followed by the medal round on June 13.

In all three sets, the Americans built early leads only to have to withstand a Japan charge down the stretch. The U.S. used a 5-1 scoring run to take a 20-15 lead in the opening set, then held off a furious Japan rally to win 25-23. Team USA had a 7-0 run the second set to take a 15-9 advantage, but needed every one of those points as it withstood a late Japan charge to win the second set 25-23. The Americans gained a 14-7 edge in the final set, but the Japanese closed to within two at 19-17 before the U.S. closed out the set at 25-21.

Nnamani scored her 18 points via 15 kills and three blocks, and was supported by a balanced offensive starting cast. Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) added 12 points on 10 kills and two blocks. Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) contributed nine points, all on kills. Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.) pocketed four kills and three blocks for seven points. Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) totaled three kills and three blocks from her setter position for six points, while Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) rounded out the scoring with three kills and a block for four points.

Hodge held an 84 positive reception percent on 19 errorless attempts, along with a 53 excellent reception percent. Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) provided a team-high nine digs and a 78 excellent reception percent on 18 attempts, while Barboza handled the remaining 28 reception attempts as part of a 54 excellent reception percent to go with five digs. Spicer, who had a tournament day-one average high of 12.67 running sets, led the U.S. offense to a 44 kill percent and .294 hitting efficiency (45-15-102). Nnamani added four digs in the victory.

The U.S. out-blocked Japan 12-6 for the match and held a 44-38 advantage in kills. Japan won the service game with five aces and held the U.S. without a service winner. Japan had 19 errors during the match, one more than the American’s 18. The U.S. held Japan to a 35 kill percent and .145 hitting efficiency (39-23-110). Japan held a slim 31-27 advantage in digs

U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) started Tamas and Harmotto at middle blocker, Hodge and Barboza at outside hitter, Nnamani at opposite and Spicer at setter. Davis was the designated libero for the match. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.), Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) and Jill Collymore (Seattle) were subs in the first set.

Japan was led by Mai Yamaguchi’s team-leading 11 points, while Mizuho Ishida came off the bench with just one set start to add nine points. Kaori Inoue and Ai Yamamoto each contributed seven points for Japan in the loss.

Earlier today, Cuba defeated Netherlands 25-18, 25-22, 17-25, 25-23. After the USA-Japan match, China plays Poland at 9 p.m. local time (noon PT).

The 26th Annual Montreux Volley Masters, a yearly event held in Montreux, Switzerland, is an eight-team event. For updated tournament host information, visit www.volleymasters.ch/program.php.

The U.S. reached the initial technical timeout of the first set with an 8-7 lead, then expanded it to two points at 9-7 on a Japan error. Nnamani and Hodge put down consecutive kills to give Team USA a three-point cushion at 13-10. Japan cut the deficit to one point at 15-14 with consecutive points before a Barboza kill off the block put the U.S. in front 16-14 at the second technical timeout. A Japan attack error and Barboza kill out of the break stretched the U.S. lead to 18-14. Barboza added her third kill of the match followed by a Japan error to yield a 20-15 advantage for the U.S. as part of a 5-1 scoring run. Japan inched closer at 22-21 with four consecutive points as the U.S. passing broke down. Harmotto stopped the run with kill off the slide to put the U.S. up 23-21. Barboza followed with a kill to give the U.S. set points at 24-21. Japan saved two set points with back-to-back points forcing USA to call its second timeout of the frame. Harmotto ended the set at 25-23 with a power kill down the middle. Hodge finished the set with a team-high five points, while Nnamani and Barboza added four points apiece. The U.S. held a 17-13 advantage in kills and 3-1 margin in blocks. However, Japan stayed close with its serving, including two aces.

After Japan went up 2-0 in the second set, the U.S. rallied for three straight points capped by a Harmotto block. Japan went into the first technical timeout leading 8-6. Out of the break, the USA tied the set at 8-all with a Nnamani kill and combined block from Tamas and Nnamani. The Americans used four unanswered points starting with consecutive kills from Barboza and Hodge followed by two errors from Japan to assume a 12-9 advantage. After a Japan timeout, Tamas added to a 6-0 scoring run with consecutive blocks at 14-9. A Hodge kill put the U.S. in front 15-9, but Japan ended the 7-0 scoring run for the Americans with four straight points of its own at 15-13 forcing a USA timeout before it could reach the second technical timeout. Nnamani nailed two kills and Harmotto pounded a kill through the block as part of a3-1 run to prompt Japan to call a timeout down 18-14. Out of the break, Japan cut the deficit to one point at 18-17 with three straight points. Barboza and Spicer pocketed back-to-back kills to lift the U.S. up to a 21-18 advantage. Japan battled back to within one at 22-21, but a Nnamani kill and block gave Team USA set points at 24-21. Like the opening set, Japan saved two set points to move to within one at 24-23 forcing a U.S. second timeout. Tamas finished the set with a roll shot over the defense at 25-23. Nnamani ended the second set with seven points, while Tamas had four points in the period including three blocks. The U.S. had six blocks in the second set.

The U.S. went into the first technical timeout of the third set on a 3-0 run with Spicer pounding an overpass for a kill and Nnamani putting up a block followed by a Japan error at 8-5. Nnamani extended the scoring run to four points with a kill out of the break stretching the U.S. advantage to 9-5. Out of its timeout, Japan cut the deficit in half with back-to-back points at 9-7. Four consecutive Japanese errors pushed the American lead to 13-7 and prompting Japan to call its second timeout. Hodge extended the scoring run to five points with a block at 14-7. The U.S. went into the second technical timeout leading 16-10 following a Japan attack going wide. Japan moved to within two at 17-15 on a 5-1 run. Barboza answered with consecutive kills to push the American advantage back to four at 19-15. Japan responded with two quick points of its own to return to within two at 19-17. Nnamani scored consecutive kills, the second from the back row, to give the U.S. match points at 24-20. Japan could only save one match point as the U.S. won on a Japan hitting error. Nnamani scored seven points in the final set, while Hodge added five points in leading the American charge. The U.S. had three blocks in the final set.

Additional information on the U.S. Women’s National Team competing in Montreux can be found at usavolleyball.org/events/3058, while the press kit is available by clicking here.

U.S. Women's National Team Roster for Montreux Volley Masters
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Hometown, College)
1 - Ogonna Nnamani (OH, 6-1, Bloomington, Ill., Stanford)
2 - Kristin Richards (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford)
3 - Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, Aliquippa, Pa., Penn State)
4 - Angie Pressey (OH, 5-8, Lake Mary, Fla., California-Berkeley)
5 - Tamari Miyashiro (L, 5-7, Kaneohe, Hawaii, Washington)
6 - Nicole Davis (L, 5-4, Stockton, Calif., Southern California)
7 - Jill Collymore (OPP/OH, 5-10, Seattle, Wash., Washington)
8 - Cynthia Barboza (OH, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Stanford)
9 - Jennifer Tamas (MB, 6-4, Milpitas, Calif., Pacific)
13 - Alexis Crimes (MB, 6-3, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Long Beach State)
14 - Nicole Fawcett (OPP, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State)
15 - Courtney Thompson (S, 5-8, Kent, Wash., Washington)
17 - Mary (Nellie) Spicer (S, 5-9, Barrington, Ill., UCLA)
18 - Megan Hodge (OH, 6-3, Durham, N.C., Penn State)

Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Assistant Coach: Paula Weishoff (Irvine, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer/Medical Support: Jill Wosmek (Silver Lake, Minn.)
Technical Coordinator: Jennifer Hirneisen
Team Leader: Jim McLaughlin
Team Doctor: Dr. William Stetson

Montreux Schedule
June 8
Cuba def. Netherlands 25-18, 25-22, 17-25, 25-23
USA def. Japan 25-23, 25-23, 25-21
China vs. Poland, 9 p.m. (noon PT)

June 9
USA vs. Germany, 4:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m. PT)
Netherlands vs. China, 6:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. PT)
Russia vs. Japan, 9 p.m. (noon PT)

June 11
Germany vs. Japan, 4:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m. PT)
Cuba vs. Poland, 6:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. PT)
USA vs. Russia, 9 p.m. (noon PT)

June 12: Pool Crossover
3A vs. 4B, 2 p.m. (5 a.m. PT)
3B vs. 4A, 4 p.m. (7 a.m. PT)
1A vs. 2B, 6:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. PT)
1B vs. 2A, 9 p.m. (noon PT)

June 13: Medal Round Matches
Match for 5th Place, 11 a.m. (2 a.m. PT)
Bronze Medal Match, 1:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. PT)
Gold Medal Match, 4 p.m. (7 a.m. PT)