U.S. Women Advance to Montreux Finals

June 12, 2010, 5:09 p.m. (ET)

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

Unofficial DataVolley Stats

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 12, 2010) – Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) scored a team-high 14 points in leading the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team to a 25-18, 25-23, 29-27 victory over NORCECA-rival Cuba in the semifinal round on Saturday evening at the Montreux Volley Masters in Switzerland.

Team USA will play China in the Montreux Volley Masters gold-medal match on June 13 at 4 p.m. local time (7 a.m. PT) to conclude the Montreux event. Earlier in the day China defeated Pool A winner Russia 19-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-23 in the first semifinal.

In other matches today, Poland handled Japan 26-24, 23-25, 25-20, 25-16 and Netherlands beat Germany 25-20, 25-16, 17-25, 25-19. Poland and Netherlands will play each other on June 13 for fifth place, while Japan and Germany’s tournament concludes with the respective losses. The U.S. was the only team from Pool A to win a cross-over classification match.

The U.S. reached the semifinal round by finishing second in Pool A with a 2-1 record, while Cuba won Pool B with an undefeated record.

The U.S. grabbed an early 8-3 advantage in the opening set, then withstood a Cuban charge that closed the gap to 17-16 before closing out the set 25-18 on a 5-2 scoring run. Team USA overcame a 3-0 deficit to start the second set to win 25-23 after the lead exchanged hands six times with 11 ties along the way. The Americans overcame a 19-15 deficit in the third set and withstood three Cuba set points to claim a 29-27 victory.

Hodge, who scored the final point of the match with a block on Team USA’s second match-point opportunity, tallied 11 kills, two blocks and an ace in the victory. Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.) chipped in 10 kills and a block for 11 points. Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) charted nine points via eight kills and a block. Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) scored three kills and match-high five blocks for eight points. Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.) scored all three of her points off blocks, while Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) provided three kills off the bench. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) and Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) rounded out the scoring with a point each.

Team USA held a 33-22 dig advantage as Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) provided a team-leading 16 digs. Spicer added eight digs, while Barboza chipped in seven digs.

The U.S. out-blocked Cuba 12-5 for the match and used 29 Cuban errors to its advantage. Cuba maintained advantages of 41-36 in kills and 3-2 in aces. Cuba possessed a 73 positive reception percent for the match to the American’s 56 percent. However, the U.S. still converted 45 percent of its attacks into kills with a .267 hitting efficiency. Cuba managed just a 40 kill percent and .168 hitting efficiency.

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. Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) was a back-row sub in all three sets, while Thompson and Fawcett were used on double switches all three sets.

Kenia Carcaces Opon led Cuba with a match-high 17 points with 15 kills and two blocks, while Ana Yilian Cleger Abel added 10 points in the loss.

Last, Cuba defeated the U.S. twice at the NORCECA Continental Championship, rallying from a two-set deficit both times. The Americans are now 90-50 against their NORCECA rivals since 1983.

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.

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

Following the Montreux Volley Masters, the U.S. Women’s National Team will travel to Tijuana, Mexico, to compete in the Ninth Pan American Cup slated for June 18-26. In July, the team will have two Red vs. Blue exhibition matches. The first exhibition is scheduled for Irvine Valley College (5500 Irvine Center Dr, Irvine, Calif.) on July 17 at 7 p.m. PT. The second exhibition is scheduled for St. Margaret’s Episcopal School (31641 LaNovia Avenue, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) on July 24 at 7 p.m. PT. Tickets are $5 at the door.

The U.S. built a 6-3 lead in the opening set after four straight Cuban errors. Hodge added a block and overpass kill to give the Americans their sixth straight point leading 8-3 at the first technical timeout. Cuba cut the deficit to 10-8 with three straight points capped with an ace down the line. Tamas put up a block and Barboza slammed a kill off the block after a Cuban service error to lift the U.S. in front 13-8. Cuba served its second ace of the set to narrow the gap to 13-10. Team USA returned to a five-point cushion at 15-10 on a Barboza kill and Cuban error. Cuba sliced the gap down to one point at 17-16 with four unanswered points. Fawcett downed a kill on an out-of-system ball and Hodge scored on ace on a serve that trickle off the net at 20-17. The U.S. added two more points to the run with a Cuban error and Harmotto block at 22-17. Harmotto cut a shot around the block and Cuba hit consecutive errors to close the set at 25-18. Barboza and Hodge collected five points apiece in the first set, while the U.S. out-blocked Cuba 3-1 and took advantage of nine Cuban errors.

Cuba scored the first three points of the second set, but Nnamani and Hodge slammed kills from the left side to cut the gap to 3-2. The U.S. took a 5-4 lead with a Hodge kill and consecutive Cuban attacks outside the antenna. Cuba promptly scored the next three points to regain a 7-5 advantage. Harmotto scored a kill and block out of the technical timeout to tie the set at 8-all. The U.S. went in front 11-10 on a Cuban error and Hodge back-row kill. Team USA extended its advantage to 13-11 on back-to-back kills from Barboza and Nnamani leading to a Cuba timeout. Hodge hammered a kill and Harmotto put up a block to send the U.S. into the second technical timeout leading 16-13. Cuba scored three straight points out of the break to tie the set at 16-all. Cuba put up a block at 20-19 to take the lead again. Nnamani blasted a kill from the left side and Cuba followed with an error at 21-20 USA to change lead for the sixth time of the second set. Out of a Cuban timeout, Tamas put up a block and Nnamani collected an ace on the right side to extend the U.S. lead to 23-20. Cuba saved two set points, including a block at 24-23. Hodge finished off the set with a kill at 25-23 after Cuba had three attack opportunities to tie the set. Nnamani scored six points in the second set and the U.S. benefited from nine Cuban errors in the victory.

The U.S. picked up the first two points of the third set with a Nnamani kill and Tamas block, but Cuba came back to take the lead at 3-2 on three straight points. Cuban stretched its lead to 8-4 with four unanswered points going into the first technical timeout. The U.S. sliced the deficit in half a Cuban service error and block from Barboza at 9-7. Harmotto and Tamas put up consecutive blocks to close the gap down to a single point, 10-9, leading to a Cuban timeout. Three consecutive USA errors allowed Cuba to regain a four-point cushion at 13-9. A Spicer kill, Cuban error and Nnamani kill narrowed the deficit to 13-12. Tamas followed a Cuban service error with a block to tie the set at 14-all. Cuba went into the second technical timeout with back-to-back points and a 16-14 advantage. Cuba increased its lead to 18-14 after two U.S. errors out of the break. Thompson provided a service winner after a Hodge kill to cut the deficit to 19-17. Fawcett added a kill off the block to move the U.S. to within one at 19-18. Out of Cuba’s second timeout, Harmotto stuffed a Cuban attack to tie the set at 19-all and Thompson followed with a service ace to move the U.S. in front 20-19. Cuba came back with two points of its own to switch the lead to its favor at 21-20. Cuba extended its advantage to 23-21 after winning a long rally. Barboza slammed a kill and Cuba hit wide to tie the set for the eighth time at 23-all. Nnamani powered down a kill after a Cuban service error to give the U.S. a 25-24 lead. Cuba saved the match point and earned its second set point at 26-25. The U.S. went in front 28-27 after a Hodge kill and Cuba error. On its second match point opportunity, Hodge put up a block to win the set 29-27. Hodge provided six points in the set while the U.S. out-blocked Cuba 6-1 in the stanza.

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

Final Montreux Pool Standings

Pool A
Russia 3-0
USA 2-1
Japan 1-2
Germany 0-3

Pool B
Cuba 3-0
China 2-1
Netherlands 1-2
Poland 0-3

Montreux Schedule
June 8
Cuba def. Netherlands 25-18, 25-22, 17-25, 25-23
USA def. Japan 25-23, 25-23, 25-21(Unofficial DataVolley Stats)
China def. Poland 25-17, 25-23, 25-17

June 9
USA def. Germany 19-25, 35-33, 25-20, 25-22 (Unofficial DataVolley Stats)
China def. Netherlands 25-19, 25-20, 25-19
Russia def. Japan 25-16, 25-19, 25-21

June 10
Netherlands def. Poland 25-23, 16-25, 25-16, 25-23
Russia def. Germany 25-21, 25-21, 25-21
Cuba def. China 28-26, 22-25, 25-22, 19-25, 15-8

June 11
Japan def. Germany 26-24, 24-26, 25-19, 25-16
Cuba def. Poland 25-22, 25-21, 25-22
Russia def. USA 22-25, 25-13, 25-23, 25-18 (Unofficial DataVolley Stats)

June 12: Pool Crossover
Poland (4B) def. Japan (3A) 26-24, 23-25, 25-20, 25-16
Netherlands (3B) def. Germany (4A) 25-20, 25-16, 17-25, 25-19
China (2B) def. Russia (1A) 19-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-23
USA (2A) def. Cuba (1B) 25-18, 25-23, 29-27 (Unofficial DataVolley Stats)

June 13: Medal Round Matches
Match for 5th Place: Poland vs. Netherland, 11 a.m. (2 a.m. PT)
Bronze Medal Match: Russia vs. Cuba, 1:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. PT)
Gold Medal Match: USA vs. China, 4 p.m. (7 a.m. PT)