U.S. Women Obtain One Goal, Reaching for Another

June 23, 2010, 11:57 a.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 23, 2010) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team capped an undefeated IX Pan American Cup Pool B schedule with a sweep over host Mexico on June 22 in Tijuana.

In the process, Team USA earned a direct ticket to the Pan American Cup semifinals that start on June 25. The Americans, along with Pool A winner Cuba, will await their next match opponent from the quarterfinal contests set for June 24. One quarterfinal has Pool A second-place finisher Dominican Republic facing Pool B third-place finisher Puerto Rico. In the opposite quarterfinal, Pool B second-place finisher Peru challenges continental-rival Argentina, which finished third in Pool A.

Despite the tournament not even reaching the first day of classification matches, the U.S. has already clinched one of its main goals while in Mexico. The top three finishing teams from NORCECA and the top team from South America are awarded berths into the 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix, the premier annual international competition for women. By reaching the semifinals, coupled with at least one South American team reaching the semifinal (either Peru or Argentina), Team USA is guaranteed one of NORCECA’s slots into the 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix.

As one of the two pool winners, the U.S. will receive two consecutive days off from competition. Yet, the U.S. will continue to train on both off days as one important goal remains: winning the Pan American Cup gold medal.

“We are ready to practice tomorrow and the day after tomorrow,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said in reference to receiving consecutive days off from competition by winning the pool. “Now we have to focus in the next phase of the competition.”

Team USA is looking to looking to medal at the Pan American Cup for the first time since 2004. It medaled in the first three events, starting with a bronze in the inaugural event in 2002, followed by its only gold in 2003 and the silver in 2004. Last year, the U.S. finished fourth while hosting the event for the first time.

However, 2010 will not have a repeat champion as defending champion Brazil failed to make the quarterfinal round after finishing pool play with a 1-3 record using its women’s junior team. Brazil also failed to qualify for the FIVB World Grand Prix for the first time since 1997. It has won five of the six most recent World Grand Prix titles and has qualified for 17 of the last 18 events (including 2010).

Earlier this month, the U.S. Women’s National Team started out strong by finishing with the silver medal at the 26th Montreux Volley Masters held June 8-13 in Montreux, Switzerland. The Americans swept Cuba in the semifinal round before falling to champion China in four sets during the gold-medal match.

The U.S. reached the semifinals with five consecutive days of victories starting June 18 with a key 27-25, 25-22, 25-17 victory over Peru, which went on to win its next four matches. On June 19, the Americans blanked Puerto Rico 25-13, 25-17, 25-14. Last year, the U.S. defeated Puerto Rico in pool play during the Pan American Cup, only to have Puerto Rico come back for the upset over the Americans in the bronze-medal match. Team USA continued to gather steam with a 25-17, 25-9, 25-11 victory over surprising Trinidad & Tobago, which won its first two matches of the tournament (and its four-year history competing in the event). The U.S. dominated its fourth match against Costa Rica on June 21, winning 25-11, 25-10, 25-2. In its final pool match on June 22, the Americans topped Mexico 25-14, 25-16, 25-15 in front of 2,500 fans.

The U.S. went through pool play without dropping a set and yielded on average just 14.2 points per set to its opponent. The Americans were able to give its 12-player roster playing time and rest as 10 different players started at least one match including both liberos.

Team USA has been balanced in its offense with no player ranking inside the top 10 for scoring. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) is the leading American scorer with 50 points (37 kills, 7 blocks, 6 aces), which ties for 12th place among all players. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) ranks 14th in scoring with 49 points (34 kills, 11 blocks, 4 aces), while Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) has 40 points (25 kills, 12 blocks, 3 aces) to rank tied for 24th. Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.), who missed two matches to attend the awarding ceremony for the Honda-Broderick Cup in Los Angeles, ranks tied for 32nd with 35 points (32 kills, 1 block, 2 aces).

Despite missing the two matches, Hodge ranks atop the list for Best Spiker with a 47.76 kill percent (32-67). Larson ranks eighth in the category with a 40.66 kill percent (37-91), while also holding the sixth spot in the Best Server category with a 0.40 ace average. Bown and Akinradewo are among the leaders in the Best Blocker category. Bown has 12 blocks as part of a 0.80 set average for fifth-best. Akinradewo ranks eighth with a 0.73 block average.

Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) ranks sixth in Best Digger with 1.53 digs per set, while having a 51.02 receiving efficiency to currently hold third place in Best Receiver. She is ranked ninth in Best Libero, partly because Tamara Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) was given her first-ever starting nod in one of the five matches. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.), who has started all five matches at setter in her first official international competition with the U.S. Women’s National Team, is ranked second in the Best Setter category with 7.07 assists per set and just 0.53 behind the leader.

As a team, the U.S. is converting a tournament-leading 47.96 percent of its kills as part of a .393 hitting efficiency. Team USA also has a tournament-best 3.80 blocks per set.

In July, the U.S. Women’s National Team will have two Red vs. Blue intra-squad scrimmage 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.

For more information on individual and team statistical rankings, click here to visit the most recent Daily Bulletin.

Additional information on the event can be found on the USA Volleyball Pan American Cup event page at usavolleyball.org/events/3057.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for 2010 Pan American Cup
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Hometown, College)
1 - Ogonna Nnamani (OH, 6-1, Bloomington, Ill., Stanford)
2 - Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, Leland, Mich., Penn State)
3 - Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, Aliquippa, Pa., Penn State)
5 - Stacy Sykora (L, 5-10, Burleson, Texas, Texas A&M)
6 - Tamari Miyashiro (L, 5-7, Kaneohe, Hawaii, Washington)
7 - Heather Bown (MB, 6-3, Yorba Linda, Calif., Hawaii)
8 - Cynthia Barboza (OH, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Stanford)
11 - Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Nebraska)
12 - Nancy Metcalf (OPP, 6-1, Hull, Iowa, Nebraska)
15 - Courtney Thompson (S, 5-8, Kent, Wash., Washington)
16 - Foluke Akinradewo (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford)
18 - Megan Hodge (OH, 6-3, Durham, N.C., Penn State)

Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Assistant Coach: Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Paula Weishoff (Irvine, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer/Medical Support: Jill Wosmek (Silver Lake, Minn.)
Technical Coordinator: Jamie Morrison
Team Leader: Mary Wise
International Referee: Julie Voeck

IX Women’s Pan American Cup
June 18-26, 2010 * Tijuana and Rosarita, Mexico
(All Times Listed as Pacific Time)

Pool A Standings (Final)
Cuba 4-0
Dominican Republic 3-1
Argentina 2-2
Brazil 1-3
Canada 0-4

Pool B Standings (Final)
USA 5-0
Peru 4-1
Puerto Rico 3-2
Trinidad & Tobago 2-3
Mexico 1-4
Costa Rica 0-5

Pool A
June 18: Argentina def. Canada 22-25, 25-20, 25-22, 19-25, 15-11 (at Rosarita)
June 18: Cuba def. Brazil 27-25, 23-25, 25-17, 25-21 (at Tijuana)
June 19: Dominican Republic def. Brazil 25-14, 16-25, 25-19, 25-23 (at Tijuana)
June 19: Cuba def. Canada 21-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-19 (at Rosarita)
June 20: Argentina def. Brazil 25-13, 25-15, 25-22 (at Rosarita)
June 20: Cuba def. Dominican Republic 31-29, 23-25, 25-19, 23-25, 15-12 (at Tijuana)
June 21: Brazil def. Canada 25-21, 28-26, 25-21 (at Rosarita)
June 21: Dominican Republic def. Argentina 25-14, 27-25, 26-28, 25-20 (at Tijuana)
June 22: Dominican Republic def. Canada 23-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-14 (at Rosarita)
June 22: Cuba def. Argentina 23-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-22 (at Tijuana)

Pool B
June 18: USA def. Peru 27-25, 25-22, 25-17 (at Tijuana)
June 18: Puerto Rico def. Costa Rica 25-13, 25-15, 25-19 (at Rosarito)
June 18: Trinidad & Tobago def. Mexico 25-21, 25-15, 25-23 (at Tijuana)
June 19: USA def. Puerto Rico 25-13, 25-17, 25-14 (at Tijuana)
June 19: Trinidad & Tobago def. Costa Rica 25-15, 25-22, 25-21 (at Rosarito)
June 19: Peru def. Mexico 25-17, 25-7, 25-21 (at Tijuana)
June 20: Peru def. Puerto Rico 25-21, 25-22, 25-14 (at Tijuana)
June 20: USA def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-17, 25-9, 25-11 (at Rosarito)
June 20: Mexico def. Costa Rica 25-17, 15-25, 25-14, 25-14 (at Tijuana)
June 21: Peru def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-18, 25-23, 25-15 (at Tijuana)
June 21: USA def. Costa Rica 25-11, 25-10, 25-2 (at Rosarito)
June 21: Puerto Rico def. Mexico 25-22, 25-14, 25-15 (at Tijuana)
June 22: Peru def. Costa Rica 25-7, 25-7, 25-9 (at Tijuana)
June 22: Puerto Rico def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-18, 25-19, 25-18 (at Rosarito)
June 22: USA def. Mexico 25-14, 25-16, 25-14 (at Tijuana)

Classification Matches (Match Times Subject to Change to Accommodate Host)

June 24: Peru (2B) vs. Argentina (3A), 5 p.m., at Tijuana (Match 28)
June 24: Dominican Republic (2A) vs. Puerto Rico (3B), 7 p.m., at Tijuana (Match 29)

Classification 5-10
June 24: Brazil (4A) vs. Mexico (5B), 4 p.m. at Rosarita (Match 26)
June 24: Trinidad & Tobago (4B) vs. Canada (5A), 6 p.m. at Rosarita (Match 27)

Classification 5-8
June 25: Winner Match 26 or 27 vs. Loser Match 28 or 29, 3 p.m. at Tijuana (Match 32)
June 25: Winner Match 26 or 27 vs. Loser Match 28 or 29, 6 p.m. at ROsarita (Match 31)

June 25: USA (1B) vs. Winner Match 28 or 29, 5 p.m. at Tijuana (Match 33)
June 25: Cuba (1A) vs. Winner Match 28 or 29, 7 p.m. at Tijuana (Match 34)

Classification 9-10
June 25: Loser Match 26 vs. Loser Match 27, 4 p.m. at Tijuana (Match 30)

Classification 7-8
June 26: Loser Match 31 vs. Loser Match 32, 1 p.m. at Tijuana (Match 35)

Classification 5-6
June 26: Winner Match 31 vs. Winner Match 32, 3 p.m. at Tijuana (Match 36)

June 26: Loser Match 33 vs. Loser Match 34, 5 p.m. at Tijuana (Match 37-Bronze)
June 26: Winner Match 33 vs. Winner Match 34, 7 p.m. at Tijuana (Match 38-Gold)