U.S. Women Lose Semifinal to Dominican Republic

June 26, 2010, 1:08 a.m. (ET)

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

Unofficial DataVolley Stats - Official Stats

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 25, 2010) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team dropped a 22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-16 match to Dominican Republic on Friday evening during the second semifinal match of the IX Pan American Cup being held in Tijuana, Mexico.

Team USA, which won Pool B to advance directly to the semifinals, will face Cuba in the bronze medal match on Saturday at 5 p.m. PT. Peru upset Cuba, the winner of Pool A, 25-18, 25-23, 25-23 in the first semifinal match of the evening to advance to its first-ever Pan American Cup gold-medal match and clinch its first-ever medal in the event. Ironically, both the pool winners lost their semifinal matches with the second-place finishers in the opposite pools.

“It was a great match,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand said. “It’s always a battle between us, and today they were the better team. Now we have to go back and prepare for tomorrow’s match.”

Team USA is still in the hunt to reach the Pan American Cup podium for the first time since 2004 as it will attempt to have the bronze medals hung around their necks Saturday evening. The U.S. medaled in the first three Women’s Pan American Cups, starting with a bronze in the inaugural event in 2002, the gold in 2003 and the silver in 2004. Since then, Team USA has not reached the podium in the five most recent events. Cuba has won the event four times, while the defending champion Brazil has captured the gold medal twice. Dominican Republic won the event in 2008.

The U.S. used a 5-0 scoring run to recover from an 18-14 deficit in the first set to win 25-22, thanks to out-scoring its opponent 11-4 down the stretch. Dominican Republic bounced back to win the second set 25-23 after trailing 22-20, giving the U.S. its first set loss of the entire tournament. In a set that featured 14 ties, Dominican Republic recovered from a late 20-17 deficit to win the third set 25-22 with eight of final 10 points. After nine early ties and three lead changes in the fourth set, Dominican Republic, which has reached the gold-medal match in five of the nine Pan American Cups with one gold medal and at least a bronze in all eight previous events, erupted for an 11-2 scoring run with the score tied at 9-all and eased to a 25-16 victory.

For the second straight tournament this June, the U.S. will play NORCECA rival Cuba. Team USA defeated Cuba on June 12 during the semifinals of the Montreux Volley Masters in Montreux, Switzerland, before falling to China in four sets during the gold-medal match on June 13. Last year, Cuba defeated the U.S. twice at the NORCECA Continental Championship, rallying from a two-set deficit both times. The Americans are now 50-90 against their NORCECA rivals since 1983.

By virtue of reaching the semifinals and being guaranteed as one of the top three finishing NORCECA teams at the Pan American Cup, the U.S. has already qualified for the 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix. Peru, as the top South American team in the Pan American Cup, will join the top three NORCECA teams (Dominican Republic, USA, Cuba) at next year’s 12-team FIVB World Grand Prix.

Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) and Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) led the U.S. with 12 points apiece. Larson tallied her points with nine kills on 29 attempts to go with two blocks and an ace. Akinradewo scored her dozen points with nine kills on 23 attacks and three blocks. Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) charted eight points, all on kills. Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) collected five kills and three blocks for eight points. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) was credited with three kills and three blocks for six points. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) scored all four of her points on blocks, while her former Penn State teammates Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) and Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) had matching four points. Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.) rounded out the scoring with one point.

“(Dominican Republic’s) defense was impressive,” said Metcalf, the USA team captain. “Our team needs to improve and play the kind of game we have been practicing for many months.”

Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) tallied a team-high 18 digs and had 15 excellent service receptions on 22 attempts. Larson added nine digs and 16 excellent service receptions on defense. Glass provided 48 running sets, while Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) added nine.

McCutcheon started Glass at setter, Metcalf at opposite, Akinradewo and Harmotto at middle blocker, and Larson and Hodge at outside hitter. Sykora was the designated libero for the match. Barboza was a sub in the first two set and started the final two sets. Nnamani and Thompson were subs in the first three sets, then started the final set. Bown came off the bench in the third set and started the fourth.

Team USA out-blocked Dominican Republic 17-14 at the net, while Dominican Republic had a slim 52-49 advantage in digs. Both teams were held to one service ace. Dominican Republic’s offense converted 32.0 percent of its attacks into points and held the Americans to a 25.0 percent on attacks.

Priscilla Rivera lead Dominican Republic with a match-high 20 points, while Annerys Vargas Valdez chipped in 15 points. Gina Altagracia Mambru tacked on 14 points in the victory.

“Today we played as a team and followed the instructions with discipline,” Dominican Captain Milagros Cabral said. “We really came prepared to play five sets because always there is a battle between these two teams. Making the finals was one of our goals and we accomplished it.”

“Of all the tournaments I have been at the helm of the Dominican team, this has been our worst but today we had our best match of the competition,” Dominican Republic Head Coach Marcos Kwiek said. “We came prepared to play five sets against a tough American team and we have been working very hard for several months.”

The U.S. reached the Pan American Cup 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.

Dominican Republic scored the first two points of the opening set, but Hodge and Metcalf bounced the USA back into a tie at 2-all with consecutive kills. Dominican Republic built a five-point cushion at 8-3 going into the first technical timeout with five unanswered points. Team USA sliced the deficit to 10-8 with two Akinradewo kills around a Metcalf spike leading to a Dominican Republic timeout. Out of the break, Dominican Republic scored the next two points to regain a four-point edge at 12-8. After a Dominican Republic service error, Hodge pounded a cross-court winner and Metcalf put u p a block to narrow the score to 12-11. Dominican Republic responded with three consecutive points to move back in front 15-11. The Americans tied the score at 18-all with a Larson kill, two Dominican Republic errors and a Nnamani block. With Barboza continuing as a serving sub, the U.S. took the lead with a Larson block at 19-18 on its fifth straight point. The U.S. increased its lead to 22-19 with an Akinradewo block and Metcalf kill after a Dominican Republic service error. Dominican Republic regrouped to score back-to-back points to inch to within 22-21 leading to a USA timeout. The Americans reached set point at 24-22 with a Hodge kill, then won the set on the next play with a Metcalf block.

As with the first set, Dominican Republic scored the opening two points of the second set. The Americans tied the set at 7-all after a Barboza block followed a Dominican Republic service error. Team USA went into the first technical timeout with an 8-7 lead following Dominican Republic’s attack going long for the American’s third straight point. Out of the break, the U.S. scored a fourth straight point at 9-7 on a Dominican error as it couldn’t control an Akinradewo block. Glass put up a block after a Barboza kill to extend the American margin to 13-10. Dominican Republic claimed the next two points to crawl back to 13-12 leading to a USA timeout. Dominican quickly tied the score at 13-all out of the break. Dominican Republic continued the surge and grabbed the lead at 15-14. The U.S. went back into the lead at 16-15 following two Larson kills going into the second technical timeout. Out of the break, Akinradewo collected a block to push the gap to two points for USA, 17-15. Dominican Republic answered with consecutive points to tie the set at 17-all. Team USA assumed a three-point cushion at 21-18 with a Metcalf kill and back-to-back Harmotto blocks leading to a Dominican Republic timeout. Dominican Republic battled back to tie the set at 22-all. Dominican Republic returned to the lead at set point 24-23 and won on a block at 25-23.

Team USA earned a 3-1 lead to start the third set as Barboza slammed a kill after a Dominican Republic service error. Dominican Republic answered with three quick points to take a 4-3 advantage. Bown was inserted into the match and quickly slammed consecutive kills to give the lead back to the U.S. at 5-4. The Americans went into the first technical timeout leading 8-6 after back-to-back Dominican Republic errors. Out of the break, Dominican Republic tied the set at 8-all with back-to-back points, then regained the lead back at 11-10. The U.S. returned to the lead at 13-11 with a Bown block between Dominican Republic errors. Dominican Republic tied the set at 15-all with consecutive points. Team USA grabbed a 19-16 advantage out with kills from Akinradewo and Barboza around a Larson ace leading to a Dominican Republic timeout. Dominican Republic responded with back-to-back points forcing USA to call a timeout clinging to a 20-19 advantage, then tied it out of the break at 20-all with its third straight point. Dominican Republic took the lead at 22-21 with an ace leading to a USA timeout. Dominican Republic reached set point at 24-22 with back-to-back points, then won the set 25-22 with an overpass kill.

The fourth set had nine ties and three lead changes before either team had a two-point cushion with Dominican Republic taking a 12-9 advantage with three unanswered points. Out of a USA timeout, Dominican Republic scored a fourth straight point at 13-9. Dominican Republic went into the second technical timeout leading 16-11 with back-to-back points. Dominican Republic extended its lead to 20-11 with four additional points out of the break as part of a 6-0 scoring run. The USA broke the run with kills from Barboza and Hodge around a Bown block to slice the deficit to 20-14. However, the U.S. could not get any closer as Dominican Republic closed out the set with a 25-16 victory.

U.S. Women's National Team Press Kit for Pan American Cup

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: USAdef. 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) def. Argentina (3A) 16-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-21 (Match 28)
June 24: Dominican Republic (2A) def. Puerto Rico (3B) 25-21, 25-23, 25-23 (Match 29)

Classification 5-10
June 24: Brazil (4A) def. Mexico (5B) 25-11, 25-10, 25-23 (Match 26)
June 24: Canada (5A) def. Trinidad & Tobago (4B) 25-19, 25-18, 25-15 at Rosarita (Match 27)

Classification 5-8
June 25: Puerto Rico def. Brazil 25-21, 19-25, 25-22, 17-25, 15-12 (Match 32)
June 25: Argentina def. Canada 25-20, 25-22, 21-25, 23-25, 15-8 (Match 31)

June 25: Dominican Republic (2A) def. USA (1B) 22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-16 (Match 33)
June 25: Peru (2B) def. Cuba (1A) 25-18, 25-23, 25-23 (Match 34)

Classification 9-10
June 25: Mexico def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-21, 18-25, 25-21, 26-24 (Match 30)

Classification 7-8
June 26: Canada vs. Brazil, 1 p.m. at Tijuana (Match 35)

Classification 5-6
June 26: Argentina vs. Puerto Rico, 3 p.m. at Tijuana (Match 36)

June 26: USA vs. Cuba, 5 p.m. at Tijuana (Match 37-Bronze)
June 26: Dominican Republic vs. Peru, 7 p.m. at Tijuana (Match 38-Gold)