U.S. Women Fall to Brazil in Five in Friendly Tour Opener

Sept. 26, 2010, 2:02 a.m. (ET)

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

DataVolley Statistics

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 25, 2010) – The U.S. Women’s National Team lost to Brazil 19-25, 25-17, 24-26, 25-15, 15-11 on Sept. 25 at Maringa, Brazil, to open a four-match friendly exhibition tour of Brazil.

Brazil is currently ranked No. 1 by the FIVB in the world ranking, while the U.S. moved up two spots to No. 2 after claiming the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix last month. During the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round, Team USA edged Brazil in a hard-fought five-set match as it went on to win the gold medal without dropping a match.

Team USA’s four-match tour of Brazil continues on Sept. 26 with the Americans facing Brazil at 9:30 Brazil Time at Maringa. The final two matches will be held at 7 p.m. Brazil Time on Sept. 28 and Sept. 29 at Londrina. Both teams are using the friendly scrimmages as a chance to evaluate and fine tune their lineups for the upcoming FIVB World Championship, which takes place Oct. 29 to Nov. 14 in Japan.

The U.S. was led by Megan Hodge’s (Durham, N.C.) match-high 22 points with 19 kills, two aces and a block. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) charted 14 points via 11 kills and three blocks. Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) contributed 10 kills on 25 attempts with only one error to go with three blocks for 13 points. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) tallied seven kills and four blocks for 11 points, while Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.) added seven kills on 13 swings, two blocks and an ace for 10 points. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) rounded out the American scoring with three kills on four errorless swings and a block for four points from her setter position.

“Our team played hard tonight - and, at times, we played well,” McCutcheon said. “We just could not sustain our level of execution versus a strong Brazilian side.”

In the opening set, USA broke free from an 11-all tie to win 25-19 thanks to its defense. Brazil bounced back in the second set as it bolted to a 5-0 advantage and did not look back in a 25-17 victory that included seven Brazilian blocks. In turn, the U.S. Women started the third set with a 4-0 advantage before the Brazilians battled back to an 11-10 advantage. Brazil opened its lead to 23-20, but the visitors reached a tie at 23-all. After saving a set point at 24-23, the Americans scored three straight to win the set 26-24. After holding a slim 8-7 advantage at the first technical timeout of the fourth set, Brazil energized to a 16-11 advantage through its difficult serves and eventually won the set 25-15. Brazil jumped to a 5-2 lead in the fifth set, only to have the U.S. rally to tie the score at 6-all and reach the tiebreaker switch leading 8-6 as part of a 6-1 scoring run. However, a series of American errors allowed Brazil to tie the set at 9-all and momentum remained in the host’s favor the rest of the way for a 15-11 victory. The U.S. was limited to four kills on 18 swings in the tiebreaker while committing four hitting errors.

The U.S. held a slim 14-11 advantage in blocks, but Brazil managed advantages in spikes (67-57) and aces (8-3). Brazil converted 44 percent of its attacks into kills to the Americans’ 40 percent, but it had 27 hitting errors to the USA’s 18. Team USA had a .271 hitting efficiency to Brazil’s .263.

U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) started Alisha Glass at setter, Akinradewo and Tamas at middle blocker, Hodge and Larson at outside hitter and Metcalf at opposite. Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) was the American libero for the contest. Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) and Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.) subbed into the match the first two sets, Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) played briefly in the third set and Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.) received some playing time in the fourth set. The USA lineup was much different than when it defeated Brazil last month during the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round. Outside hitter Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) did not travel to Brazil, while middle blocker Heather Bown and opposite Destinee Hooker were held out of the lineup.

Natalia led Brazil with 20 points, while Thaisa chipped in 18 points in the victory.

“It is important to test this technical level,” Brazil Head Coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes said. “It was an excellent game to see what we still need to improve. In the first and third set, we had several opportunities to score on counterattacks, and wasted the chances. We must have more attention in this regard.”

The U.S. and Brazil have been benefited from recent friendly scrimmages against one another. In making final preparations for the 2008 FIVB World Grand Prix and 2008 Olympic Games, Brazil played three friendly exhibition matches against the U.S. in Colorado Springs in June 2008, winning two of the three contests.

U.S. Women's National Team Roster for Tour of Brazil
# - 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)
10 - Kim Glass (OH, 6-2, Lancaster, Pa., Arizona)
11 - Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Nebraska)
12 - Nancy Metcalf (OPP, 6-1, Hull, Iowa, Nebraska)
13 - Lauren Paolini (MB, 6-4, Ann Arbor, Mich., Texas)
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: Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Chelsea Nitta
Athletic Trainer/Medical Support: Jill Wosmek (Silver Lake, Minn.)
International Referee: Hansen Leong

Tour of Brazil Schedule versus Brazil
Sept. 25: at Maringa, 9 p.m. Brazil Time
Sept. 26: at Maringa, 9 p.m. Brazil Time
Sept. 28: at Londrina, 7 p.m. Brazil Time
Sept. 29: at Londrina, 7 p.m. Brazil Time