U.S. Women Edged by Brazil for Second Night in Row

Sept. 27, 2010, 1:39 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. 26, 2010) – For the second night in a row, the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team was edged by Brazil in five sets, this time by scores of 24-26, 25-17, 25-22, 20-25, 15-10 on Sept. 26 at Maringa, Brazil, as part of 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. 28 and Sept. 29 at Londrina with both match start times at 7 p.m. 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.

Like the first night, Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) led the American offense with 20 points via 15 kills, three blocks and two aces while starting just the final three sets. Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.) matched Hodge’s total with 20 points on 12 kills and match-high eight blocks. Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.) reached double-figure scoring with seven kills on 14 attacks and three blocks for 10 points. Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.) scored eight kills and an ace for nine points while starting just the first two sets. Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) contributed three kills, three aces and a block for seven points. Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) chipped in two aces and a kill for three points, while Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) netted two kills in a reserve role. Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) took reception of a team-leading 29 Brazil serves with a 72 positive percent.

Brazil converted 41 percent of its attacks into points and limited the U.S. to a 33 kill percent. Team USA held an 8-3 margin in aces and both teams were credited with 17 blocks.

U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) started Spicer at setter, Nnamani at opposite, Barboza and Kim Glass at outside hitter and Tamas and Paolini at middle blocker. Sykora was the libero for match. Hodge replaced Kim Glass in the starting lineup for the final three sets after subbing the first two sets. Larson came off the bench in all five sets.

Sheilla paced Brazil with a match-high 24 points, while Thaisa added 16 points. Brazil captain Fabiana and Joyce each pocketed 14 points in the victory.

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.

Brazil broke a 4-all tie in the second set with five unanswered points including two blocks to take a 9-4 lead. Team USA whittled the deficit to two points at 14-12 following a Nnamani kill and Hodge service winner. Brazil jumped its lead back to five points at 18-13 with two Joyce kills and a Natalia spike. Brazil controlled the rest of the second set for a 25-17 victory.

Brazil maintained the momentum in the third set by taking an 11-3 lead thanks to three blocks from three different Brazilians. Team USA inched itself to within four at 13-9 following a Paolini ace and Tamas quick attack. However, Brazil responded and held firm to reach set point at 24-19. The U.S. saved three set point chances with a Hodge kill, Brazil error and Spicer ace before Thaisa finished the set with a kill for a 25-22 Brazil victory.

The late momentum of the third set carried over the fourth set as the Americans bolted to a 5-0 lead with a Barboza kill and Nnamani block followed by three Brazil errors. Team USA reached a 9-2 advantage with two Tamas kills around a Nnamani spike. The Americans held a double-digit scoring advantage at 14-4 on four consecutive points through a kill and block from Hodge, spike from Nnamani and block by Paolini. After the U.S. held a 16-9 lead at the second technical timeout, Brazil charged by to within two at 16-14. The U.S. rebuilt a five-point cushion at 20-15 with three straight points starting with a Barboza kill. The teams traded points until the final score of 25-20.

Brazil never trailed in the fifth set after rolling to a quick 6-1 advantage. Hodge moved the U.S. back to within two at 9-7 with a kill and ace on consecutive plays. However, Brazil regained momentum by grabbing a 12-7 lead with two Thaisa spikes. Barboza scored the final three points for the U.S. on kills, but they were surrounded by Brazil points to stop any rally in the 15-10 fifth set.

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: Brazil def. USA 19-25, 25-17, 24-26, 25-15, 15-11
Sept. 26: Brazil def. USA 24-26, 25-17, 25-22, 20-25, 15-10
Sept. 28: at Londrina, 7 p.m. Brazil Time
Sept. 29: at Londrina, 7 p.m. Brazil Time