Pan American Cup A Big Deal for U.S. Women

June 27, 2011, 1:24 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Associate Director, Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800

U.S. Women's Pan Am Cup Press Kit:
Flip Book Version - PDF Version

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 27, 2011) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team will arrive at the X Women’s Pan American Cup, held July 1-9 at Juarez, Mexico, with specific goals in mind in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games qualification process.

While the Pan American Cup does not have a direct bearing on the Olympic Games qualification process, it serves as a key tournament for player evaluations that will help solidify rosters later in the year that will help the U.S. qualify for next year’s Olympics in London.

“Any time we get to compete is a big deal, and the Pan American Cup is no different” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “Matches are always important to us. The Pan American Cup is a great opportunity to compete in our zone and learn more about our Team.”

The 12-team Pan American Cup serves as a qualifier into the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix. The top four teams from the NORCECA confederation, Brazil and the top South American team other than Brazil based the 2011 Pan American Cup final rankings will advance to the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix. Brazil, due to its commercial contract, is automatically entitled to participate in the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix.

The U.S. Women’s National Team pool play schedule is very similar to the 2010 Pan American Cup with only one change - Brazil replacing Mexico on the final day of pool play. The U.S. opens Pool B with Peru on July 1 at 4 p.m., followed by Puerto Rico on July 2 at 8 p.m. The Americans will face Trinidad & Tobago on July 3 at 6 p.m. and Costa Rica on July 4 at 8 p.m. The U.S. closes out pool play against Brazil, the top-ranked team in the world, on July 5 at 8 p.m. All Pool B matches will be played at the Universidad Autonoma de Cuidad Juarez or UACJ (

Pool A consists of Argentina, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Mexico.

After a day of rest on July 6, classification matches begin on July 7. Quarterfinal matches will feature pool crossovers of second- and third-place teams, while the pool winners advance directly to the July 8 semifinals. Medal-round and final classification matches take place on the final day of the event on July 9. The majority of the second phase of the tournament will be played at the Colegio de Bachilleres del Estado de Baja California or COBACH (

McCutcheon has submitted a 19-player Pan American Cup preliminary roster that not only appears strong on paper, but exhibits both experience and youth at the same time.

“Based on our evaluations from Montreux and our plans for the rest of the summer, we will make some decisions on who we will take to the Pan Am Cup,” McCutcheon said. “The 19-player roster represents a nice mix of youth and experience.”

Team USA’s 19-player Pan American Cup preliminary roster includes middle blockers include Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.), Christa Harmotto (Hopewell, Pa.), Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.). The outside hitters are Angie Forsett (Lake Mary, Fla.), Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.), Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.), Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) and Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah).

Opposites on the preliminary roster are Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio), Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.), Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) and Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa). The group of setters includes Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.), Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) and Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.). The liberos are Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) and Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii).

The selected 12-player final roster could include as many as seven players with Olympic Games experience (Tom and Bown with three Olympics, Haneef-Park with two Olympics and Davis, Tamas, Kim Glass and Metcalf with one Olympics). The preliminary roster has 11 of the 19 players with FIVB World Championship experience.

The U.S. Women’s National Team claimed the bronze medal at the 2010 Pan American Cup in Mexico and qualified for the 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix. The Americans won all five of their pool play matches in straight sets with victories over Peru, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico. The U.S. lost to the eventual champions Dominican Republic in four sets during the semifinal round, but bounced back to sweep rival Cuba in the bronze-medal match.

The U.S. typically sends a mix of young and experienced players to the Pan American Cup for evaluation purposes for future events. The Americans’ bronze medal at the 2010 event was their first medal at the Pan American Cup since a silver-medal finish in 2004. Team USA captured the gold medal in the 2003 edition of the Pan American Cup, while also claiming a bronze medal in 2002.

The Pan American Cup is the second tournament on the Team USA schedule in 2011. The U.S. placed fourth at the Montreux Volley Masters held June 7-12 at Montreux, Switzerland. The Americans opened with a four-set victory over Peru on June 7. After a Montreux off-day exhibition match victory over host nation Switzerland on June 8, the U.S. topped Germany in five sets on June 9. China won a five-set battle over Team USA to win Pool A on June 10. The U.S. dropped a four-set match to NORCECA rival Cuba on June 11 in the semifinal round, then lost a second time to China in a four-set bronze-medal match on June 12.

“Obviously the goal anytime we step on the court is to try and win the match,” McCutcheon said. “I think the group we sent to Montreux did everything they could to do that, and we were very close in a lot of games that did not go our way. We are happy that we made the semifinals, but it's clear we still have a lot of work to do.”

Following the Pan American Cup, the Americans will attempt to defend its 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix title as the event starts Aug. 5 with three consecutive weekends of preliminary round action for a total of nine matches. The FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round takes place Aug. 24-28 in Macau, China, bringing in the top seven teams from the preliminary round plus China.

According to McCutcheon, the Pan American Cup will also allow the team to learn a few things about their regional opponents they may face later this year. The NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship, scheduled for Sept. 10-18 in Caguas, Puerto Rico, serves as the qualifying tournament into the FIVB World Cup set for Nov. 4-18 in Japan. The World Cup is the first 2012 Olympic Games qualifying event, and the top three teams will book their tickets to London. In January 2012, the U.S. will compete in the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament (Jan. 6-14) if it does not secure one of the three 2012 Olympic Games qualifying spots at the FIVB World Cup.

The Pan American Games will be held between the NORCECA event and the World Cup from Oct. 14-20 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

U.S. Women’s National Team Preliminary Roster for Pan American Cup
# - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 - Lauren Paolini (MB, 6-4, Ann Arbor, Mich., Texas)
2 - Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, Leland, Mich., Penn State)
3 - Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Opp, 6-7, Laguna Hills, Calif., Long Beach State)
4 - Angie Forsett (OH, 5-8, Lake Mary, Fla., California)
5 - Tamari Miyashiro (L, 5-7, Kaneohe, Hawaii, Washington)
6 - Nicole Davis (L, 5-4, Stockton, Calif., Southern California)
7 - Heather Bown (MB, 6-3, Yorba Linda, Calif., Hawaii)
8 - Courtney Thompson (S, 5-8, Kent, Wash., Washington)
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 - Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, Hopewell, Pa., Penn State)
14 - Nicole Fawcett (Opp, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State)
15 - Logan Tom (OH, 6-1, Salt Lake City, Utah, Stanford)
16 - Foluke Akinradewo (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford)
17- Mary ‘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 Caoch: Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Paula Weishoff (Irvine, Calif.)
Assistant Coach/Technical Coordinator: Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer/Medical Support: Jill Wosmek (Silver Lake, Minn.)
Team Manager: John Cook (Lincoln, Neb.)

X Women’s Pan American Cup Schedule
July 1-9 at Juarez, Mexico

Pool A (at COBACH)
July 1: Cuba vs. Argentina, 3 p.m.
July 1: Dominican Republic vs. Canada, 5 p.m.
July 1: Chile vs. Mexico, 8 p.m.
July 2: Dominican Republic vs. Chile, 4 p.m.
July 2: Canada vs. Argentina, 6 p.m.
July 2: Cuba vs. Mexico, 8 p.m.
July 3: Cuba vs. Chile, 4 p.m.
July 3: Dominican Republic vs. Argentina, 6 p.m.
July 3: Canada vs. Mexico, 8 p.m.
July 4: Argentina vs. Chile, 4 p.m.
July 4: Cuba vs. Canada, 6 p.m.
July 4: Dominican Republic vs. Mexico, 8 p.m.
July 5: Canada vs. Chile, 4 p.m.
July 5: Cuba vs. Dominican Republic, 6 p.m.
July 5: Mexico vs. Argentina, 8 p.m.

Pool B (at UACJ)
July 1: Puerto Rico vs. Costa Rica, noon
July 1: Brazil vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 2 p.m.
July 1: USA vs. Peru, 4 p.m.
July 2: Peru vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 4 p.m.
July 2: Brazil vs. Costa Rica, 6 p.m.
July 2: USA vs. Puerto Rico, 8 p.m.
July 3: Peru vs. Costa Rica, 4 p.m.
July 3: USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 6 p.m.
July 3: Brazil vs. Puerto Rico, 8 p.m.
July 4: Puerto Rico vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 4 p.m.
July 4: Brazil vs. Peru, 6 p.m.
July 4: USA vs. Costa Rica, 8 p.m.
July 5: Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 4 p.m.
July 5: Peru vs. Puerto Rico, 6 p.m.
July 5: USA vs. Brazil, 8 p.m.

July 6 - Off Day

July 7
Match 31: 6A vs. 6B, 4 p.m. at UACJ (Final Classification 11-12)
Match 32: 4B vs. 5A, 6 p.m. at UACJ (Classification 7-10)
Match 33: July 7: 4A vs. 5B, 8 p.m. at UACJ (Classification 7-10)
Match 34: July 7: 2A vs. 3B, 6 p.m. at COBACH (Quarterfinals)
Match 35: July 7: 2B vs. 3A, 8 p.m. at COBACH (Quarterfinals)

July 8
Match 36: Loser M32 vs. Loser M33, 4 p.m. at UACJ (9th place)
Match 37: Winner M32 vs. Loser M34 or M35, 6 p.m. at UACJ (5-8)
Match 38: Winner M33 vs. Loser M34 or M35, 8 p.m. at UACJ (5-8)
Match 39: 1B vs. Winner M34 or M35, 6 p.m. at COBACH (Semifinal)
Match 40: 1A vs. Winner M34 or M35, 8 p.m. at COBACH (Semifinal)

July 9
Match 41: Loser M37 vs. Loser M38, 2 p.m. at COBACH (7th place)
Match 42: Winner M37 vs. Winner M38, 4 p.m. at COBACH (5th place)
Match 43: Loser M39 vs. Loser M40, 6 p.m. at COBACH (bronze)
Match 44: Winner M39 vs. Winner M40, 8 p.m. at COBACH (gold)