U.S. Women's National Team Weekly Update for Nov. 26

Nov. 26, 2008, 1:38 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 26, 2008) - The current edition of the U.S. Women's National Team Weekly update released on Nov. 26 includes briefs on head coach Lang Ping's contract status, U.S. Women's National Team Open Tryouts, national team players competing overseas, community service projects, how to purchase replica national team jerseys, updated list of United States players competing professionally overseas (including non-National Team members) and much more.

For the complete PDF document, click here. Below is selected sections from the update.

LANG PING ELECTS NOT TO EXTEND CONTRACT: USA Volleyball announced today that “Jenny” Lang Ping (Beijing, China) has elected not to extend her contract as the head coach for the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team program for the upcoming Olympic quadrennial, according to USAV Chief Executive Officer Doug Beal. Lang Ping cited the desire for a coaching position that offers more flexibility to spend time with her family as a major factor in her decision. “At this moment in my life, family comes first and I wish more flexibility to spend time with them,” Lang Ping said on her decision to leave USA Volleyball. “I prefer a club volleyball season that lasts five months so that I can spend the other seven months of the year with them.” For the complete release, click here.

OPEN TRYOUTS FOR U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM: USA Volleyball will hold its annual open tryouts for the U.S. Women’s National Team and Associated Training Programs Feb. 20-22, 2009, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The tryout registration and application form, which must be returned by Jan. 12, 2009, can be downloaded by clicking here. As part of the tryout, athletes will compete for spots on the USA Women’s Volleyball National Team program, USA Women’s World University Games Team or the USA Women’s Senior A2 Teams. For the complete press release, click here.

BOWN RAISING THE BAR: Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.), a three-time U.S. Olympian, continues to lead her professional club team Monte Schiavo Banca Marche Jesi in the early portion of the season. During an Italian Cup Serie A first-round playoff match versus Asystel Volley Novara on Nov. 19, she tallied 10 kills on 15 swings, one block and an ace for 12 points in a 25-21, 25-22, 25-19 victory. The second and concluding playoff match with Novara is scheduled for Nov. 26 at Novara. As part of the regular Italian League Serie A schedule, Bown contributed 13 points in a 25-20, 21-25, 25-16, 25-16 victory over CGF Recycle Florens Castellana Grotte on Nov. 22. She provided nine kills on 16 attempts to go with a team-high four blocks. Across the match, four-time U.S. Olympian Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) totaled 15 points in the loss. She chalked up 10 kills on 19 swings with only one error to go with a match-high five blocks from her middle blocker position. Jesi, 6-1 on the season and in third place with 18 points, hosts Rio Scotti Pavia (3-4) on Nov. 30. Scott-Arruda’s team (3-4) hosts Yamamay Busto Arsizio (4-3) on the same day.

WILLOUGHBY TAKES A DOZEN: Kim Willoughby (Napoleonville, La.), a 2008 U.S. Olympian now playing in for Despar Perugia in the Italian Serie A professional league, contributed 12 points in a 27-25, 25-15, 25-16 victory on Nov. 23. She charted six kills and match highs of four blocks and two aces. Willoughby was credited a positive reception on 54 percent of her 24 reception attempts in the match. After a rough start to the season, Perugia has improved to 3-4 on the season and can continue its climb up the Serie A standings with a scheduled Nov. 30 match against Asystel Volley Novara (4-3).

HANEEF-PARK LEADS PIONEER TO WIN: Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.), a two-time U.S. Olympian, paced her Japanese V-League professional team Pioneer to a 26-24, 30-28, 18-25, 19-25, 15-6 victory over NEC on Nov. 23. She tallied 27 kills on 66 attacks, one block and one ace for 29 points. Pioneer, who is coached by 2004 U.S. Olympic Team head coach Toshi Yoshida, converted 37.1 percent of its attacks into kills during the match.

NNAMANI SCORES 12 IN LOSS: Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.), a two-time U.S. Olympian, reached a dozen points in a Turkish professional league match with Galatasaray, but it was not enough as Vakifbank Gunes won 25-22, 25-14, 25-21 on Nov. 23. Nnamani was credited with eight kills on 35 swings to go with three blocks and an ace. As a note of interest, Nnamani gained a new teammate of interest – Stacy Gordon. Both Nnamani and Gordon shared the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Player of the Year honors in 2004. Galatasaray challenges Eregli Belediye in its next match on Nov. 30.

TOM SCORING, BUT NOT ENOUGH FOR HISAMITSU: Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah), a three-time Olympian for Team USA, played two matches last week for Hisamitsu in the Japanese V-League, but both times her efforts were not enough to carry the team to victory. She tallied 25 points with 22 kills on 73 attacks, two blocks and an ace in a 22-25, 19-25, 25-23, 25-20, 15-10 loss to Toray on Nov. 22. On the following day, Tom notched 17 points with 15 kills on 40 swings to go with two blocks in a 16-25, 29-27, 27-25, 25-17 loss to Toyota.

SYKORA PLANS TO RETURN: Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas), a three-time Olympian, has informed USA Volleyball she plans to return to the team in May 2009. She was the libero for the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Teams and was defensive specialist during the 2008 Olympic Games in which Team USA earned the silver medal. Sykora was named the Best Digger of the 2004 Olympic Games.

DAVIS, HOGAN ON HABITAT PROJECT: Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.), who served as the libero for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Women’s Indoor Volleyball Team that won the silver medal in Beijing, participated at the Olympic and Paralympic Build Day with Habitat for Humanity on Nov. 22 in Colorado Springs, Colo. In addition, U.S. Olympic Women’s Indoor Team Assistant Coach Tom Hogan volunteered his time and energy to the cause. Among Davis’ tasks for the day were sawing beams, insulating the entire house and lots of hammering. Although it was a lot of work for her first time being involved with the Habitat for Humanity project, she said it was very beneficial to her personally. For the complete story, click here. To read Davis’ blog on the day, click here. To view the photo gallery, click here.

USA VOLLEYBALL HIGH PERFORMANCE COACHES’ CLINIC: USA Volleyball will host its Sixth Annual High Performance Coaches Clinic Jan. 22-24, 2009, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The 2009 USA Volleyball High Performance Coaches Clinic costs $400, which includes instruction, material and room and board at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. In conjunction with the USA Volleyball High Performance Coaches Clinic, the USAV Coaching Accreditation Program (CAP) will have additional modules available at the U.S. Olympic Training Center on Jan. 21 and Jan. 25, 2009. Clinic registration opens Nov. 25, 2008, and can be accessed online at http://usavolleyball.countmein.com/ProgramDetail.aspx/3-4390-461-000.

REPLICA JERSEY AVAILABLE FOR LIMITED TIME: Are you looking for a unique holiday gift for your volleyball loved ones? USA Volleyball has the answer with replica jerseys from its 2008 Olympic Games indoor teams being made available for a limited time at http://usavolleyball2008.com/store/. The U.S. Olympic Women’s Team replica jerseys, priced at $65 apiece, are available in extra small, small, medium, large and extra large. Replica jerseys are available for all 12 U.S. players who participated in the 2008 Olympic Games. Each replica jersey will have the Olympian’s name on the back with their jersey number on both the front and back. Jerseys pre-ordered by Dec. 17 will be shipped in time for the holidays. In addition, USA Volleyball has several other 2008 Olympic Games apparel items commemorating the unprecedented indoor and beach volleyball success obtained in Beijing. Products available on the online store include short and long-sleeve T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies in multiple designs.

INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS: USA Volleyball has processed nine transfers of U.S. Women’s National Team members to compete for foreign volleyball clubs during the 2008-2009 season. Setter Robyn Ah Mow-Santos (Honolulu) will return to VBC Volero in Switzerland. Middle blockers Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) will compete in Italy’s Serie A League. Bown competes for Monte Schiavo Banca Marche Jesi, while Scott-Arruda plays for CGF Recycle Florens Castellana Grotte. Japan’s V-League has secured the talents of outside hitter Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) and opposite Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.). Tom competes for Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs, while Haneef-Park is on the Pioneer Red Wings roster playing for former U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Toshi Yoshida. Middle blocker Jennifer Joines (Milpitas, Calif.) and outside hitter Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah) play for Russia’s Fakel Novyi Urengoi club, while outside hitter Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.) also will compete in Russia with Universitet Belogorie. Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.) signed a contract to compete in the Turkish professional league with Galatasaray.

OLYMPIC COMMEMORATIVE APPRAREL ON SALE: USA Volleyball has unveiled five commemorative logo designs to appear on apparel saluting USA Volleyball’s medal successes at the recent Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Beijing. Apparel can be purchased by clicking here. Men’s and ladies’ T-shirt designs are $15, while the youth T-shirt size is $13. Long sleeve t-shirts are $18, crew sweatshirts are $23 and hoodies are $30. Sizes XXL and larger have a slightly higher price. USA Volleyball’s success on the Olympic grand stage in Beijing has never been achieved by any other nation since volleyball was added to the Olympics in 1964. The U.S. Olympic Men’s Indoor Volleyball Team, which was named the United States Olympic Committee Team of the Month for August 2008, captured the gold medal at the Olympic Games without losing a single match. Women’s Beach Volleyball (Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh) and Men’s Beach Volleyball (Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers) both came back from Beijing with Olympic Games gold medals. The U.S. Olympic Women’s Indoor Volleyball Team captured the silver medal in Beijing, as did the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team during the Paralympic Games. No other country has ever participated in the gold-medal match of all four Olympic Games volleyball disciplines during the same year. Team USA added a fifth gold-medal appearance at the Paralympic Games.

2009 PAN AMERICAN CUP COMING TO MIAMI: USA Volleyball will host the Eighth Annual Women’s Pan American Cup June 26-July 4 in conjunction with the USA Junior Olympic Girls’ Volleyball Championship in the Miami area. The nine-day Pan American Cup, which will tentatively have three of the four 2008 Olympic Games semifinalists (Brazil, USA and Cuba), will be played on the campuses of the University of Miami and Florida International University. “USA Volleyball is extremely excited about the opportunity to host one of the largest international volleyball events in Miami and to pair it with the 2009 USA Junior Olympic Girls’ Volleyball Championships,” USA Volleyball Chief Executive Officer Doug Beal said. “It will provide a unique opportunity for our developing young volleyball players to be exposed to elite international volleyball teams from North America, South America and the Caribbean. The two events will also generate terrific excitement in the community and lead to greater popularity for the sport.” USA Volleyball is hosting its first-ever Women’s Pan American Cup, which serves as a qualifying event into the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix. The event is the largest international volleyball event hosted by USA Volleyball in terms of country participation. Team USA has not hosted a women’s senior-level international tournament since the 1998 FIVB World Championship Qualifier tournament in 1998. Due to international scheduling and professional league commitments, matches on domestic soil have become a rarity with only seven contests against foreign teams in the most recent Olympic quadrennial (2005-2008).