U.S. Women's Update - April 6

April 06, 2009, 6:55 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 6, 2009) – The current U.S. Women's National Team Weekly update released on April 6 includes briefs on upcoming U.S. events, national team players competing overseas, trivia questions, 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 that includes the international transfer list, trivia questions and other fan interaction sections, click here.

TRIVIA QUESTIONS: 1. Aside from Danielle Scott-Arruda and Tara Cross-Battle earning four Olympic Games roster spots, name the U.S. Women’s Team players who have been named to three Olympic Games rosters? 2. Name both past U.S. Women’s National Team Olympians to have been selected to multiple Olympic Games, but miss at least one Games in between? Answers can be found on page two in the full PDF version (click here) of the current U.S. Women’s National Team Weekly update.

U.S. TEAM SET FOR EGYPT TOUR: The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team begins its 2009 season April 10 in Cairo, Egypt, as part of a cultural exchange program between the United States Olympic Committee and the Egyptian National Olympic Committee. The 12-player roster as selected by U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) is comprised of elite developmental athletes on the verge of being added to the U.S. Women’s National Team. After departing for Cairo on April 7, Team USA will play two matches in Cairo against the Egyptian women’s national team on April 10 and April 12 before returning home on April 14. The U.S. roster includes 2008 Olympic Games silver medalists Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) and Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) at the libero position. Team USA will have Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill., UCLA) and Nicole Vargas (Seal Beach, Calif.) at setter and Morgan Beck (Coto De Caza, Calif.) at opposite. McCutcheon has selected Therese Crawford (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Brittany Moore (Orange, Calif.) and Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif.) as outside hitters. Mekana Barnes (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.), Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Emillie Toone (American Fork, Utah) will see time at middle blocker. Harmotto will also see some playing time at opposite. For the complete press release, click here.

TOM UPDATE: Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah), a three-time U.S. Olympian and Best Scorer of the 2008 Olympic Games, is playing with Hisamitsu Springs in the Japanese V-League. After a rough start to the season, Tom and Hisamitsu bounced back to finish second in the regular season to earn a spot in the round-robin, four-team semifinals this past weekend. Hisamitsu Springs opened the playoff with a 22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-17 victory over NEC on April 3. Tom scored 17 points in the match with 13 kills, three blocks and an ace. However, top-seed Toray defeated Hisamitsu Springs 25-22, 25-20, 16-25, 25-22 on April 4. Tom was held to 13 points on 11 kills, one block and an ace in the loss. Needing a victory to advance to the championship final next weekend, Hisamitsu Springs bounced back to defeat fourth-seed Denso 25-22, 27-25, 25-19 on April 5. Tom reached 10 points with six kills, three aces and a block, along with an 82.4 service reception percent on 17 attempts. Hisamitsu Springs plays Toray, which was 3-0 in the round-robin semifinals, on April 11 at 3 p.m. Japan Time for the V-League championship. By virtue of reaching the V-League title match, Hisamitsu Springs and Toray will also play in a cross-over championship tournament with the Korean professional league on April 18-19. Korea will be represented by GS Caltex and the Pink Spiders.

THOMPSON LEADS TEAM TO SWISS TITLE: Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.), who was a setter for the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team in 2007 and helped Team USA to a bronze medal at the Pan American Games, has been playing professionally for Zeiler Koniz of the Swiss Professional Volleyball League this past year. She led her squad to a sweep of a best-of-seven championship series with VC Kanti Schaffhausen. Thompson’s squad won the first meeting 20-25, 26-24, 25-9, 25-15 at home on March 25. Zeiler Koniz captured the second match 17-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-23 on March 28 on the road. Thompson led her squad to a 25-19, 26-24, 30-28 victory in its second straight road win on April 1. Zeiler Koniz completed the sweep at home on April 4 with a 25-20, 25-20, 25-15 victory.

AH MOW-SANTOS UPDATE: Robyn Ah Mow-Santos (Honolulu), playing for VBC Volero Zurich in the Swiss professional volleyball league this winter, helped her team to the bronze medal in the Grand Finals of the Swiss Professional League. Volero came back from a 25-20, 20-25, 28-26, 25-17 loss in the opening match of a best-of-three series to Sm ‘Aesch Pfeffingen on March 28 to win the final two matches this past weekend. Volero won the middle match 29-27, 20-25, 25-17, 26-24 despite Ah Mow-Santos suffering an ankle injury in the fourth set. Ah Mow-Santos sat out the deciding match, but Volero still came away with a 25-18, 25-19, 25-23 victory with her cheering on her teammates from the bench. “Although I would prefer to have been on the court, I’m proud of our team performance and how we concluded the season,” Ah Mow-Santos was quoted on the Volero Web site.

SCOTT-ARRUDA UPDATE: Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.), a four-time U.S. Olympian middle blocker, is playing for CGF Recycle Florens Castellana Grotte in the Italian Serie A league. She turned in a match-high 19 points in leading Castellana Grotte to a 25-12, 25-20, 25-18 victory over Tena Santeramo on April 5. Scott-Arruda recorded 10 kills on 17 errorless attempts to go with a match-high seven blocks and two aces. Castellana Grotte improves to 12-13 and closed to within two points of Zoppas Industries Conegliano for eighth place in the standings. Scott-Arruda and her team finishes the regular season on April 11 against Famila Chieri, while Conegliana faces second-place Asystel Volley Novara as the two teams battle for the last playoff spot.

WILLOUGHBY UPDATE: Kim Willoughby (Napoleonville, La.), a 2008 U.S. Olympic Games silver medalist, is now playing for Despar Perugia in the Italian Serie A league. She scored 12 points through 10 kills on 19 attacks and two aces in leading Perugia to a 25-21, 25-16, 25-16 victory over 11th-place Solo Affitti Tradeco Cesena on April 5. Perugia improved to 13-12 on the season with 41 points and is in sixth place in the league standings. Perugia draws first-place Scavolini Pesaro to end its regular season on April 11. At the recently completed CEV Indesit Champions League Final Round, Willoughby was named the Best Receiver in the tournament.

BOWN UPDATE: Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.), a three-time Olympian and middle blocker on the silver-medal winning 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, is playing for Monte Schiavo Banca Marche Jesi this winter. Jesi droped a 25-22, 16-25, 25-23, 25-17 match to seventh-place Unicom Starker Kerakoll Sassuolo on April 5. However, Bown did her part in the match with 17 points via 13 kills on 21 attacks and a team-high four blocks. Jesi drops to 16-9 on the season and is in a tie for fourth with Yamamay Busto Arsizio (14-11 record) at 46 points. Jesi and Arsizio face each other on April 11 in the final regular season match to decide fourth place.

NNAMANI UPDATE: Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.), a two-time Olympian now playing professionally in Turkey for Galatasaray, Her squad, which gained the eighth and final playoff spot, upset Turkish-league leader V Gunes Sigorta in the best-of-three playoff series with all three contests going five sets. Galatasaray won the second match of the playoff series 25-18, 18-25, 25-21, 19-25, 16-14 on April 5. Nnamani scored a match-high 20 points with 19 kills on 47 attacks and a block. Galatasaray capped the playoff by coming back from two sets down in the deciding match on April 6 to win 15-25, 22-25, 30-28, 25-23, 15-9. Match statistics were not available at press time.

METCALF, STALLS UPDATE: Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa), a 2004 Olympian, is playing for Eczacibasi Zentiva of the Turkish professional league along with 2008 Olympic Games alternate Tracy Stalls (Denver, Colo.). Neither Metcalf or Stalls played in Eczacibasi Zentiva’s two playoff victories over Besiktas in advancing to the Turkish League playoff semifinals. Eczacibasi won the first match of the best-of-three quarterfinal playoff series 25-20, 25-23, 20-25, 25-13 victory over sixth-seed Besiktas on April 3. Eczacibasi captured the second match 25-17, 25-14, 25-12 on April 6.

McGINNIS, HUGHES UPDATE: Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.), both alternates on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, are now competing for Besiktas JK Bayan of the Turkish professional volleyball league. Besiktas opened its best-of-three Turkish League playoff series against Eczacibasi Zentiva on April 3 with a 25-20, 25-23, 20-25, 25-13 loss. McGinnis scored five kills on nine errorless attacks, along with a block for six points from her setter position. Hughes came off the bench in the third and fourth sets and turned in three serves. Besiktas lost its second match of the playoff series to Eczacibasi 25-17, 25-14, 25-12 on April 7. McGinnis contributed a kill in her starting setter role, while Hughes came off the bench in both the first and second sets providing one attack and one serve.

BUSSE, CRIMES, PRESSEY UPDATE: Toa Baja, competing in the Puerto Rico Super League, features three players who trained with the U.S. Women’s National Team during 2008. Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) and Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) are sharing a heavy offensive load for Toa Baja, while the team released former U.S. National Team member Angie Pressey (Lake Worth, Fla.) on April 1 with two matches remaining in the regular season. Busse scored a match-high 24 points on March 31 as Toa Baja defeated Guaynabo in five sets to win the league’s regular season. Crimes added 14 points in the victory. In the losing effort, American Lindsay Phillips tallied a team-high 19 points. However, the Llaneras would lose their final two matches (three of their last four) to end the regular season. Bayamon defeated Toa Baja 25-21, 25-18, 25-18 on April 3. Crimes scored a team-high 10 points, while Busse added nine points. Jordan Larson led Bayamon with 16 points in the victory. Corozal snuck into the tie for the regular season title with a 17-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-16 victory over Toa Baja on April 5, the final regular season date. Busse totaled seven points, while Crimes added five points. Both Corozal and Toa Baja finished with 19-3 overall records. Toa Baja, grouped in the first round of home-and-home round-robin playoffs with Guaynabo, Caguas and Juncos, opens postseason action on April 8 against Guaynabo, followed by an April 14 match against Caguas and April 16 contest against Juncos. In the second half of the first round of playoffs, the Llaneras face Caguas on April 18, Juncos on April 20 and Guaynabo on April 22.

OTHER AMERICAN STANDOUTS IN PUERTO RICO LEAGUE: Erin Moore contributed a team-high 16 points in leading Corozal to a three-set victory over Bayamon on March 30, while Kristee Porter chipped in 12 points in the winning effort. On the other side of the net, Jordan Larson scored a match-high 20 points in the loss…Kelly Wing provided a match-high 12 points in pacing Juncos to a three-set win over Ponce on March 31…Kristee Porter contributed 31 points in leading Corozal to a five-set victory over Carolina on April 3. Kylie Atherstone led Carolina with 20 points in the loss…Kelly Wing provided 18 points and Vicky Brown added 13 points as Juncos topped San Sebastian in five sets on April 3. Jane Collymore scored a match-high 23 points and Shonda Cole added 20 points in the loss…Patrice Arrington popped off a match-high 25 points in leading Guaynabo to a five-set victory over Bayamon on April 4. Lindsay Phillips added 18 points in the victory. Bayamon was led by Jordan Larson’s 23 points, while Erin Moore added 14 points in the loss…Kelly Wing scored 16 points in Juncos’ four-set loss to Mayaguez on April 5…For more highlights from the Puerto Rico Super League, click here.

JOINES, RICHARDS UPDATE: Jennifer Joines (Milpitas, Calif.), a 2008 U.S. Olympian, and Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah), a 2008 U.S. Olympic Team alternate, are competing for Fakel in the Russian professional league this winter. Fakel lost to Indesit in 25-15, 25-15, 25-20 on April 2. Richards currently is 26th in scoring in the league despite missing a major portion of the schedule. Joines ranks 15th in attack efficiency (45 percent) among players with at least 200 swings and 18th in blocks with 39. Fakel concludes the regular season on April 6 against Universitet Belogorie, which has U.S. Olympian Kim Glass.

GLASS UPDATE: Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.), a 2008 U.S. Olympian, is playing professionally in Russia with Universitet Belogorie. Her team dropped a four-set match (25-21, 25-14, 20-25, 25-18) to Leningradka on April 2 to fall to 12-9 on the season and into a tie for fifth place. Despite missing six matches this season, Glass still ranks 20th in scoring with 213 points. Her team concludes the regular season on April 6 against Fakel, which has Americans Jennifer Joines and Kristin Richards.

BARBOZA NOW FINALIST FOR AAU SULLIVAN AWARD: Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.), an alternate for both the 2004 and 2008 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball teams, has been selected as one of five finalists for the 79th Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Sullivan Award. She was named as one of 12 semifinalists in early March. The AAU James E. Sullivan Award, established in 1930 to honor a founder and past president of the AAU, is based on the qualities of leadership, character and sportsmanship. The award goes far beyond athletic accomplishment and honors those who have leadership skills and strong character which is evident in the nominee’s lifestyle as a whole. Other finalists include Tyler Hansbrough (basketball), Shawn Johnson (gymnastics), Nastia Liuken (gymnastics) and the U.S. Men’s 4x100 Relay Team (swimming). The Sullivan Award Reception and Presentation will take place April 15 at The New York Athletic Club in New York City. The night’s activities start with an athlete autograph session at 5:30 p.m., followed by the dinner at 6:15 p.m. and the awards presentation at 7:15 p.m. For the complete release, click here.

2009 PAN AMERICAN CUP POOLS SET: The Eighth Annual Women’s Pan American Cup, hosted by USA Volleyball in Miami from June 26 to July 4, has grouped its 12 participating teams into two six-team pools. The nine-day Pan American Cup, which has 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. A total of 12 teams are scheduled to compete in the event, which serves as a qualifying event into the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix. The top three teams from NORCECA in the Women’s Pan American Cup and the highest placing South American country will earn berths to next year’s premier annual event. The U.S. Women’s National Team, the 2008 Olympic Games silver medalist, has been grouped into Pool A with Dominican Republic (No. 13 FIVB world ranking), Peru (No. 17), Canada (No. 23), Uruguay (No. 29) and Argentina (No. 31). Pool B consists of 2008 Olympic Games gold medalist Brazil (No. 1), 2008 Olympic Games semifinalist Cuba (No. 3), 2008 Olympic Games participant Venezuela (No. 24), Puerto Rico (No. 19), Mexico (No. 26) and Costa Rica (No. 30). Ticket prices and online purchasing will be available at http://usavolleyball.org/event/event/572 once determined. For the full story, click here.

USAV, ANAHEIM MOVE FORWARD ON WOMEN’S TEAM RELOCATION: The Anaheim City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to authorize City staff to negotiate an agreement with USA Volleyball that would relocate the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team to train in Anaheim at the American Sports Centers as early as this spring. The vote is a step forward in the process that would move the U.S. Women’s National Team to Anaheim from its current home at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Once the agreement is finalized, Anaheim would be designated the Official Host City for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball Teams through the 2016 Olympic Games. The American Sports Centers, which has been the training site of the U.S. Men’s National Team since it moved to Anaheim in 2006, has agreed to host the U.S. Women’s National Team as well. The facility, which opened in March of 2004, is the largest indoor court facility in the United States featuring 22 volleyball courts, 16 basketball courts and nine indoor soccer courts. Among the ASC’s other tenants is the Southern California Volleyball Association, one of 40 regions within USA Volleyball. For the complete story, click here. For player reactions to Anaheim City Council’s vote, click here. To read an Orange County Register article on Hugh McCutcheon, click here.

REPLICA JERSEY AVAILABLE FOR LIMITED TIME: Are you looking for a unique 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 by clicking here. 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. 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.

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.