U.S. Women's Update - April 29

April 29, 2009, 11:17 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 29, 2009) – The current U.S. Women's National Team Weekly update released on April 29 includes briefs on upcoming U.S. events, national team players competing overseas, trivia questions and much more.

For the complete PDF version that includes the trivia questions, 2009 season stats, international transfer list and other fan interaction sections, click here.

TRIVIA QUESTIONS: 1. Through 2008, how many individuals from the United States have been inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame? 2. Which U.S. Women’s National Team player was featured on the cover of the May 2009 cover of Volleyball Magazine? 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.

PAN AM CUP TICKETS ON SALE: USA Volleyball and the Miami-Dade Sports Commission has established ticket prices for the Eighth Annual Women’s Pan American Cup to be hosted in the city of Miami from June 26 to July 4. 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 (8,000-seat BankUnited Center) and Florida International University (5,000-seat U.S. Century Bank Arena). 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. A Pan American Cup tournament pass, good for all matches at both venues, is $75 for adults and $60 for children. Tickets for each date of competition at the specific venue (either University of Miami or Florida International University) are $20 for reserved general admission, $12 for adult general admission and $10 for child general admission. Tickets can be purchased online at www.miamisports.org. 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 A will be contested June 26-30 at the University of Miami. 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). Pool B matches will be played June 26-30 at Florida International University. For the full press release, click here.

OLYMPIANS TO TAKE PART IN BOYCE BANQUET: Four-time USA Volleyball Olympians Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) and Lloy Ball (Fort Wayne, Ind.) will take part in festivities surrounding the 64th Annual Dorothy C. Boyce Awards and Recognitions Banquet set for May 21 at the Hilton Minneapolis. The banquet, which recognizes achievements across the sport of volleyball, is presented by Molten and co-sponsored by Mizuno. The Boyce Banquet, using the theme “Beijing Glory,” will celebrate accomplishments at the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as other annual awards presentations. Scott-Arruda and Ball will represent their respective U.S. Olympic Teams, while the head coaches for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Teams – Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) and “Jenny” Lang Ping (Beijing, China) – will take part in the Boyce Moment highlighting Team USA accomplishments at the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Tickets for the banquet, which starts at 6 p.m. CT, costs $70 per person or $490 for a table of eight. For the RSVP invitation, click here. A pre-banquet social and USA Volleyball Foundation Silent Auction precedes the banquet from 4:30-5:50 p.m. on May 21. The silent auction will included autographed Olympic Games memorabilia and USA Volleyball apparel available to the highest bidder. Prior to the silent auction reception and Boyce Banquet, the USA Volleyball Congress will be held on May 21 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hilton Minneapolis. The Congress, which is open to the public, will serve as a vehicle for USA Volleyball to engage its member organizations, with the objective of partnering more effectively in the development and growth of the sport at all levels across all disciplines.

KIRALY JOINS WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM STAFF: Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.), the most decorated player in the history of volleyball and an international legend – both indoor and on the beach – has been named an assistant coach of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team. “We all know how great Karch was as a player, and I strongly believe that he will have similar success in this game as a coach,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “His addition to our staff is a huge boon for this program. His knowledge, experience and drive will be invaluable.” Kiraly has been recognized by many as the greatest volleyball player ever. The FIVB named him as the greatest men’s volleyball player of the sports first century. Kiraly is the only volleyball player –male or female – to win Olympic Games gold medals in both the indoor and beach volleyball disciplines. Further, he is the first volleyball player – and one of only two ever – to win three gold medals in the sport. He is a 2001 inductee into the Volleyball Hall of Fame and a 2008 inductee into the United States Olympic Committee Hall of Fame. “Two things intrigue me most about this position; the first is the opportunity to work under Coach McCutcheon, one of – if not THE – best coaching minds on the planet,” Kiraly said. “The second is the phenomenal potential that exists on the women’s side of American volleyball. High school and club volleyball for women are so advanced in popularity and skill level here in the United States. College volleyball has an NCAA Tournament of 64 teams for its own version of March Madness, along with hundreds of outstanding players.” For the full press release, click here.

USAV, ANAHEIM FINALIZE WOMEN’S TEAM RELOCATION CONTRACT: USA Volleyball and the City of Anaheim are pleased to announce the agreement to bring the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team (Women’s Team) to Anaheim from Colorado Springs has been finalized. The agreement also designates Anaheim as the Exclusive Official Host City for the USA Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball Teams through 2016. “The partnership between the City of Anaheim and the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team contributed significantly to the gold medal success achieved in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, “said Doug Beal, CEO for USA Volleyball. “It is a tribute to Anaheim’s commitment to Olympic sport that they have expanded our existing relationship to also become the Exclusive Official Host of our U.S. Women’s National Team – which establishes a proven foundation for the sustained success of both programs as we look to the London 2012 Games and beyond.” For the full 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 and second in the V-League playoffs. Hisamitsu Springs was one of two teams to represent the V-League in the V-League Top Match series pitting the top two teams from the V-League against the top two teams from the Korean professional league. Hisamitsu Springs lost to Korea’s top-ranked Pink Spiders in four sets on April 18 to open the challenge series. Tom scored seven kills, four blocks and an ace for 12 points in the match. Hisamitsu Springs bounced back to defeat GS Caltex in five sets on April 19. Tom chipped in 10 kills, two blocks and an ace for 13 points. Hisamitsu Springs finished third in the event as all four teams finished with a 1-1 record. The Pink Spiders held a 1.04 point ratio, while GS Caltex had a 1.02 ratio followed by Hisamitsu with a 1.00 ratio and Toray with a 0.94 ratio.

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. Entering the league’s quarterfinal playoff round as the sixth seed, Perugia upset third-seed Foppapedretti Bergamo in four sets on April 15 to begin the playoffs. Willoughby charted 22 kills on 50 attacks to go with three blocks and two aces as part of a 27-point performance. Bergamo knotted the series at one match apiece with a four-set victory on April 17. Willoughby tallied 12 kills and two aces for 14 points in the loss. Bergamo swept Perugia in the series finale on April 19 as Willoughby was held to just nine kills on 21 swings. After her team fell in the Italian Serie A playoffs, Willoughby accepted a role on the Juncos team in the Puerto Rico Super League, which was in its semifinal round. She scored 19 points with 15 kills and three blocks to lead Valencias to a five-set win over Corozal on April 24 to take a 1-0 lead. Willoughby scored 13 points in the second match of the series, a three-set win on April 26. Corozal won the third match in the series with a three-set victory on April 28 as Willoughby was credited with 12 points.

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. After finishing fifth in the regular season, Jesi faced fourth-place Yamamay Busto Arsizio in the quarterfinal playoff round. Behind a near flawless performance by Bown, Jesi opened the best-of-three playoff with a five-set victory on April 15. She scored hammered 16 kills on 24 errorless attempts for a .667 hitting efficiency while adding a block and ace for 18 total points. Arsizio came back to tie the series with a four-set victory on April 17 as Bown was limited to 10 points (seven kills, three blocks). Arsizio advanced to the semifinal round by defeating Jesi in five sets in the rubber match of the quarterfinal round. Bown notched 11 kills and a block for 12 points in the loss.

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. In the last week of the regular season, Castellana Grotte moved into the eighth and final playoff spot setting up a showdown with regular season champion Scavolini Pesaro in the quarterfinals. Scavolini Pesaro won both matches of the quarterfinal in straight sets to knock out Castellana Grotte. Scott-Arruda scored seven points in the first match on April 14 with four kills and team-high three blocks. She contributed 10 kills on 22 attacks in the second match on April 17, in addition to a match-high five blocks for 15 points. Pesaro advanced to the championship playoff round with three straight sweeps of fourth-seed Yamamay Busto Arsizio in the semifinals.

NNAMANI UPDATE: Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.), a two-time U.S. Olympian, is now playing professionally in Turkey for Galatasaray. After upsetting top-seed V. Gunes Sigorta in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs, eighth-seed Galatasaray lost all three semifinal round matches to Fenerbahce Acibadem. After opening the semifinals with a five-set loss, Fenerbahce swept Galatasaray on April 13. Nnamani tallied 14 points in the loss via 12 kills and two aces. She netted 18 points with 14 kills, three aces and a block in the series finale, but Fenerbahce rallied from a 2-1 set deficit to win in five to advance to the league playoff championship series.

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.). After losing its first match against Turk Telekom in the league’s best-of-five semifinal playoffs, Eczacibasi came back to win the next three contests to advance to the championship final round. Eczacibasi won in straight sets on April 13 as Stalls collected five points with four kills on four attacks while adding a block in a starting role. Metcalf did not play in the contest. Eczacibasi rallied from a 2-1 set disadvantage in the third match to win in five sets on April 14. Stalls charted four kills on nine attempts and two blocks for six points in her starting role. Metcalf started and played only in the fourth set and contributed a kill on four attempts. Eczacibasi clinched the playoff series with a four-set victory on April 17. Metcalf was a reserve in the second and third sets while starting the fourth set in yielding 14 points (13 kills, 1 ace). Stalls started the first three sets and tallied a block and ace for two points. In the best-of-five championship playoff series with Fenerbahce Acibadem, Eczacibasi lost the series in four matches. Stalls tallied six points in the opening match, five-set loss on April 21. Metcalf did not play in the contest. Eczacibasi tied the series with a sweep in the second match as Stalls totaled four blocks and three kills on five attacks for seven points. Metcalf tallied two kills on four swings coming off the bench in the third set. Fenerbahce Acibadem won the final two matches in four sets on April 25 and April 28. Metcalf came off the bench in the second set to score 11 points, while Stalls scored two points in just the opening set. Metcalf started the fourth set and was credited with 16 points on 14 kills and two blocks, while Stalls was a reserve in the final three sets contributing one kill.

BUSSE, CRIMES, 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. As the top seed in the playoffs, Toa Baja won five of six matches in the four-team, double round-robin quarterfinal playoffs with the only loss on the final day. Busse scored 10 points against Guaynabo in a quarterfinal sweep on April 8. Crimes chipped in 12 points in a five-set win over Caguas on April 14 and 11 points in a sweep of Juncos on April 17. Busse charted 15 points in a sweep of Caguas on April 18 and a match-high 17 points in a four-set win over Juncos on April 20. Already qualified for the semifinals, Toa Baja sat Crimes and Busse in a three-set loss to Guaynabo on April 22. In the semifinal series versus Carolina, Toa Baja got off to a quick start with a sweep on April 25 as Crimes collected 12 points and Busse added nine. The Llaneras built a two-match lead with a sweep of Carolina on April 27 as Busse tallied 11 points in the victory. Upcoming matches in the playoff series are on April 29 and May 1.

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. Richards scored 12 points and Joines added five points in a three-set loss to Chelyabinsk on April 15 to start the playoff classification for 9th through 12th place. However, Fakel bounced back to defeat Balakova in four sets on April 16 and Dinamo Kaliningrad in five sets on April 17. In the victory over Dinamo, Richards carried her team with 27 points on 24 kills off 46 attempts, two aces and a block. Joines, who only played the first set, added one kill on three swings. Chelyabinsk topped Fakel in three sets on April 25 as Richards scored a match-high 14 points with 13 kills and an ace. Joines added six kills on 10 errorless swings to go with two blocks for eight points in the loss. Balakovo came back to defeat Fakel in a close four-set match on April 26. Richards hammered home 21 kills as part of a 23-point performance and Joines added five points in just the first two sets. Fakel was edged by Dinamo in five sets on April 27 to conclude the playoffs. Richards netted a match-high 23 points with 21 kills on 50 attacks and two aces, while Joines secured two kills in only the first two sets of play.

GLASS UPDATE: Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.), a 2008 U.S. Olympian, is playing professionally in Russia with Universitet Belogorie. She has missed much of the regular season, and during that time, her team has fallen from a tie for first down to sixth in the final standings. During the quarterfinal playoffs, Glass returned to action and scored 16 points versus Uralochka-NTMK in a four-set loss on April 14. In the match, she totaled 12 kills on 27 attacks with just three errors to go with two aces and two blocks. Uralochka-NTMK won the second match in four sets on April 16 to advance to the semifinals. Glass scored 15 points with 11 coming off kills and two each on blocks and aces. In the classification matches for fifth through eighth place, Universitet Belogorie dropped both matches to Indesit as Glass did not play.

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.