U.S. Women Beaten by Brazil at Grand Prix

Aug. 02, 2009, 11:23 a.m. (ET)

Maura Gladys
Intern, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6886
E-Mail: maura.gladys@usav.org

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 2, 2009) - The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team lost to Brazil 0-3 (18-25, 22-25, 13-25) in a 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix pool play match on Sunday before crowd of 11, 922 at Maracanazihno Gym in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

With the loss, the United States’ record falls to 1-2 after a loss to Germany and a five-set win over Puerto Rico. The win improved host Brazil’s record to 3-0 and it sits atop Pool A at the end of the first weekend. The U.S. Women sit in third place in Pool A and ninth place overall.

Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) led the U.S. Women with 11 points, all of them on kills. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) added 10 points off nine kills and one block. Brazil’s Marianne Steinbrecher led all scorers with 12 points on 10 kills and two blocks.

Brazil led the United States in almost all statistical categories, out-blocking Team USA 7-5 and notching five aces to the United States’ one. The U.S. Women were also hurt by 18 team errors as opposed to Brazil’s 12.

“Our young team played at a reasonable level today,” U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) said. “We have the goal of improving each week and we took a step on this way in this round.”

Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah) added eight points; all of them kills, while Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) added six points on four kills and two blocks. Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) finished with four kills and one block for five points and Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash) finished with the United States’ lone ace of the match.

Libero Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) was credited with 25 digs and four excellent receptions and Thompson had five running sets.

"We played very well in the first two sets of the match but we could not control Brazil in the last frame,” said U.S. team captain Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.).

McCutcheon started Larson and Richards at outside hitter, Akinradewo and Crimes at middle blocker, Fawcett at opposite, Thompson at setter and Davis at libero. Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) and Christa Harmotto both played as substitutes.

The U.S. Women jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the first set, including three kills from Fawcett and a block and kill by Crimes. Brazil came back with three straight points on two U.S. errors and a block, but Team USA reached the technical timeout (TTO) first at 8-6 on another kill by Fawcett. Team USA increased the lead to 13-10, but Brazil went on a 3-0 run on two U.S. errors and a kill to tie the score at 13s. With the U.S. leading 15-14, Brazil scored four straight points, including a block and two kills. McCutcheon called timeout with his team trailing 15-18 and Richards came back with a kill to keep Team USA in the set. But with Brazil leading 20-18, the South Americans scored the final five points of the set behind the serving of Natalia Pereira, who had an ace as well as the set-winning kill.

The U.S. Women again led at the first TTO of the second set, 8-7, behind three kills from Fawcett, one kill each from Larson, Richards and Akinradewo and a block by Crimes. The U.S. Women extended the lead to 13-10, but Brazil used another 3-0 run to tie the score. Team USA held a 16-15 lead at the second TTO. Finally with the score tied 22-22, Brazil gained the lead on a kill by Sheilla Castro. McCutcheon called timeout, but Brazil scored the final two points on a U.S. error and an ace by Sheilla.

The third set did not start out well for the U.S. Women as Brazil’s blockers turned up the heat and carried the team to a 9-5 lead. The U.S. came back with two points on a Brazilian error and Richards kill, but the South Americans fought back with three kills and an ace to lead 13-7. Trailing 8-14, Team USA scored twice on a kill by Fawcett and block from Crimes to make it 10-14. But Brazil scored the next four points on three kills and a block before a Larson kill stopped the run. But the damage was done and the U.S. would only score two more points – on kills by Larson and Crimes – before Brazil got the victory.

The U.S. will continue play on Aug. 7 against Dominican Republic in Li Miao, Chinese Taipei.

More information and photos are available on the FIVB Grand Prix web site.

The U.S. Women's Grand Prix media guide is available on the USA Volleyball web site.

2009 FIVB World Grand Prix
July 31-Aug. 2 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Hometown, College)
1 - Nicole Fawcett (OPP/OH, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State)
4 C - Angela McGinnis (S, 5-11, Fraser, Mich., Florida)
6 - Nicole Davis (L, 5-6, Stockton, Calif., Southern California)
7 - Angie Pressey (OH, 5-8, Lake Mary, Fla., California-Berkeley)
8 - Cynthia Barboza (OH, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Stanford)
9 - Alexis Crimes (MB, 6-3, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Long Beach State)
10 - Kristin Richards (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford)
11 - Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Nebraska)
14 - Heather Hughes (OPP, 6-2, Fallbrook, Calif., Loyola Marymount)
15 - Courtney Thompson (S, 5-7, Kent, Wash., Washington)
16 - Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, Aliquippa, Pa., Penn State)
18 - Foluke Akinradewo (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford)

Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Assistant Coach: Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Beth Launiere (Salt Lake City, Utah) – at Brazil and Chinese Taipei
Assistant Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.) – at Thailand and Finals
Technical Coordinator/Team Leader: Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek

Pool A Standings
Brazil 3-0, 6 points
Germany 2-1 5 points
USA 1-2, 4 points
Puerto Rico 0-3, 3 points

Schedule and Results for U.S. Women's National Team

Pool A - at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Maracanazihno Gym)
July 31: Germany def. USA, 25-15, 25-15, 25-16
Aug. 1: USA def. Puerto Rico, 21-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-14, 15-13
Aug. 2: Brazil def. USA 25-18, 25-22, 25-13

Pool D - at Li Miao, Chinese Taipei (Miao Li Country Gymnasium)
Aug. 7: vs. Dominican Republic, 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 8: vs. Netherlands, 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 9: vs. Germany, 4:30 p.m.

Pool I - at Bangkok, Thailand (Keelawes Gym)
Aug. 14: vs. Russia, 2 p.m.
Aug. 15: vs. Puerto Rico, 2 p.m.
Aug. 16: vs. Thailand, 4:30 p.m.