U.S. Women's Update - June 15

June 15, 2009, 9:23 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 15, 2009) – The current U.S. Women's National Team Weekly update released on June 15 includes briefs on upcoming U.S. events, trivia questions and much more.

For the complete PDF version that includes the trivia question answers, complete list of players training at the team’s facility at American Sports Center in Anaheim, 2009 season stats and other fan interaction sections, click here.

TRIVIA QUESTIONS: 1. How many U.S. Women’s National Team players have been named to all three 2009-season opening 19-player preliminary rosters (Pan American Cup, FIVB World Championship Qualification Tournament, FIVB World Grand Prix)? 2. What is U.S. Women’s National Team setter Nellie Spicer’s brother-in-law Wade best known for? Answers can be found on page three in the full PDF version (click here) of the current U.S. Women’s National Team Weekly update.

U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM SCRIMMAGE: The U.S. Women’s National Team will play an intrasquad scrimmage at JSerra High School at 7 p.m. PT on Saturday, June 20, at San Juan Capistrano, Calif. The scrimmage will serve as a final tune-up before the team leaves for Florida on June 24 to compete in the Eighth Women’s Pan American Cup in Miami and the FIVB Women’s World Championship Qualification Tournament’s Third Round NORCECA Pool G in Orlando. The Pan Am Cup will be contested from June 26 until July 4, while the FIVB World Championship Qualification Tournament is scheduled for July 6-8. Tickets can be purchased for $10 and proceeds help benefit the host JSerra High School boys’ and girls’ volleyball teams.

PREVIEW OF 2009 EARLY SEASON TOURNAMENTS: The U.S. Women’s National Team basked in the glory of winning the silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. However, 2009 is the start of a brand new Olympic quadrennial for every country seeking to reach the 2012 Olympic Games podium. For the U.S. Women’s National Team, some changes have already occurred within the program. Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) has taken over the position of head coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team after leading the U.S. Men to the Olympic Gold Medal in Beijing. In addition, legend Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.) has agreed to serve as the program’s assistant coach with Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.) shifting roles from the Men’s Team to the Women’s Team as assistant coach/technical coordinator. McCutcheon and Kiraly are in their first years coaching a women’s program, but both are certainly not new to volleyball with their unrivaled resumes. What the U.S. coaching staff has working for them is a vast talent pool of athletes – both veterans and newcomers - striving to put the U.S. back on the medal podium at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. McCutcheon has already provided evidence he wants to evaluate as many players as possible. In a goodwill trip to Egypt in April 2009 arranged by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), he formed a 12-player roster that included nine players who concluded their collegiate careers five months earlier and only two Olympians. The results: two victories over the Egyptian National Team as all 12 players saw court time and 11 started at least one match. In the meantime, veteran U.S. players who played professionally overseas this winter have filtered back into their new training center located in Anaheim, the American Sports Centers. In a condensed time span, McCutcheon has the chore of bringing everyone together – veterans and newcomers – to form a cohesive unit in preparation for a busy summer of volleyball that includes two domestic tournaments and the FIVB World Grand Prix. In the fall, the U.S. has confirmed spots to compete in the NORCECA Continental Championship and the FIVB Grand Champions Cup. Team USA begins its summer with consecutive tournaments in Florida, starting with the Eighth Women’s Pan American Cup staged in Miami June 26-July 4. After a day of travel to Orlando, the U.S. hosts the four-team, NORCECA Pool G of the FIVB World Championship Qualification Tournament July 6-8 at University of Central Florida, with the winner advancing to the 2010 FIVB World Championship held in Tokyo. For the entire release and preliminary rosters for the two events, click here.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFICATION TOURNAMENT FIELD SET: The FIVB World Championship NORCECA Pool G qualification tournament, scheduled for July 6-8 at University of Central Florida Arena in Orlando, has finalized the four-team round-robin field with a berth into the 2010 FIVB World Championship at stake. The U.S. Women’s National Team and Costa Rica, based on ranked in NORCECA (North, Central Amercia and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation), automatically qualified for the third round of NORCECA qualification. Netherlands Antilles finished second in NORCECA Pool C to advance to Pool G. On June 14, Barbados defeated Jamaica to win Pool D. Match times will be 5 p.m. ET and 7:30 p.m. ET, with the United States playing the second match each day. Team USA opens on July 6 versus Netherlands Antilles, followed by Barbados on July 7 and Costa Rica on July 8. The third-round pool winner will advance to the 2010 FIVB World Championship held Oct. 29-Nov. 14 in Japan. For further details, click here.

USAV NAMES WORLD GRAND PRIX PRELIMINARY ROSTER: U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon has announced the team’s 19-player preliminary roster for the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix, the premier annual international volleyball tournament for women. The 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix involves 12 national teams playing a total of 69 matches over four consecutive weekends in 10 cities. The preliminary rounds are set to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Kielce, Poland and Ningbo, China, on the first weekend, Miao Li, Chinese Taipei, Macau, China, and Osaka, Japan, the second weekend and Hong Kong, Mokpo, Korea and Bangkok, Thailand, the third weekend. McCutcheon has elected to use a young, but very talented roster for the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix. The preliminary roster includes 2008 Olympic Games members Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) and Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) vying for the libero position. Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa), a 2004 Olympic Games roster, and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) are the two pure opposites on the roster. At setter, Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.), Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) and Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) are the three players competing for spots on the final FIVB World Grand Prix roster. Outside hitters on the preliminary roster include Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.), Jane Collymore (Seattle, Wash.), Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Pa.), Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.), Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.) and Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah). The six middle blockers vying for court time for the U.S. in the World Grand Prix are Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.), Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Tracy Stalls (Denver, Colo.) and Elisha Thomas (Grass Valley, Calif.). For the full release, click here.

McCUTCHEON PRESENTED USOC NATIONAL COACHING HONOR: USA Volleyball Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand), who led the U.S. Men’s National Team to the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games before taking over the U.S. Women’s Team in December 2008, was presented the 2008 National Coach of the Year by the U.S. Olympic Committee on June 13 at Pittsburgh, Pa., as part of the 2009 National Coaching Educators’ Conference. McCutcheon, 39, is the first volleyball coach to receive the award since the program was initiated in 1996. “It’s a wonderful honor,” McCutcheon said from his office at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif. “I think in very large part it reflects the work and the success of the team and the staff. While it’s nice to get singled out for this individual award, I am certainly accepting it on behalf of everyone who was part of that program.” As head coach of the 2008 U.S. Men's Volleyball Team, McCutcheon guided the squad to the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing - the first gold medal for the team since 1988.

LOGAN TOM FEATURED IN VOLLEYBALL MAGAZINE: Volleyball Magazine featured three-time U.S. Olympic team player Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) on its July 2009 cover and inside pages. To read the article, visit click here.

HOOKER WINS NCAA HIGH JUMP CHAMPIONSHIP: Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas), who trained with the U.S. Women’s National Team in the spring of 2008 in a bid to make the 2008 Olympic Games roster, captured the 2009 NCAA Division I Outdoor High Jump championship with a leap of 6 feet, 4 ¾ inches. She has won the event three times in the last four years – she redshirted last season to concentrate on her volleyball endeavors. To read the article, click here.

TEXAS Q&A WITH PAOLINI: The University of Texas featured Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) in a question-and-answer feature segment dated June 8 on its Web site. To read her answers to questions ranging from the opportunity to train with USA Volleyball this summer to working with 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 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.