U.S. women hold off Peru challenge, 4-0, at Pan Am

June 29, 2009, 10:22 p.m. (ET)

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

MIAMI, Fla. (June 29, 2009) – The United States (4-0) defeated Peru (2-2) 25-22, 25-21, 26-24 on Monday evening during the Eighth Women’s Pan American Cup at the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center.

The victory sets up a key match between undefeated USA and Puerto Rico on the final day of pool play. The USA-Puerto Rico winner will automatically advance to the tournament’s second round and have two days to prepare as July 1 is an off day in the schedule and pool winners receive a bye on July 2.

Five Team USA players reached double-digit scoring in a balanced offense. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) led the U.S. with a match-high 14 points that included 12 kills and two aces. Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah) added 13 points on 12 kills and an ace, while Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) chipped in 13 points. Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) was credited with five blocks as part of an 11-point night, while Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) contributed 10 points with three blocks.

“We expected a tough match from Peru and that is what we got,” U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon said. “Some of our problems tonight are my fault as we are putting in a lot of changes to this team, both in technique and system. I was happy that we found a way to win and battle through the challenge.”

Patricia Soto paced Peru with 11 points, while Yulissa Zamudio added nine points. Leyla Chihuan tacked on eight points in the loss, while teammate Jessenia Uceda put down seven points.

U.S. absorbed every rally from Peru to take the hard-fought three-set match. The Americans held a slim 23-20 lead in the opening set only to have Peru close to one at 23-22. However, Richards and Larson put down back-to-back kills for the set victory.

Team USA led 20-13 in the second set and held off the Peru come back for a 25-21 victory.

Peru led the third set with scores of 5-2, 11-5 and 20-14 only to have the U.S. come back. Larson served during a stretch of seven unanswered points to give the U.S. a 21-20 lead on a Metcalf kill. Metcalf and Harmotto scored consecutive kills giving the U.S. a 24-22 advantage. After Peru held off two match points when down 24-22, the Americans finished off the rally at 26-24 with a Harmotto kill and Peru error.

“Congratulations to the Peru team,” Scott-Arruda said. “Peru presented us with some challenges, and I think it allowed our team to build some character in coming back. We stayed together in the tough moments and found a way to win.”

U.S. out-paced Peru on offense with a 50-31 kill advantage and kept the visitors off-balance with a 4-0 ace margin. However, Peru’s block came alive in the match as part of a 14-8 block advantage.

“We showed a new level of play tonight and limited our errors,” Peru Assistant Coach Natalia Malaga Dibos said. “Tonight’s effort and performance will help our team progress toward the classification round. The U.S. is obviously a strong team at the net, but they played well when needed. We obviously need to fix some areas to get to the next level that they are at.”

United States concludes Pool A action on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, the fifth consecutive pool play match before the classification round starts on July 2. Peru challenges Guatemala (0-4) on Tuesday at 3 p.m. to complete pool play.

Earlier in the day, Mexico (1-3) defeated Guatemala (0-4) 25-23, 25-12, 25-21 for its first win in Pool A, while Puerto Rico (4-0) downed Costa Rica (1-3) 25-21, 25-18, 25-11 to maintain pace with the U.S. in Pool A. Brazil (3-0) handled Trinidad & Tobago (0-3) 25-11, 25-14, 25-9 in Pool B to move into a virtual tie with Dominican Republic (3-0), which was idle tonight. Brazil faces Dominican Republic in the final match of preliminary play to determine Pool B’s automatic berth into the semifinals. Argentina (2-2) edged Canada (0-3) 25-16, 25-22, 23-25, 25-17 to secure a quarterfinal spot.

Pan American Cup pool play, scheduled for June 26-30, is a five-day, round robin preliminary to determine classification round matches. The U.S. Women’s National Team, part of Pool A at University of Miami with matches at BankUnited Center, will compete against Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Puerto Rico in pool action. All U.S. pool matches are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET.

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.

After the preliminary pool round, the Pan American Cup quarterfinal and classification matches are set for July 2, followed by semifinal matches and additional classification matches on July 3. The championship match and final classification round matches are scheduled for July 4. All non-pool matches will be played at University of Miami. Classification round matches will be played on July 2 at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. (all ET). Matches on July 3 and final classification matches on July 4 will be played at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. (all ET).

The Women’s Pan American Cup is a qualifying tournament into the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix and the 2009 Women’s Final Four. The top three NORCECA teams and top team from South America receive berths into next year’s FIVB World Grand Prix. The top two teams from NORCECA, Brazil and the top remaining team from South America qualify for the Final Four to be hosted by Brazil.

Miami will be a busy location for volleyball the last week of June and first week of July. The 2009 USA Junior Olympic Girls’ Volleyball Championships is being played June 26-July 5 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Typically, the tournament attracts 788 teams and approximately 9,500 athletes in addition to parents and relatives. A total of 19 championships are contested in age groups ranging from 12 to 18.

U.S. Women’s National Team Preliminary Roster for Eighth Women’s Pan American Cup
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Hometown, College)
2 – Danielle Scott-Arruda (MB, 6-2, Baton Rouge, La., Long Beach State)
3 – Tayyiba Haneef-Park (OH/OPP, 6-7, Laguna Hills, Calif., Long Beach State)
4 – Angie Pressey (OH, 5-8, Lake Mary, Fla., California)
5 – Stacy Sykora (L, 5-10, Burleson, Texas, Texas A&M)
6 – Nicole Davis (L, 5-6, Stockton, Calif., Southern California)
7 – Heather Bown (MB, 6-3, Yorba Linda, Calif., Hawaii)
8 – Cynthia Barboza (OH, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Stanford)
10 – Kristin Richards (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford)
11 – Jordan Larson-Burbach (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Nebraska)
12 – Nancy Metcalf (OPP, 6-1, Hull, Iowa, Nebraska)
15 – Courtney Thompson (S, 5-7, Kent, Wash., Washington)
16 – Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, Aliquippa, Pa., Penn State)
17 – Nellie Spicer (S, 5-9, Barrington, Ill., UCLA)
19 – Jane Collymore (OH, 5-11, Seattle, Wash., Florida)
Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Assistant Coaches: Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.), Paula Weishoff (Irvine, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek

Women’s Pan American Cup Schedule (all times Eastern Time)

Pool A

(at University of Miami)

Standings: USA 4-0, Puerto Rico 4-0, Peru 2-2, Costa Rica 1-3, Mexico 0-4, Guatemala 0-4

June 26: #1 Puerto Rico def. Guatemala 25-9, 25-15, 25-18
June 26: #2 Peru def. Mexico 25-13, 25-15, 25-10
June 26: #4 United States def. Costa Rica 25-7, 25-6, 25-16
June 27: #6 Peru def. Costa Rica 25-14, 25-10, 25-11
June 27: #7 Puerto Rico def. Mexico 25-18, 25-15, 15-21
June 27: #9 United States def. Guatemala 25-7, 25-12, 25-7
June 28: #11 Costa Rica def. Guatemala 25-16, 25-17, 25-11
June 28: #12 Puerto Rico def. Peru 25-17, 25-19, 25-23
June 28: #14 United States def. Mexico 25-19, 25-14, 25-11
June 29: #16 Mexico def. Guatemala 25-23, 25-12, 25-21
June 29: #17 Puerto Rico def. Costa Rica 25-21, 25-18, 25-11
June 29: #19 United States def. Peru 25-22, 25-21, 26-24
June 30: #21 Guatemala vs. Peru, 3 p.m.
June 30: #22 Mexico vs. Costa Rica, 5:30 p.m.
June 30: #24 United States vs. Puerto Rico, 8 p.m.

Pool B
(at Florida International University)

Standings: Brazil 3-0, Dominican Republic 3-0, Argentina 2-2, Canada 0-3, Trinidad & Tobago 0-3

June 26: #3 Dominican Republic def. Argentina 24-26, 25-13, 25-18, 27-25
June 26: #5 Brazil def. Canada 25-11, 25-12, 25-13
June 27: #8 Argentina def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-6, 25-15, 25-8
June 27: #10 Dominican Republic def. Canada 23-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-21
June 28: #13 Dominican Republic def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-6, 25-7, 25-14
June 28: #15 Brazil def. Argentina 26-24, 18-25, 25-13, 25-18
June 29: #18 Brazil def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-11, 25-14, 25-9
June 29: #20 Argentina def. Canada 25-16, 25-22, 23-25, 25-17
June 30: #23 Canada vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 5:30 p.m.
June 30: #25 Brazil vs. Dominican Republic, 8 p.m.

July 1: Off Day

Classification Rounds
(at University of Miami)
July 2: #26 Pool B 4th vs. Pool A 5th, 1 p.m. (class 5-10)
July 2: #27 Pool A 4th vs. Pool B 5th, 3 p.m. (class 5-10)
July 2: #28 Pool B 2nd vs. Pool A 3rd, 5:30 p.m. (quarterfinals)
July 2: #29 Pool A 2nd vs. Pool B 3rd, 8 p.m. (quarterfinals)
July 3: #30 Loser #26 vs. Loser #27, 11 a.m. (class 9-10)
July 3: #31 Winner #26/#27 vs. Loser #28/#29, 1 p.m. (class 5-8)
July 3: #32 Winner #26/27 vs. Loser #28/#29, 3 p.m. (class 5-8)
July 3: #33 Pool B Winner vs. Winner #28/#29, 5:30 p.m. (semi)
July 3: #34 Pool A Winner vs. Winner #28/#29, 8 p.m. (semi)
July 4: #35 Loser #30 vs. Pool B 6th, 11 a.m. (class 11-12)
July 4: #35 Loser #31 vs. Loser #32, 1 p.m. (class 7-8)
July 4: #36 Winner #31 vs. Winner #32, 3 p.m. (class 5-6)
July 4: #37 Loser #33 vs. Loser #34, 5:30 p.m. (class 3-4)
July 4: #38 Winner #33 vs. Winner #34, 8 p.m. (Final)