U.S. Women's Update - March 30

March 30, 2009, 9:24 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 30, 2009) – The current U.S. Women's National Team Weekly update released on March 30 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. Which member of the U.S. roster heading to Egypt in April 2009 is part of the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Council? 2. Including the upcoming senior national team trip to Egypt, who are the two U.S. Women’s National Team Players who are 6-7 in height? 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: USA Volleyball will send a senior-level volleyball team to Egypt in April as part of an exchange program involving the United States Olympic Committee and the Egyptian National Olympic Committee. The USOC and the Egyptian National Olympic Committee exchange program includes a sport component as well as a cultural component. The program is part of an ongoing effort to build good relations between the USOC and African National Olympic Committees and to promote sport in Africa. 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. The team will play two matches in Cairo against the Egyptian women’s national team. The American squad will depart for Cairo on April 7 and play Egypt on April 10 and 12 in Cairo 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.

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.

U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL A2 TEAM SELECTIONS: USA Volleyball has selected 24 players and four coaches to lead its U.S. Women’s National A2 Program for 2009, which will train May 18-22 in Minneapolis before being split into two 12-player rosters to compete in the Open Division of the 2009 USA Adult Open Championships. The Open Division flight takes place May 23-26 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The 2009 U.S. Women’s National A2 Team includes four setters, 10 outside/opposite hitters, six middles and four liberos. The 24 players come from 19 different collegiate programs. Middle blockers selected for the A2 National program are Johannah Bangert (University of Illinois), Ashley Benson (University of Indiana), Brittnee Cooper (LSU), Neticia Enesi (University of Oregon), Lindsay Fletemier (University of Dayton) and Naomi Washington (Long Beach State University). Setters selected for the A2 squad are Carli Lloyd (University of California-Berkeley), Kaylee Manns (Iowa State University), Sarah Rumely (University of Kentucky) and Paige Weber (University of Arizona). Liberos/Defensive specialists chosen for the A2 program are Haley Carroll (University of San Francisco), Ashley Edinger (University of Illinois), Laura Gonzalez (University of Albany) and Christine Tan (University of Minnesota). Outside hitters and opposites named to the A2 team are Sarah Ammerman (Texas A&M), Michelle Bartsch (University of Illinois), Ashlie Christenson (Baylor University), Laura DeBruler (University of Illinois), Whitney Dosty (University of Arizona), Ellen Herman (Ohio University), Kristy Jaeckel (University of Florida), Ashleigh McCord (Rice University), Tarah Murrey (University of California-Berkeley) and Brooks Webster (University of Alabama). For the complete release, click here.

2010 FIVB WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFICATION UPDATE: The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team will host the four-team FIVB World Championship Third Round - NORCECA Group G, with the winner qualifying for the 2010 FIVB World Championship held in various Japanese cities from Oct. 28-Nov. 11, 2010. As of this date, NORCECA Group G dates and U.S. city location have yet to be announced. The NORCECA Group G will consist of Team USA, Costa Rica, winner of Group D and the second-place team from Group C. St. Lucia earned itself a ticket into the Second Round’s Group D as it won First Round Group B this past weekend with wins over Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada. Group D, which feeds into Team USA’s bracket, will be hosted by Barbados and includes Jamaica, Haiti, Cayman Islands, Bahamas and St. Lucia. A total of 215 teams are taking part in the FIVB World Championship qualification process. The NORCECA qualification process into the FIVB World Championship actually started in December of 2008 as Guatemala won the six-team NORCECA Group E to advance to Third Round NORCECA Group H to be hosted June 10-15 at Dominican Republic. Mexico and the winner of NORCECA Group C round out the four-team field. Other FIVB World Championship Third Round groups through NORCECA include Group F hosted by Cuba on June 19-24 and Group I hosted by Puerto Rico with Canada on June 6-11. The winners of all four third-round groups advance to the 2010 FIVB World Championship Final Round.

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. However, Perugia took a step outside the Italian League action to host the semifinals and championship of the CEV Indesit Champions League on March 28-29. In its semifinal match, Perugia lost to Italy’s Volley Bergamo 25-15, 23-25, 25-17, 26-24. Willoughby scored a team-high 16 points in the loss with 14 kills on 35 attacks and two aces. Perugia bounced back to defeat Turkey’s Eczacibasi Zentiva 25-22, 18-25, 25-22, 25-14 in the bronze-medal match. Willoughby scored 14 points for Perugia in the bronze match with 12 points coming on 34 attacks. She added a block and ace in the victory, while producing a 79 positive percent on a team-leading 29 service receptions. In Italian Serie A action, Perugia is 12-12 on the year and in sixth place with 38 points. It plays 11th-place Solo Affitti Tradeco Cesena on April 5.

BOWN UPDATE: Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.), a three-time Olympian and middle blocker on the silver-medal winning 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, helped her Italian Serie A team Monte Schiavo Banca Marche Jesi to a 25-22, 26-24, 21-25, 17-25, 15-10 victory over Zoppas Industries Conegliano on March 29. She netted 18 points with 17 kills on 28 attacks and just one error. Bown added one block in the victory. Jesi improves to 16-8 on the season with its sixth five-set victory of the season and is in fourth place with 46 points. Jesi challenges eighth-place Unicom Starker Kerakoll Sassuolo on April 5.

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. Castellana Grotte was idle this week as it played its regularly scheduled match with Despar Perugia earlier this season due to a conflict with the CEV Indesit Champions League Finals being held in Perugia this past weekend. Castellana Grotte, 11-13 on the season and in ninth place with 32 points, plays 12th-place Tena Santeramo on April 5 in its next league action.

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.). Eczacibasi Zentiva is idle in Turkish League competition until April 3 when it challenges Besiktas. However, this past weekend it played in the CEV Indesit Champions League semifinals and final round at Perugia. Eczacibasi Zentiva lost its semifinal match to Russia’s Dinamo Moscow 25-16, 25-16, 25-23 on March 28. Stalls tallied five kills on six errorless attacks while starting the entire match. Metcalf was limited to one kill on six swings and did not play the second and third sets. In the bronze-medal match, Eczacibasi Zentiva lost to Italy’s Colussi Sirio Perugia 25-22, 18-25, 25-22, 25-14. Metcalf contributed 11 points with 10 kills and a block, while Stalls had five kills on nine errorless attempts to go with a block for six points.

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.), Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.) and Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) all are sharing a heavy offensive load for Toa Baja. Busse scored a team-high 16 points in leading the Llaneras to a 25-18, 25-21, 25-21 victory over Caguas on March 26. Pressey added seven points in the victory, while Crimes chipped in six points. Toa Baja’s run at an undefeated season came to a halt on March 28 as Carolina came away with a 21-25, 25-14, 20-25, 25-20, 15-7 victory. Pressey notched a team-high 19 points, while Busse added 17 points and Crimes eight points. Carolina’s Nicole Fawcett led all scorers with 26 points, while Erica Short tossed in 14 points. Toa Baja, which two matches remaining in the regular season, still maintains a two-match advantage over Corozal in the loss column (18-1 versus 17-3).

OTHER AMERICAN STANDOUTS IN PUERTO RICO LEAGUE: Sarah Kirkwood scored 10 points to help Juncos to a three-set victory over Guaynabo on March 25…Kristee Porter collected a match-high 22 points while Erin Moore added 18 points as Corozal topped San Sebastian in four sets on March 25. Jane Collymore contributed 18 points for San Sebastian in the loss, while Shonda Cole added 17 points…Jessica VanderKooi was credited for 14 points in assisting Mayaguez to a three-set victory over Ponce on March 24, while former U.S. National Team setter Greichely Cepero had 11 assists and 13 digs in the victory…Erin Moore reached 18 points, including five blocks, in leading Corozal to a three-set victory over Guaynabo on March 27. Patrice Arrington tallied 14 points in the loss…Nicole Fawcett piled up 28 points to lead Carolina to a four-set victory over Bayamon on March 27, while Kylie Atherstone chipped in 16 points and Erica Short 11. Jordan Larson scored 20 points in the loss…Shonda Cole recorded 17 points and Allison Daley chipped in a dozen points in pacing San Sebastian to a three-set victory over Ponce on March 27…Greichely Cepero scored 10 points, 10 digs and four assists in leading Mayaguez to a five-set victory over San Sebastian on March 28. Jessica VanderKooi added 11 points and 12 digs in the win. Jessica Jones scored a match-high 24 points in the loss for San Sebastian, while Jan Colleymore added 19 points and Allison Daley 16 points…Kelly Wing notched 21 points and Sarah Kirkwood added 15 points as Juncos downed Caguas in five sets on March 28. Vicky Brown added 13 points in the victory…Erin Moore totaled 16 points and Kristee Moore added 12 more in leading Corozal to a three-set victory over Bayamon on March 30. Jordan Larson scored a match-high 20 points in the loss…For more highlights from the Puerto Rico Super League, 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. She has played a huge role in turning Hisamitsu Springs’ season around and finishing in second place during the regular season. Hisamitsu Springs will be one of four teams competing in the round-robin Japanese V-League finals. Hisamitsu Springs has a rematch with NEC on April 3, followed by an April 4 contest against league-champion Toray and April 5 contest against fourth-place Denso. Tom ranks fourth in the V-League in scoring (161 points) and seventh in kills per set (4.32 average) categories through the regular season. In addition, she ranks 12th in best blocker (0.55 per set) and 15th in best receiver (69.5 success rate) categories.

HANEEF-PARK UPDATE: Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.), who competed for Pioneer in the Japanese professional volleyball V-League this past winter, ended the regular season as the second best scorer (601 points) in the league. She also ranked third in kills per set (5.17 average), fifth in best server (13.9) and 11th in best attacker (40.3 percent).

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 a 25-20, 25-23, 25-23 match to Leningradka on March 23. Richards scored 23 points with 21 kills coming off 42 attacks with just two errors. She added two blocks to round out a 23-point performance. Joines added four kills on 10 attacks with just one hitting error, along with a block for five points. Fakel is idle until an April 2 match with Indesit.

GLASS UPDATE: Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.), a 2008 U.S. Olympian, is playing professionally in Russia with Universitet Belogorie. Glass’ squad was idle this past week. Her team, which has fallen from a tie for first into a three-way tie for fourth with a 12-8 record, looks to stop a losing skid on April 2 against 10th-place Leningradka.

NNAMANI UPDATE: Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.), a two-time Olympian now playing professionally in Turkey for Galatasaray, will not have a Turkish League match until Galatasaray faces V. Gunes Sigorta on April 2.

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 returns to action after a 13-day break to face Eczacibasi Zentiva on April 3.

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 click 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.