U.S. Women's Update - Oct. 14

Oct. 14, 2009, 6:30 p.m. (ET)

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

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Oct. 14, 2009) – The current U.S. Women's National Team Weekly update released on Oct. 14 includes briefs on upcoming U.S. events, player information, trivia questions and much more.

For the complete PDF version including a complete list of players training at the team’s facility at American Sports Centers in Anaheim, the current “They Said It” feature, 2009 season results and other fan interaction sections, click here.

TRIVIA QUESTIONS: 1. How many 2008 U.S. Olympians will be training with the U.S. Women’s National Team at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim as part of the Fall off-season training sessions? 2. Who earned the Best Spiker honor at the 2009 NORCECA Continental Championship? 3. How many different players competed for the U.S. Women’s National Team during the 2009 season? Answers can be found on page four in the full PDF version (click here) of the current U.S. Women’s National Team Weekly update.

U.S. WOMEN KICK OFF FALL TRAINING: A total of 17 players will be part of the U.S. Women’s National Team fall training session. The session started on Oct. 12 and will go through December. Four players – outside hitter Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.), middle blockers Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) and Elisha Thomas (Grass Valley, Calif.), and libero Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) – will only train with the team for part of this week before transferring to their professional volleyball commitments. Other middle blockers training include Jen Joines Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.), Tracy Stalls (Denver), Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) and Mekana Barnes (Highlands Ranch, Colo.). The outside hitter group includes Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.), Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.) and Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif.). Setters in the fall training session are Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.), Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) and Bryn Kehoe (North Bend, Ohio). Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) is the only opposite in training during the fall. The libero position has Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) and Jessica Fine (Tarzana, Calif.) working out at American Sports Centers. U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) is hopeful the current training group will expand during the second phase of the off-season training period starting in mid-January with the addition of current collegiate seniors. “We are committed to building a year-round training program for our National Team players and providing training opportunities for our elite athletes who are unable to compete in professional leagues during the winter months.”

McCUTCHEON TAKES SPOKESMAN ROLE: U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) has taken on the role of spokesman for Human Option’s 2009 Men’s Task Force program “100 Men, 1 Voice, 1 Campaign.” Formed in 2004, the Men’s Task Force is activated each October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month to bring attention to the damaging behavior. The group aims to bring awareness of domestic violence among men. In five years, the campaign has raised $216,000. For more information on the campaign, visit www.humanoptions.org. As part of the Human Option’s latest educational programs is the “Jason’s Story” project, which focuses on teaching teenage male athletes how to understand and control their negative emotions, how to deal with their anger in non-violent ways, and how to have healthy relationships with family, friends and girlfriends. “We are trying to raise awareness and money to combat domestic violence,” McCutcheon said. “We are also using Jason’s Story as an educational tool to teach young men in high school and club sports on how to deal with anger in relationships. Part of the project is to reach people at young age, bring awareness and prevent future domestic violence whenever possible.” According to Steve Churm with Human Options, McCutcheon was selected based on status within the sports world and member of the community. “Hugh is certainly a widely respected sports figure after his success with the U.S. Men’s National Team in Beijing,” Churm said. “He is also a well-respected member of the community here in Southern California, especially in Orange County where volleyball is becoming what we call the mecca for the sport with indoor and beach volleyball being so popular.” Churn is also pleased that the 2009 Men’s Task Force has exceeded its goal of $50,000 for this year. “I am very excited to report that the project has raised over $60,000 with a few days remaining. However, we are not stopping and will continue to look to raise money and awareness for the project.” Individuals can still donate to the cause by going to www.humanoptions.org and clicking the story on McCutcheon for an online donation.

NNAMANI HONORED BY HIGH SCHOOL ALMA MATER: Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.) was honored by University High School, her prep alma mater in Normal, Ill., on Oct. 7. She was inducted into the Pioneer Hall of Fame in a pre-match ceremony as part of the school’s homecoming festivities. Nnamani, a two-time Olympian who helped the U.S. Women’s National Team to the 2008 Olympic Games silver medal, earned the 2000 Gatorade National High School Player of the Year award as a senior at University High. She led her prep squad to state championships in 1999 and 2000. Nnamani, who took this summer off from competition with the U.S. Women’s National Team, has hopes of earning a third Olympic Games roster spot in 2012. Yet, the Stanford University graduate is also looking into attending medical school in the future.

LOGAN TOM SCORES 21: Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) scored 21 points for Asystel Volley Novara on Oct. 10, but it was not enough in a five-set loss to Scavolini Pesaro in a SEAT Supercup 2009 first-round match. Tom connected for 19 kills on 40 attempts for a 48 kill percent. She added two blocks in the match. Tom and Asystel Volley Novara begin the Italian Serie A league schedule on Oct. 18 against Chateau d’Ax Urbino Volley.

UNDERGRADUATE COACHES: Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) and Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.), both middle blockers with the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, are completing their educational degrees this fall at their college alma maters. While school books are part of the routine, Akinradewo and Paolini are also in a teaching role as undergraduate student coaches with their respective college programs. Paolini is assisting University of Texas this fall, while Akinradewo is on the sidelines for Stanford University. Both programs are currently ranked among the top five of the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association top 25 poll. Texas is ranked second, while Stanford is ranked fifth.