U.S. Women's Update - Sept. 2

Sept. 02, 2009, 6:12 p.m. (ET)

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

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept 2, 2009) – The current U.S. Women's National Team Weekly update released on Sept. 2 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 stats and other fan interaction sections, click here.

TRIVIA QUESTIONS: 1. Who were the four athletes with remaining collegiate eligibility who trained with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team this past summer? 2. Which member of the U.S. Women’s National Team competing in the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix is listed as a student assistant coach for the college she played for? Answers can be found on page four in the full PDF version of the current U.S. Women’s National Team Weekly update.

FINAL FOUR INTERCONTINENTAL CUP: The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, ranked second in the latest FIVB World Ranking released Aug. 24, is one of four countries which will compete in the four-team 2009 Final Four Intercontinental Cup held Sept. 9-13 at the City Sport Stadium in Lima, Peru. The Final Four Intercontinental Cup comprises teams from the Pan-American Volleyball Union, which includes countries from NORCECA and the South American Volleyball Confederation. NORCECA is represented in the tournament by the Americans and 14th-ranked Dominican Republic. South America is represented by world top-ranked Brazil and 16th-ranked Peru. The teams qualified through the 2009 Women’s Pan American Cup hosted by USA Volleyball in Miami, Fla. The Final Four Intercontinental Cup format starts with a round-robin over the first three days (Sept. 9-11) of the event. Based on the round robin results, the fourth day (Sept. 12) pits ranked teams one versus four and two versus three in the semifinal round. The final and fifth day (Sept. 13) of competition includes the gold- and bronze-medal match. A schedule of the round robin has not yet been released. To read the view Final Four Intercontinental Cup preview, click here.

NORCECA CONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP: The U.S. Women’s National Team will only have a brief break from action following the Final Four Intercontinental Cup in Peru before hitting the competition trail again. Team USA will take part in the 2009 NORCECA Continental Championship held Sept. 22-27 at Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Teams scheduled to compete with the USA in the eight-team tournament include Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Trinidad & Tobago. The NORCECA Continental Championship, held every other year, is a qualifying event with the gold medalist earning a berth into the 2009 FIVB World Championship Cup to be held Nov. 10-15 in Japan.

UPDATED WORLD RANKING: The U.S. Women’s National Team remains in second place in the FIVB World Ranking released Aug. 24. The new ranking takes into consideration the recently completed FIVB World Grand Prix in which top-ranked Brazil won without losing a match in the Final Round. Brazil now holds a 85-point advantage over second-ranked United States, which failed to reach the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round with a young roster. China leaped two spots in the ranking to third place, 16 points behind the Americans, after finishing fifth in the World Grand Prix. Russia jumped four spots to fourth with its impressive second-place finish at the World Grand Prix. Cuba, which failed to qualify for the 12-team World Grand Prix preliminary rounds, dropped two spots into a fifth-place tie with Italy, which also did not compete in the World Grand Prix preliminary rounds. Rounding out the top 10 are No. 7 Japan, No. 8 Serbia, No. 9 Poland and No. 10 Netherlands, which gained five spots in the poll with a fourth-place finish in the World Grand Prix. See page 9 in the full ">PDF version of the current U.S. Women’s National Team Weekly Update for the top 40 world ranking.

RUBENSTEIN NAMED NCAA SEMIFINALIST: Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif.), a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team who turned in 24 points for Team USA during a two-match tour of Egypt in April 2009, is one of 30 semifinalists for the NCAA Woman of the Year award. The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors senior women student-athletes who have excelled in the areas of academic achievement, athletics, service and leadership. Rubenstein, who played collegiately at Pepperdine University, was an AVCA All-America Third-Team selection in 2008 after leading the West Coast Conference in both kills (4.42) and points (5.14) per set. She was a three-time WCC Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient. She held a 3.6 grade point average and graduated from Pepperdine with a degree in liberal arts. Rubenstein was Pepperdine’s first-ever representative on the NCAA’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and was the WCC SAAC chairperson. She volunteered in the community with Habitat for Humanity and the Boys’ and Girls’ Club. Each of the NCAA’s three divisions has 10 semifinalists. The top 30 will be trimmed to nine finalists – three from each division – next month and the recipient of the 19th annual award will be announced during the 2009 NCAA Woman of the Year Awards dinner on Oct. 18 in Indianapolis.

FORMER NATIONAL TEAM MEMBER DRURY-PETKOVIC UPDATE: Sarah Drury-Petkovic, who joined the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team in January 2003 and remained with the squad through the 2007 season, has accepted an assistant coaching position with Indiana University Southeast, a four-year NAIA college located in New Albany, Ind. She joins forces with former University of Louisville teammate and sister Lesley Drury-Prather, who is in her first year leading the program. Drury-Petkovic, an alternate on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team, ranked fourth in the Best Libero category at the 2006 FIVB World Championship and was part of six major international competition medal-winning teams. Click herefor a News and Tribune (Ind.) article on the sister coaching staff.

IN THE GYM: U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) has 30 players training at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim. Out of the group, only five have yet to be named to a USA tournament final roster (O-2bis form) in 2009. For the complete training list, see the left column on the third page of the current Weekly Update issue (pdf version).

STATS – THIS AND THAT: Through the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix, Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) is the USA’s leading scorer in 2009 with 178 points and a 4.45 points per set average … Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) and Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) averaged 0.86 blocks per set apiece. Akinradewo has a team-leading 31 blocks in 36 sets, while Scott-Arruda has 25 blocks in 29 sets … Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) has a team-leading 21 service aces during the 2009 season, resulting in a 0.37 ace average. She also averages a team-leading 4.75 assists per set … Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) has a team-leading .434 hitting efficiency for players with at least 10 sets played. Akinradewo holds a .404 hitting efficiency with 36 sets played … Among hitters with at least 10 sets played and 10 attempts, Jane Collymore (Seattle) has a 53.6 kill percent on 56 attacks to lead the team. Other top kill percentages include Haneef-Park’s 52.8 percent, Christa Harmotto’s (Aliquippa, Pa.) 51.3 percent and Scott-Arruda’s 50.0 … Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) has a team-leading 179 digs for the season, while Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) has added 113. Davis averages 2.59 digs per set, while Sykora averages 2.57 digs per set.

2010 FIVB WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFICATION UPDATE: The 2010 FIVB World Championship, set for various cities in Japan between Oct. 29 and Nov. 14, 2010, has all 24 teams qualified for the event through zonal qualification tournaments being held in 2009 after the final two stages concluded on Aug. 30 with Canada, Costa Rica, Korea and Kazakhstan earning the final four spots. The U.S. qualified for the FIVB World Championship by winning the third-round NORCECA Pool G qualification tournament held last month at Orlando, Fla. Other NORCECA teams qualified for next year’s World Championship are Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Europe has finalized its nine entries into the World Championship through the CEV’s qualification process. Italy, Serbia, Turkey and Germany all won their third round CEV pools, while second-place finishers Czech Republic, Croatia, Poland and Netherlands also advanced to next year’s event. Russia, as the reigning World Championship winners, is automatically granted a spot to defend its title. In Africa, Kenya and Algeria won their third-round qualification tournaments to advance to the World Championship. The Asian Confederation (AVC) has qualified China, Kazakhstan, Korea and Thailand. As the World Championship host, Japan will also take part in the event held every four years.

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 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.