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

Feb. 02, 2010, 4:52 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 2, 2010) – The current U.S. Women's National Team Weekly update released on Feb. 2 includes briefs on the team's tour of China, U.S. players competing overseas, player information, Volley-Tweets, 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 U.S. international transfer list, 2009 season stats and other fan interaction sections, click here.

TRIVIA QUESTIONS: 1. Which U.S. Women’s National Team player was raised on an ostrich farm? 2. Which member of the U.S. Women’s National Team is a concert pianist, having played with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra on four occasions? 3. Which current U.S. Women’s National Team player has won a gold and silver medal at the USA Adult Open Volleyball Championships’ Open Division? 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.

TEAM USA EXHIBITION VERSUS EVERGRANDE: The U.S. Women’s National Team, on a training trip to China, lost to Evergrande Volleyball Club 25-20, 25-14, 25-19 on Feb. 2 in an exhibition match at the new Guangzhou Gymnasium in Guangzhou, China. Evergrande is a professional team in the Chinese pro league coached by 2008 U.S. Olympic Games Head Coach Lang Ping. The team also includes 2008 U.S. Olympic Games silver medalist Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) playing libero and U.S. Women’s National Team middle blocker Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.). Further, Evergrande’s roster includes Feng Kun, Zhou Suhong and Yang Hao, who all won gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games and bronze medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in their home country. In contrast, the U.S. Women’s National Team competing against Evergrande was a young training roster void of past Olympians who are working toward spots on the 2012 Olympic Games roster. Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.), one of three players who joined the U.S. Women’s National Team last week but will return to college on return to the U.S., paced the American offense with 15 points, all coming on kills with a 41 percent conversion rate. She added 19 reception attempts with a 47 percent positive mark and nine digs. Jill Collymore (Bellevue, Wash.), who began training with Team USA on Jan. 11, added nine points in the match with eight kills and a block in a reserve role. Cheryl Weaver (Washington, D.C.), playing her first international competition with Team USA since 2002, chipped in four kills on 10 attempts and a team-high three blocks for seven points. Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.) contributed five kills on 12 attempts with just one error to go with a block. She also had a match-high 30 reception attempts with a 57 percent positive rating. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.), who will return to Penn State with Hodge to finish their academic work, posted a kill, block and ace for three points while serving as the starting setter. Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) charted two points and six digs, while Tracy Stalls (Denver) rounded out the scoring with one point. Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) had a team-high 13 digs with a 72 positive reception percent on 18 attempts. For the complete story, click here.

SCRIMMAGE VERSUS EVERGRANDE: The U.S. Women’s National Team lost to Evergrande Volleyball Club 26-24, 25-23, 21-25, 26-24 on Jan. 31 in a scrimmage prior to the official exhibition match on Feb. 2 at Guangzhou, China. Jill Collymore (Bellevue, Wash.) led the U.S. in the Evergrande scrimmage with 16 points via 11 kills, two aces and three blocks from her opposite position. Cheryl Weaver (Washington, D.C.) added 12 kills on 22 attempts and three blocks for 15 points as she connected for a .455 hitting efficiency and 54.5 kill percent from her middle blocker position. Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) scored all 11 of her points on kills while splitting opposite duties with Collymore. For the complete story, click here.

SCRIMMAGE VERSUS HONG KONG: The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated a professional team from Hong Kong 25-11, 25-17, 25-6 in a friendly scrimmage on Jan. 30. Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) and Tracy Stalls (Denver) led the offense for Team USA with 15 points apiece. Hodge tallied 12 kills on 18 attacks with one error to go with three blocks in starting and playing in just the first two sets at outside hitter. She added five digs and seven reception attempts with a 43 positive reception percent. Stalls contributed nine kills on 10 errorless attempts to go with three blocks and three aces while starting all four sets at middle blocker. Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.), who started the first two sets at opposite, tacked on 11 points with 10 kills and a block. Jill Collymore (Bellevue, Wash.), who started the final two sets at opposite, added nine kills on 12 attempts to go with a block. For the complete story, click here.

UPDATE TO INTERNATIONAL TRANSFER LIST: The official international transfer list expanded this week with several athletes completing the paperwork to compete in Puerto Rico and Spain. New processed transfers competing in Puerto Rico include Sarah Ammerman (Ponce Leonas), Aneli Cubi-Otineru (Guaynabo), Sonja Newcombe (Ponce Leonas), Kristee Porter (Pinkin de Corozal) and Kaitlin Sather (Pinkin de Corozal). Spain transfers include Am’ra Solomon (JAV Olimpico IES Simon Perez) Naomi Washington (Voleibol Finestrat) and Ashley Woods (Club Voleibol Benidorm). Further, Caley Carter-Knudsen has signed to play for Kuusamon Pallokarhut Ry. in Finland. Kara Uhl has left Karsiyaka Spor Kulubu in Turkey. International transfers are not official and cannot be released by USA Volleyball until all paperwork has been completed. For the full transfer list that has been approved, see the PDF version of the current U.S. Women’s Team Weekly Update.

UPDATE TO SECOND TRAINING SESSION ROSTER: A total of 19 players are currently training with the U.S. Women’s National Team during its second winter training block that ends April 9. The team training sessions held at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif., are open to the public. Training times are generally Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., while Fridays often vary on times and location. Middle blockers include Tracy Stalls (Denver, Colo.), Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Cheryl Weaver (Washington, D.C.), Mekana Barnes (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Brittnee Cooper (Houston). Outside hitters/opposites include Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.), Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.), Katie Wilkins Kimmich (Lakeside, Calif.), Brittany Moore (Orange, Calif.), Jill Collymore (Bellevue, Wash.) and Airial Salvo (Farmington, Utah). The setters training include Bryn Kehoe (North Bend, Ohio) and Nicole Vargas (Seal Beach, Calif.). The libero position has Jessica Fine (Tarzana, Calif.) and Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) training with the U.S. Women’s National Team. Further, Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.), Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) and Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) will join the training team in February. Davis and Harmotto, who play for Evergrande in the Chinese professional league, will return to Anaheim after facing their own teammates in the Feb. 2 exhibition. After the conclusion of the team’s training trip to China, setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) and outside hitters Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) and Ellen Herman (Toledo, Ohio) will return to their respective colleges to complete their senior academic year. The training group could expand at the end February following the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts set for Feb. 19-21 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

NATIONAL TEAM OPEN TRYOUTS ROSTER: USA Volleyball will hold its largest-ever single tryout for the U.S. Women’s National Team held Feb. 19-21 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Open Tryout has 47 middle blockers, 42 outside hitters, 40 liberos, 30 setters and 15 opposites for a total of 174 athletes participating. A total of 80 colleges are represented among the tryout participants. Hugh McCutcheon, the U.S. Women’s National Team head coach, will lead the evaluation process for the tryout. Karch Kiraly (U.S. Women’s National Team) and Jamie Morrison (U.S. Women’s National Team) will also take part in the player evaluations. As part of the tryout, athletes will compete for spots on the U.S. Women’s Volleyball National Team program and the U.S. Women’s Senior A2 teams. The U.S. Women’s National Team program is open to athletes who have concluded their college eligibility and who wish to train full-time. This program could begin as early as February 2010, or when an athlete’s scholastic or professional club season has concluded. Athletes who will have remaining collegiate eligibility may still participate in the program with participation beginning May 2010 or when their scholastic calendar ends. Athletes in college with collegiate eligibility remaining for the 2010 season and not selected to the USA Women’s National Team may be invited to participate in the USA Senior A2 Team. This program is tentatively scheduled to take place in Phoenix from May 24 through June 2. A projected 24 athletes will be invited to participate in the program, which will include training and competition in the 2010 USA Adult Open Championships in the Open Division from May 29-June 1. USA Volleyball considers the event as the National Championship for the sport of volleyball in the United States. The U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryout is the only path for a collegiate volleyball player with remaining eligibility to access the U.S. National Team and have an opportunity to be named to the 2010 FIVB World Championship to be played Oct. 29-Nov. 14. For the complete press release, click here.

BARBOZA STARTS PROFESSIONAL CAREER: Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.), an outside hitter with the U.S. Women’s National Team and alternate on both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games rosters, is playing in her first professional volleyball season in Japan V-League with Toray. Barboza pocketed three points as Toray battled past NEC 25-21, 25-19, 20-25, 17-25, 15-12 on Jan. 30. She tallied two kills on seven attacks to go with one block as a sub in the third and fourth sets. Barboza charted 11 points in a 25-23, 17-25, 25-17, 27-25 victory over Denso on Jan. 31. As a starter in all four sets, she tallied nine kills on 23 swings and two blocks. Toray, now 9-5 on the season and in a tie for third place with Denso, travels to Fukuoka on Feb. 6 and Feb. 7 for matches against league-leader and undefeated JT and eighth-place Toyota.

BERG PUSHING ITALIAN TEAM TO TOP: Lindsey Berg (Honolulu), a setter on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team which won the silver medal in Beijing, is playing for MC-Carnaghi Villa Cortese of the Italian Serie A professional league this winter. Villa Cortese started the Italian Cup quarterfinals on Jan. 27 with a 21-25, 25-16, 25-17, 25-21 victory over Asystel Volley Novara as Berg set her team to a 52 kill percent and .395 hitting efficiency. Villa Cortese had only eight hitting errors in the final three sets. The two teams complete the quarterfinal home-and-home series on Feb. 3 at Villa Cortese. During the Italian Serie A schedule, Villa Cortese topped Zoppas Industries Conegliano 25-19, 32-30, 25-18 on Jan. 31 to move into second place in the league standings with 29 points and a 10-4 record. Berg set Villa Cortese to a 40 kill percent for the match. Villa Cortese plays 10th-place CGF Recycle Florens Castellana Grotte on Feb. 7 in the next Serie A regular season match. To follow Berg throughout the season, check out her blog at lindseyberg.blogspot.com.

TOM, ASYSTEL VOLLEY NOVARA: Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah), a three-time Olympian and member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Games silver medal roster, is competing for Asystel Volley Novara in the Italian Serie A professional league this winter. On Jan. 27 in the first match of the Italian Cup quarterfinal round, Tom scored 13 points on 11 kills and two blocks in a four-set loss to Asystel Volley Novara. The teams complete the home-and-home series on Feb. 3 at Villa Cortese. During the regular Italian Serie A schedule, Novara downed CFG Recycle Florens Castellana Grotte 28-26, 25-20, 25-23 on Jan. 31. Tom scored 10 kills, three blocks and an ace for 14 points. Novara improves to 8-6 on the season and is in a tie for sixth place with 22 points. Novara challenges ninth-place Riso Scotti Pavia on Feb. 7 in the next Serie A regular season match. In CEV Indesit Champions League play, Novara has a round of 12 home-and-home series versus Poland’s Enion Energia Dabrowa Gornicza on Feb. 9 and Feb. 16. Novara’s round of 12 opponent finished third in the first-round Pool B with a 2-4 record. Novara won the first-round Pool D with a 4-2 record.

BOWN COMPETING FOR JESI: Heather Bown (Yorba Linda,Calif.), a three-time Olympian with the U.S. Women’s National Team, is competing for Monte Schiavo Banca Marche Jesi in the Italian Serie A professional league. Bown scored eight points in a 25-22, 25-18, 25-15 victory over Yamamay Busto Arsizio on Jan. 27 as the teams opened the Italian Cup quarterfinal round. The teams finish the home-and-home series on Feb. 3 at Jesi. Ironically, the teams also squared up in the Italian Serie A regular season schedule on Jan. 31 with Busto Arsizio rallying for a 25-16, 14-25, 23-25, 25-17, 15-13 victory. Bown netted 15 points in the loss with 13 kills on 27 attempts with just one error. She added two blocks in the match. With the loss, Jesi falls to 9-5 on the season and into third place with 27 points. Jesi’s next regular season match is on Feb. 7 against 11th-place Zoppas Industries Conegliano.

NNAMANI, GLASS PACING PROSTEJOV IN CZECH REPUBLIC: Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.) and Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.) continue to lead their Czech Republic professional team Prostejov to a 18-0 start. Prostejov won two league matches last week to remain undefeated. On Jan. 28, Prostejov defeated TJ MIttal Ostrava 25-16, 25-10, 25-9 victory. Glass scored a team-high 14 points with kills kills on 16 swings for an 88 kill percent. She added an 80 percent positive service reception. Nnamani chipped in 10 points in the victory with nine kills on 14 swings and a block. For the match Prostejov converted 76 percent of its attacks into points (47 kills, 8 errors, 62 swings). Prostejov swept Prerovsky Volejbalovy 25-19, 25-19, 25-6 on Jan. 30. Glass tallied a match-high 18 points with eight kills on 16 errorless swings, five blocks and five aces. Nnamani tallied two blocks while playing in only the third set. Prostejov, with a four-match lead in the regular season standings, has only two matches remaining in the Czech Republic league regular season with Olymp Praha on Feb. 4 and Sterbberk on Feb. 6. In CEV Indesit Champions League action, Prostejov plays Italy’s Scavolini Pesaro on Feb. 11 and Feb. 18 in a home-and-home series during the Playoff 12 round.

RICHARDS, SYKORA HELPING OMICHKA TO RUSSIAN FOREFRONT: Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah), an outside hitter and 2008 U.S. Olympic Team alternate, and three-time U.S. Olympian Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) are playing in the Russia Super League with Omichka in Omsk. Omichka lost twice during the past week with the first setback being 26-24, 25-17, 25-17 on Jan. 27. In the second match of the week, Omichka let a five-set match slip away to Avtodor 23-25, 12-25, 25-23, 29-27, 15-9 after winning the first two sets. Omichka is now in second place in the Russian Super League with a 10-4 record and 24 points. Omichka looks to return to the win column on Feb. 7 against sixth-place Uralochka-NTMK.

FAWCETT SCORING IN RUSSIA: Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio), a U.S. Women’s National Team player, continues to pay dividends for Dinamo-Yantar after joining the team in mid-season. She scored 19 points with 16 kills, two blocks and an ace in a four-set loss to Leningradka on Jan. 27. She converted 41 percent of her attacks into points while holding a 50 percent positive service reception on 14 attempts. Yantar bounced back to Indesit 25-19, 17-25, 25-17, 25-21 on Jan. 31. Fawcett scored four points in the victory over Indesit. Yantar improved to 6-8 on the season with the victory and now has 20 points for eighth place. Yantar meets third-place Zarechie-Odintsovo on Feb. 5 in its next Russian Super League match.

LARSON PUSHING DINAMO KAZAN TO NEW HEIGHTS: Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) is playing in her first professional season of her career in the Russia Superliga with Dinamo Kazan. She helped her squad to rally from two sets down to defeat Avtodor 19-25, 23-25, 25-20, 25-14, 15-7 on Jan. 27. Kazan won its second straight match of the week on Jan. 31 as it defeated Uralochka 24-26, 25-23, 25-17, 25-18. Larson was credited with 15 kills on 35 attempts with just three errors to go with a block and ace for 17 points. She also had 36 receptions without an error and a 64 percent excellent rating. With its two wins, Kazan is now in seventh place with a 7-7 record and 21 points in the league standings. Kazan faces ninth-place University-Technolog on Feb. 7 in its next match.

DAVIS, HARMOTTO WITH LANG PING: Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.), the libero on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team that won the silver medal, and Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) are playing for Guangdong Evergrande Volleyball Club in the Chinese Professional League under the direction of “Jenny” Lang Ping, who served as head coach for Team USA at the 2008 Olympic Games. Evergrande finished its regular season with a 12-0 record and has secured a place in next year’s Chinese League A Division after clinching the Division B 2009-2010 title. Davis and Harmotto now return to the United States to resume training with the U.S. Women’s National Team in Anaheim. Established in 2009, the Evergrande team is the first of its kind in the Anta China Women’s Volleyball League as it is the only non-provincial/city-run team. Despite being in the B Division of the league, the squad has received unprecedented media coverage as Central Chinese Television (CCTV) has rebroadcast all of the team’s home matches.

METCALF GEARING UP FOR BRAZIL START: Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa), a member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Games roster, is in Brazil playing for Usiminas/Minas of the Brazilian Superliga. Usiminas lost to Voeli Futuro 25-20, 26-24, 25-18 on Jan. 28 as Metcalf had a club-high nine points on six kills, two blocks and an ace. Usiminas rebounded to top Praia Clube 25-20, 25-18, 25-22 on Jan. 30 to improve to 7-5 on the season. Metcalf collected 12 points in the victory with 10 kills on 25 swings and two blocks. Metcalf ranks second in the Brazilian Superliga in scoring with 165 points with 141 kills, 22 blocks and two aces – just three points behind league-leader Tandara Caixeta. Usiminas is in fourth place in the league standings without a match remaining in the first half of the league. However, Volei Futuro and Blausiegel each have seven wins with one and two matches remaining in the first half, respectively.

TRIVIA ANSWERS: 1. Cassie Busse was raised on an ostrich farm in Prior Lake, Minn.; 2. Jill Collymore played with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra on four occasions; 3. Brittnee Cooper (gold in 2008, silver in 2009) with U.S. Women’s National A2 Team