Manager, Media Relations and Publications
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (July 16 2007)
photo US Volleyball
The U.S. (2-1), grouped into Pool B of the eight-team women’s volleyball tournament, finished second in Pool B following the Cuba match. Team USA had already qualified for the semifinals regardless of the outcome with Cuba.
After an off-day on July 17, the U.S. returns to action against Brazil in semifinal action on July 18 at either 3 p.m. or 10 p.m. Brazil won Pool A to qualify for the semifinals. The championship and bronze medal matches will take place on July 19.
Cuba never trailed in the opening 25-16 set as the Americans only scored consecutive points once in the period. The U.S. battled back from a 17-13 deficit in the second set and tied it at 20-all, but Cuba scored the final two points of the set for a 25-23 victory. Cuba scorched to a 7-1 lead in the final set and never allowed the Americans back into the match.
Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) led Team USA with 10 points on nine kills and an ace. Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) eight points on seven kills and an ace to go with a team-high five digs. Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) turned in seven points all on kills, while Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) contributed three kills and two blocks. Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) added four points with three kills and a block. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) was credited with 16 assists and four digs.
“Our inexperienced showed tonight against a very good and experienced Cuba team,” said Sue Woodstra, who is serving as the head coach for the U.S. National Team at the Pan American Games. “Cuba is playing well, and our inexperience showed especially in difficult situations such as the second set.”
Woodstra started Scott-Arruda and Akinradewo at middle blocker, Haneef-Park and Barboza at outside hitter, Busse at opposite and Thompson at setter. Fenton Michaelis is the U.S. designated libero for the tournament. Lindsey Hunter (Papillion, Neb.) and Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.) subbed into the match in all three sets on double switches.
Cuba held a 49-29 advantage in kills on offense and held defensive advantage of 12-3 in blocks and 31-17 in digs.
Cuba had four players reach double-figure points with Yumilka Ruiz, Yanelys Santos and Rosir Calderon all tallying a dozen. Zoila Barros charted 11 points in the win, while Nancy Carrillo tossed I nine points.
“We will be ready to play hard against Brazil on Wednesday,” Woodstra said. “We will learn from today that we need to play with concentration and intensity at all times. I know the atmosphere will be great in playing in front of the home Brazil crowd, just as it has been for the whole tournament.”
Earlier today, Puerto Rico defeated Costa Rica 25-14, 25-19, 25-14 in Pool B play. Brazil swept Mexico 25-16, 25-15, 25-17, while Peru plays Dominican Republic later tonight at 9 p.m. ET.
Cuba picked up the first two-point cushion of the first set at 4-2, only to see the U.S. tie it at 4-all on a Scott-Arruda kill off the block. Cuba reached the technical timeout on a 2-0 run with an 8-6 lead. The Cubans extended the lead to four points at 12-8 via a 3-0 run. Cuba scored three consecutive points to extend the margin to six points at 18-12. Cuba inched the lead out to eight at 23-15 with a 3-1 run and closed out the set at 25-16.
Cuba opened with a 2-0 lead, but it was erased with an Akinradewo kill and Haneef-Park ace. The U.S. assumed its first lead of the match at 4-3 in the second set as Cuba allowed a ball to fall between two attackers, then Akinradewo followed with an ace that hit the net and trickled over for a 5-3 lead. Cuba answered with three unanswered points to halt the U.S. momentum leading to a timeout down 6-5. Out of the break, Cuba scored a kill and ace going into the technical timeout leading 8-5. Team USA closed back to within one at 11-10 as Akinradewo pushed a kill down the line, followed by a Cuba attack outside the antenna. The U.S. tied the set at 12-all after Busse pounded a kill off the block and Barboza took advantage of an overpass for a kill. Cuba responded by scoring three consecutive points leading into the technical timeout up 16-13. The lead was pushed to four out of the break and was halted by a Barboza kill at 17-14. Team USA closed to one at 20-19 as Barboza hammered a kill from behind the three-meter line, followed by a Thompson ace and combined block from Akinradewo and Busse. After a Cuba timeout, Haneef-Park tied the score at 20-all with a cross-court kill. The teams traded points through Cuba gaining the first set point at 24-23, then saved a Marcie Hampton kill attempt and turned it around for a kill to end the set 25-23.
Similar to set two, Cuba opened with a 2-0 advantage in the third set. Cuba jumped the lead to five at 6-1 as three consecutive attack errors forced Team USA into a timeout. Cuba blocked a U.S. attack out of the break to go up 7-1. The Cubans went on a 3-0 spurt to assume a commanding 10-2 advantage. Cuba cruised the rest of the set holding as much as an 11-point lead.
To view the U.S. Women’s National Team Press Kit for the Pan American Games, go to http://www.usavolleyball.org/media/national/07PanAmGamesPressKit.pdf.
2007 U.S. Women’s National Team Pan American Games Roster
# - Name (Position, Height, College, Hometown
2 – Danielle Scott-Arruda (Middle Blocker, 6-2, Long Beach State, Baton Rouge, La.)
3 – Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Outside Hitter, 6-7, Long Beach State, Laguna Hills, Calif.)
4 – Charnette Fair (Opposite, 5-11, Minnesota, Atlanta, Georgia)
5 – Kristen Fenton Michaelis (Libero, 5-11, Fresno State, Marysville, Mich.)
6 – Foluke Akinradewo (Middle Blocker, 6-3, Stanford, Plantation, Fla.)
7 – Laura Tomes (Middle Blocker, 6-2, Oklahoma, Sioux City, Iowa)
10 – Cynthia Barboza (Outside Hitter, 6-0, Stanford, Long Beach, Calif.)
12 – Kimberly Noble (Outside Hitter, 5-11, San Jose State, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
13 – Marcie Hampton (Outside Hitter, 6-1, Florida, Gainesville, Fla.)
15 – Courtney Thompson (Setter, 5-8, Washington, Kent, Wash.)
16 – Lindsey Hunter (Setter, 5-10, Missouri, Papillion, Neb.)
18 – Cassie Busse (Opposite, 6-1, Minnesota, Prior Lake, Minn.)
Pool A Standings
Dominican Republic 1-1
Pool A Schedule
July 14: Dominican Republic def. Mexico, 25-23, 25-18, 25-19
July 14: Brazil def. Peru, 25-15, 25-19, 25-12
July 15: Peru def. Mexico, 25-16, 25-23, 25-17
July 15: Brazil def. Dominican Republic, 28-26, 25-16, 25-15
July 16: Brazil def. Mexico, 25-16, 25-15, 25-17
July 16: Peru vs. Dominican Republic, 10 p.m.
Pool B Standings
United States 2-1
Puerto Rico 1-2
Costa Rica 0-3
Pool B Schedule
July 14: USA def. Costa Rica, 25-9, 25-19, 25-12
July 14: Cuba def. Puerto Rico, 25-18, 25-17, 24-26, 25-23
July 15: USA def. Puerto Rico, 21-25, 25-18, 25-16, 25-22
July 15: Cuba def. Costa Rica, 25-17, 25-12, 27-25
July 16: Puerto Rico def. Costa Rica, 25-14, 25-19, 25-14
July 16: Cuba def. USA, 25-16, 25-23, 25-15
July 18: Pool A3 vs. Pool B4, 1 p.m. (5th-8th Place Bracket)
July 18: Pool A1 vs. Pool B2, 3 p.m. (Semifinals)
July 18: Pool B3 vs. Pool A4, 7 p.m. (5th-8th Place Bracket)
July 18: Pool B1 vs. Pool A2, 10 p.m. (Semifinals)
July 19: Semifinal Losers, 1 p.m. (Third-Place Match)
July 19: Semifinal Winners, 3 p.m. (Championship)
July 19: 5th-8th Place Losers, 7 p.m. (Seventh Place)
July 19: 5th-8th Place Winners, 10 p.m. (Fifth Place)
photo Getty Images