The U.S. (1-1) continues pool play on Aug. 13 versus Venezuela at the Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium.
After falling behind 5-1 to start the opening set, Cuba rattled off 14 of the next 16 points for a 15-7 advantage and went on to win 25-15. The U.S. overcame an early 7-4 deficit in the second set and reached set point first at 24-23, only to have the set snatched away with three straight Cuba points at 26-24. The U.S. started the third set with a 9-5 advantage, but an 8-2 Cuba run sidetracked the rally as the victors went on to win the set 25-17.
Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) tallied a team-high 13 points with 12 kills on 24 swings, while Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) added eight points. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) chipped in six points and Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) charted five points. Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.) totaled four points, followed by two points by Kim Willoughby (Napoleonville, La.) and single tallies from Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.) and Robyn Ah Mow-Santos (Honolulu). Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) tallied a team-high six digs, while Ah Mow-Santos compiled 10 assists.
Team USA started Ah Mow-Santos at setter, Scott-Arruda and Bown at middle blocker, Tom and Willoughby at outside hitter and Haneef-Park at opposite. Davis is the designated libero for the U.S. at the Olympic Games. Glass started the second two set. Berg and Nnamani were subs in all three sets, while Sykora was a sub in the first two sets.
Cuba’s serve caused problems with the Team USA service reception has it held a 6-1 ace advantage. The U.S. managed just a 62.3 excellent service reception percent, while Cuba was excellent on 70 percent on serve-receive. Cuba also out-blocked out-dug the U.S. 8-6 and 30-19, respectively.
Yumilka Ruiz tallied a match-high 15 points for Cuba, while Nancy Carrillo chipped in 11 points and Rosir Calderon 10 points.
After learning of the murder of Todd Bachman, father-in-law of U.S. Olympic Men's Indoor Volleyball Team head coach and father of 2004 volleyball Olympian Elisabeth "Wiz" Bachman, at a Beijing tourist site on Friday, Team USA won an emotional four-set match over fifth-ranked Japan just hours later that night. Todd's wife Barbara was also hurt in the attack.
"We need to collect our energies again and concentrate on the next match," U.S. Head Coach "Jenny" Lang Ping said.
The U.S. jumped to a 5-1 lead early in the opening set with four unanswered points that included an ace by Willoughby, two kills from Haneef-Park and a spike by Scott-Arruda. Cuba answered with seven consecutive points to take an 8-5 advantage into the first technical timeout. Cuba extended its lead to 15-7 with a 7-1 spurt. Cuba doubled its lead at 20-10 with four straight points. Willoughby stopped the run with a kill, followed by a Tom block at 20-12.