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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 25, 2007) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team earned itself not only two days off with a 25-18, 25-12, 25-11 victory tonight over host Mexico (1-4) at the Sixth Annual Pan American Cup in Colima, Mexico, but bypassed the tournament’s quarterfinal round by winning Pool A with a 5-0 record and qualified for the 2008 FIVB World Grand Prix. The match was played in front of a capacity crowd of 2,500 fans.
Team USA advances to the semifinals on Thursday, June 28, at 6 p.m. CDT and will face the quarterfinal winner of Brazil (4-1, second place Group B) and Argentina (3-2, third place Group A) played on Wednesday, June 27, at 8 p.m. CDT. Cuba (4-1, first in Pool B), who won Pool B based on the tiebreaker after defeating previously unbeaten Brazil, will challenge the other quarterfinal match winner between Dominican Republic (4-1, second place Pool A) against Puerto Rico (4-1, third place Pool B).
Coupled with the fact South American foes Brazil and Argentina must face each other one quarterfinal, the U.S. also secured a berth into the 2008 FIVB World Grand Prix for which the annual intercontinental Pan American Cup is a qualifier. Based on the final standings of the Pan American Cup, the top three teams from NORCECA (North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Federation) and the top team from the CSV (South American Confederation) qualify for the 2008 FIVB World Grand Prix. Along with Team USA, Cuba has solidified a spot in the 2008 World Grand Prix.
During the final pool match against Mexico, the U.S. started captain Robyn Ah Mow-Santos (Honolulu) at setter, Jen Joines (Milpitas, Calif.) and Laura Tomes (Sioux City, Iowa) at middle blocker, Katie Wilkins (Lakeside, Calif.) and Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) at outside hitter, and Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) at opposite. Candace Lee (Eugene, Ore.) is Team USA’s designated libero for the tournament. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) entered the match as a sub in the third set.
Barboza led the team in scoring for the second in pool play with 13 points on nine kills, three aces and a block. Joines contributed five kills on eight swings and four blocks for nine USA points. Wilkins added eight points via seven kills and an ace. Busse down six kills and a block for seven points, while Tomes notched six points through three blocks, two kills and an ace. Ah Mow-Santos connected for a kill and block from the setter position to go with 10 assists. Lee hed a match-tying high four digs.
“Before the game we knew (Mexico) could play great defense,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach ‘Jenny’ Lang Ping said. “We told our players to be patient and defend more balls.”
The U.S. hit .314 as a team with a 42.9 kill percentage on 70 swings. Team USA held a 10-5 margin in blocks, while outscoring Mexico 5-0 on the service line. In the final set, the American a combined hit .538 on only 13 attacks as the Mexicans committed 11 hitting errors and three service errors.
“Our focus was to play USA volleyball,” Ah Mow-Santos said. “Mexico has a lot of heart, great defense and ‘never-say-die attitude.’ We are happy that we came out on top.”
With the victory, the U.S. was the only team in the tournament in either pool to go undefeated.
“A great feeling, I guess, but we have to take one game at a time, not have big heads about it,” Ah Mow-Santos said in regards to the undefeated record in pool play.
After Mexico surged into an early 4-2 lead in the first set and held a 5-4 advantage through the first nine points. Team USA took a 7-5 lead on consecutive Barboza kills and Mexico would not consecutive points the rest of the period. After holding a slim 10-9 margin, the U.S. rolled out three straight points for a 13-9 advantage in part to a Tomes block and Barboza ace. After Mexico cut the deficit to three at 16-13, the U.S. rocketed to a 20-14 commanding six-point advantage as Busse, Ah Mow-Santos and Barboza all won points on kills.
With Barboza serving, the U.S. jumped to a 3-0 lead to begin the second set that ended with two kills from Katie Wilkins. Team USA extended the margin to six points at 7-1 after Joines scored three straight points including consecutive blocks. After consecutive Mexico points narrowed the scored to 7-3, the U.S. rebuilt the gap to seven points at 11-4 and never challenged the rest of the set. Team USA led 20-12 and closed out the set with five consecutive points starting with three Joines kills.
Mexico scored the first two points of the third set, but would only gain nine points the rest of the match. The U.S. scored five unanswered points capped by a Barboza ace to assume a 5-2 advantage. After Mexico closed to 6-4, Team USA rattled off four consecutive points with two coming at the hands of Wilkins for a 10-4 lead. With the scoreboard at 17-9, the Americans outscored the Mexicans 8-2 down the stretch ending with a Tomes ace.
“I have some mixed emotions about our match today,” Mexico Head Coach Asair Jorge said. “First, we wanted to play better today than yesterday. I am not sure if it was emotional or physical. We saw some delays in their reactions. We started in a lower position and ending up playing higher. Congratulations USA.”
Martha Revuelta paced Mexico with nine points, all on kills. Migdalel Ruiz tacked on seven points, while Xitlali Herrera and Zaira Orellana tallied five points apiece.
Earlier today in Pool A play, Dominican Republic defeated Argentina 25-18, 25-18, 25-20 in a battle for second place in the pool. Costa Rica (2-3) handled Trinidad & Tobago (0-5) 25-10, 26-24, 25-18 with Paola Ramirez scoring a team-high nine points in the victory.
In Pool B, Cuba topped Brazil 25-22, 25-19, 25-18 forcing a three-way tie for first place in final standings. However, Cuba won out on the point quotient tiebreaker with a 1.317 points quotient, followed by Brazil’s 1.159 and Puerto Rico’s 1.155. Peru (2-3) out-blocked Uruguay (0-5) 13-1 en route to a 25-14, 25-18, 25-13 victory to finish fourth in Pool B. Puerto Rico tallied 16 blocks in beating Canada (1-4) 25-21, 25-17, 25-18.
USA-MEX Short Box
USA (Points-Kills-Blocks-Aces): Marcie Hampton (DNP); Tracy Stalls (DNP); Laura Tomes 6-2-3-1; Katie Wilkins 8-7-0-1; Jennifer Joines 9-5-4-0; Cynthia Barboza 13-9-1-3; Robyn Ah Mow-Santos 2-1-1-0; Katie Olsovsky (DNP); Candace Lee 0-0-0-0; Courtney Thompson 0-0-0-0; Lindsey Hunter (DNP); Cassie Busse 7-6-1-0. Totals: 45-30-10-5.
MEX: Migdalel Ruiz 7-6-1-0; Celia Cordova 0-0-0-0; Xitlali Herrera 5-5-0-0; Nancy Ortega 1-1-0-0; Alejandra Acosta 0-0-0-0; Martha Revuelta 9-9-0-0; Claudia Rodriguez 1-0-1-0; Mariana Lopez 3-3-0-0; Zaira Orellana 5-4-1-0; Victoria Castillejas (DNP); Vanessa Virgen 1-0-1-0; Diana Rubio 2-1-1-0. Totals: 34-29-5-0.
For Team USA’s press kit for the Pan American Cup, go to http://www.usavolleyball.org/media/national/07PanAmCupPressKit.pdf.
For additional information on the tournament, go to http://www.norceca.org/2007%20VI%20Pan-American%20Women’s%20Volleyball%20Cup.htm.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for VI Pan American Cup
Name – Pos, Ht, Hometown, College
3 - Marcie Hampton (OH, 6-1, Gainesville, Fla., Florida)
6 - Tracy Stalls (MB, 6-4, Denver, Colo., Nebraska)
7 - Laura Tomes (MB, 6-2, Sioux City, Iowa, Oklahoma)
8 - Katie Wilkins (OH, 6-4, Lakeside, Calif., Pepperdine)
9 - Jennifer Joines (MB, 6-3, Milpitas, Calif., Pacific)
10 - Cynthia Barboza (OH, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Stanford)
11 - Robyn Ah Mow-Santos (S, 5-9, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Hawai'i)
13 - Katie Olsovsky (OPP, 6-3, Hermosa Beach, Calif., Southern California)
14 - Candace Lee (L, 5-7, Eugene, Ore., Washington)
15 - Courtney Thompson (S, 5-8, Kent, Wash., Washington)
16 – Lindsey Hunter (S, 5-10, Papillion, Neb., Missouri)
18 - Cassie Busse (OPP, 6-1, Prior Lake, Minn., Minnesota)
Head Coach: “Jenny” Lang Ping
Assistant Coaches: Sue Woodstra, Gen Kawakita
Technical Coordinator: Diane French
Team Manager: Joan Powell
Medical Support: Emery Hill, Jr.
Sixth Annual Pan American Cup * June 21-29 * Colima, Mexico
Final Pool A Standings
Dominican Republic 4-1
Costa Rica 2-3
Trinidad & Tobago 0-5
Pool A Matches (Times CDT)
June 21: Dominican Republic def. Costa Rica, 25-21, 25-22, 25-10
June 21: USA def. Argentina, 17-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-16
June 21: Mexico def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-10, 25-19, 25-8
June 22: USA def. Costa Rica, 25-14, 25-15, 25-13
June 22: Dominican Republic def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-7, 25-9, 25-10
June 22: Argentina def. Mexico, 25-20, 25-22, 25-14
June 23: Argentina def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-10, 25-11, 25-12
June 23: USA def. Dominican Republic, 25-20, 18-25, 26-24, 18-25, 15-13
June 23: Costa Rica def. Mexico, 25-15, 15-25, 22-25, 26-24, 16-14
June 24: USA def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-8, 25-9, 25-5
June 24: Argentina def. Costa Rica, 25-19, 25-15, 25-15
June 24: Dominican Republic def. Mexico, 25-10, 25-16, 25-13
June 25: Costa Rica def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-10, 26-24, 25-18
June 25: Dominican Republic def. Argentina, 25-18, 25-18, 25-20
June 25: USA def. Mexico 25-18, 25-12, 25-11
Final Pool B Standings
Cuba 4-1 (1.317 Point Quotient)
Brazil 4-1 (1.159)
Puerto Rico 4-1 (1.154)
Pool B Matches (Times CDT)
June 21: Cuba def. Uruguay, 25-13, 25-11, 25-14
June 21: Peru def. Canada 25-21, 21-25, 31-29, 16-25, 16-14
June 21: Brazil def. Puerto Rico, 35-33, 25-23, 25-19
June 22: Canada def. Uruguay, 25-16, 25-17, 25-13
June 22: Brazil def. Peru, 25-18, 25-23, 25-16
June 22: Puerto Rico def. Cuba, 20-25, 25-15, 17-25, 25-20, 15-13
June 23: Brazil def. Uruguay, 25-13, 25-16, 25-14
June 23: Cuba def. Canada, 25-14, 25-16, 25-18
June 23: Puerto Rico def. Peru 25-20, 25-16, 25-21
June 24: Puerto Rico def. Uruguay, 25-17, 25-19, 25-16
June 24: Brazil def. Canada, 25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 25-19
June 24: Cuba def. Peru, 25-23, 25-12, 25-20
June 25: Peru def. Uruguay, 25-14, 25-18, 25-13
June 25: Puerto Rico def. Canada, 25-21, 25-17, 25-18
June 25: Cuba def. Brazil 25-22, 25-19, 25-18
June 27: Trinidad & Tobago (6A) vs. Uruguay (6B), 2 p.m. (11th Place Match)
June 27: Mexico (5A) vs. Canada (5B), 4 p.m. (9th Place Match)
June 27: Dominican Republic (2A) vs. Puerto Rico (3B), 6 p.m. (Quarterfinal)
June 27: Brazil (2B) vs. Argentina (3A), 8 p.m. (Quarterfinal)
June 28: Costa Rica (4A) vs. Peru (4B), 2 p.m. (7th Place Match)
June 28: Quarterfinal Losers, 4 p.m. (5th Place Match)
June 28: USA (1A) vs. Quarterfinal Winner (TBA), 6 p.m. (Semifinal)
June 28: Cuba (1B) vs. Quarterfinal Winner (TBA), 8 p.m. (Semifinal)
June 29: Semifinal Losers, 4 p.m. (3rd Place)
June 29: Semifinal Winners, 8 p.m. (Championship)