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Jun 30 U.S. Women Battle Past Puerto Rico 3-1

June 30, 2009, 10:33 p.m. (ET)

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

MIAMI, Fla. (June 30, 2009) – The United States edged Puerto Rico 25-15, 25-20, 24-26, 25-23 in an emotional battle of unbeaten teams on Tuesday evening during the final day of five consecutive pool play matches during the Eighth Women’s Pan American Cup at the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center. The match drew 2,950 fans with a good mix representing both squads.

U.S. (5-0), as the winner of Pool A, earns an automatic berth into the semifinal round on July 3. In addition, the Americans earned a berth in to the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix with the victory and semifinal berth (top three NORCECA teams in Pan American Cup earn berths). With the loss, Puerto Rico finishes second in Pool A with a 4-1 record and will play in the quarterfinal round versus Pool B’s third-place team on July 2.

“Puerto Rico is a very good team and is well-coached,” U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon said. “On our side of the net, we played within our system and that may have been the difference as we were able to win a few more points.”

Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah) and Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) contributed matching 18 points for the U.S. in the victory. Larson reached her total with 15 kills, two aces and a block, while Richards carried 15 kills, two blocks and an ace. Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) added 17 points on 13 kills and four blocks. Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) chipped in 10 points for Team USA with five kills, four blocks and an ace.

Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) chipped in five points, Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) totaled two and Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) rounded out the scoring with a block. Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) handled 14 digs in the victory, while Metcalf and Larson tallied six digs apiece. Spicer dished out 17 assists, while Thompson was credited with seven despite not starting a single set.

“This was an exciting match,” Scott-Arruda said. “Puerto Rico did a really good at challenging us, but we played with heart and won points when needed.”

McCutcheon started Arruda-Scott and Harmotto at middle blocker, Larson and Richards at outside hitter, Metcalf at opposite and Spicer at setter. Davis was the designated libero for the match. Thompson subbed into the match in all four sets, while Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) entered as a sub in all but the second set. Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) was part of double-subs in the first three sets, while Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) was a reserve in the fourth set.

Puerto Rico was led by Aurea Cruz’s match-high 21 points, while Sarai Alvarez added 15 points. Yarimar Rosa charted 10 points off the bench.

Team USA out-blocked Puerto Rico 13-4 and held a 5-1 ace advantage. Both teams committed an uncharacteristic number of errors – 28 for Puerto Rico and 27 for USA.

“Congratulations to USA for its well-organized play,” Puerto Rico Head Coach Carlos Cardona said. “The game was very emotional and exciting.”

“We made a lot of mistakes,” Puerto Rico captain Vilmarie Mojica said. “At the beginning we were a little cold. At the end, we were able to get our offense going.”

Earlier in the day, Dominican Republic (4-0) upset defending Olympic Games champion Brazil (3-1) 25-23, 19-25, 18-25, 25-23, 15-13 to win Pool B. The Dominican Republic, the defending Pan American Cup champion, gained a berth into the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix by reaching the semifinal round. In the other Pool B match, Canada placed fourth by defeating Trinidad & Tobago 25-21, 25-10, 25-23. Pool A matches saw Peru (3-2) defeat Guatemala (0-5) 25-9, 25-13, 25-15 to earn a spot into the quarterfinals with its third-place finish. Costa Rica (2-3) charted a 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 win over Mexico (1-4) for fourth place.

Pan American Cup pool play was a five-day, round robin preliminary played June 26-30 to determine classification round matches.

A Pan American Cup tournament pass, good for all matches at both venues, is $75 for adults and $60 for children. Tickets for each date of competition at the specific venue (either University of Miami or Florida International University) are $20 for reserved general admission, $12 for adult general admission and $10 for child general admission. Tickets can be purchased online at www.miamisports.org.

After the preliminary pool round, the Pan American Cup quarterfinal and classification matches are set for July 2, followed by semifinal matches and additional classification matches on July 3. The championship match and final classification round matches are scheduled for July 4. All non-pool matches will be played at University of Miami. Classification round matches will be played on July 2 at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Matches on July 3 are scheduled for 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. and final classification matches on July 4 will be played at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. (all ET).

The Women’s Pan American Cup is a qualifying tournament into the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix and the 2009 Women’s Final Four. The top three NORCECA teams and top team from South America receive berths into next year’s FIVB World Grand Prix. The top two teams from NORCECA, Brazil and the top remaining team from South America qualify for the Final Four to be hosted by Brazil.

Miami will be a busy location for volleyball the last week of June and first week of July. The 2009 USA Junior Olympic Girls’ Volleyball Championships is being played June 26-July 5 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Typically, the tournament attracts 788 teams and approximately 9,500 athletes in addition to parents and relatives. A total of 19 championships are contested in age groups ranging from 12 to 18.

U.S. Women’s National Team Preliminary Roster for Eighth Women’s Pan American Cup
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Hometown, College)
2 – Danielle Scott-Arruda (MB, 6-2, Baton Rouge, La., Long Beach State)
3 – Tayyiba Haneef-Park (OH/OPP, 6-7, Laguna Hills, Calif., Long Beach State)
4 – Angie Pressey (OH, 5-8, Lake Mary, Fla., California)
5 – Stacy Sykora (L, 5-10, Burleson, Texas, Texas A&M)
6 – Nicole Davis (L, 5-6, Stockton, Calif., Southern California)
7 – Heather Bown (MB, 6-3, Yorba Linda, Calif., Hawaii)
8 – Cynthia Barboza (OH, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Stanford)
10 – Kristin Richards (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford)
11 – Jordan Larson-Burbach (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Nebraska)
12 – Nancy Metcalf (OPP, 6-1, Hull, Iowa, Nebraska)
15 – Courtney Thompson (S, 5-7, Kent, Wash., Washington)
16 – Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, Aliquippa, Pa., Penn State)
17 – Nellie Spicer (S, 5-9, Barrington, Ill., UCLA)
19 – Jane Collymore (OH, 5-11, Seattle, Wash., Florida)
Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Assistant Coaches: Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.), Paula Weishoff (Irvine, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek

Women’s Pan American Cup Schedule (all times Eastern Time)

Pool A at University of Miami

Standings: USA 5-0, Puerto Rico 4-1, Peru 3-2, Costa Rica 2-3, Mexico 1-4, Guatemala 0-5

June 26: #1 Puerto Rico def. Guatemala 25-9, 25-15, 25-18
June 26: #2 Peru def. Mexico 25-13, 25-15, 25-10
June 26: #4 United States def. Costa Rica 25-7, 25-6, 25-16
June 27: #6 Peru def. Costa Rica 25-14, 25-10, 25-11
June 27: #7 Puerto Rico def. Mexico 25-18, 25-15, 15-21
June 27: #9 United States def. Guatemala 25-7, 25-12, 25-7
June 28: #11 Costa Rica def. Guatemala 25-16, 25-17, 25-11
June 28: #12 Puerto Rico def. Peru 25-17, 25-19, 25-23
June 28: #14 United States def. Mexico 25-19, 25-14, 25-11
June 29: #16 Mexico def. Guatemala 25-23, 25-12, 25-21
June 29: #17 Puerto Rico def. Costa Rica 25-21, 25-18, 25-11
June 29: #19 United States def. Peru 25-22, 25-21, 26-24
June 30: #21 Peru def. Guatemala 25-9, 25-13, 25-15
June 30: #22 Costa Rica def. Mexico 25-23, 25-22, 25-22
June 30: #24 United States def. Puerto Rico 25-15, 25-20, 24-26, 25-23

Pool B at Florida International University

Standings: Dominican Republic 4-0, Brazil 3-1, Argentina 2-2, Canada 1-3, Trinidad & Tobago 0-4

June 26: #3 Dominican Republic def. Argentina 24-26, 25-13, 25-18, 27-25
June 26: #5 Brazil def. Canada 25-11, 25-12, 25-13
June 27: #8 Argentina def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-6, 25-15, 25-8
June 27: #10 Dominican Republic def. Canada 23-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-21
June 28: #13 Dominican Republic def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-6, 25-7, 25-14
June 28: #15 Brazil def. Argentina 26-24, 18-25, 25-13, 25-18
June 29: #18 Brazil def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-11, 25-14, 25-9
June 29: #20 Argentina def. Canada 25-16, 25-22, 23-25, 25-17
June 30: #23 Canada def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-21, 25-10, 25-23
June 30: #25 Dominican Republic def. Brazil 25-23, 19-25, 18-25, 25-23, 15-13

July 1: Off Day

Classification Rounds
(at University of Miami)
July 2: #26 Canada (4B) vs. Mexico (5A), 1 p.m. (class 5-10)
July 2: #27 Costa Rica (4A) vs. Trinidad & Tobago (5B), 3 p.m. (class 5-10)
July 2: #28 Brazil (2B) vs. Peru (3A), 5:30 p.m. (quarterfinals)
July 2: #29 Puerto Rico (2A) vs. Argentina (3B), 8 p.m. (quarterfinals)
July 3: #30 Loser #26 vs. Loser #27, 11 a.m. (class 9-10)
July 3: #31 Winner #26/#27 vs. Loser #28/#29, 1 p.m. (class 5-8)
July 3: #32 Winner #26/27 vs. Loser #28/#29, 3 p.m. (class 5-8)
July 3: #33 Dominican Republic (1B) vs. Winner #28/#29, 5:30 p.m. (semi)
July 3: #34 United States (1A) vs. Winner #28/#29, 8 p.m. (semi)
July 4: #35 Loser #30 vs. Pool B 6th, 9:30 a.m. (class 11-12)
July 4: #35 Loser #31 vs. Loser #32, 11:30 a.m. (class 7-8)
July 4: #36 Winner #31 vs. Winner #32, 1:30 p.m. (class 5-6)
July 4: #37 Loser #33 vs. Loser #34, 3:30 p.m. (class 3-4)
July 4: #38 Winner #33 vs. Winner #34, 6 p.m. (Final)

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