USA Volleyball Qualifies For World Championships With Win Over Puerto Rico

July 23, 2001

The USA Women's National VolleyballTeam qualified for the 2002 Women's Volleyball World Championships afterposting a perfect 3-0 record in the 2002 Women's Volleyball WorldChampionships Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico. The USA defeatedPuerto Rico three games to zero (25-22, 25-14, 25-15) tonight to seal thedeal. Team USA swept through the tournament without losing a game. Theydefeated Mexico on Friday night three games to zero (25-9, 25-17, 25-12)and Costa Rica yesterday three games to zero (25-13, 25-10, 25-11) to winthe Qualifying Tournament with a record of 3-0.

Tonight's victory over Puerto Rico was far from easy for theUnited States, however, as Team USA was forced to come from behind in thefirst game overcoming a partisan Puerto Rican crowd to get the 25-22win. Team USA settled into a rhythm winning the second and third games25-14 and 25-15.

'We did not play good against their middles in the first game,'said Toshiaki Yoshida, USA Women's National Team Head Coach. 'The firstgame was very emotional but overall we did a good job to win the match.'

Team USA was led in scoring by Logan Tom (Salt Lake City,Utah/Stanford University) with 15 points (10 kills, 1 block, and 4service aces). Tom was followed in the scoring column by Heather Bown(Yorba Linda, California/UC Santa Barbara/Hawaii) who scored 9 points (6kills, 2 blocks, and 1 service ace). Sarah Noriega (Ulysses,Kansas/Loyola Marymount University) and Danielle Scott (Baton Rouge,Louisiana/Long Beach State University) each pitched in 8 points of theirown in the victory. Setter Robyn Ah Mow (Honolulu, Hawaii/University ofHawaii) scored five points in today's win and was named Tournament MVP.

'Puerto Rico played tough in the beginning,' said DanielleScott. 'We had difficulty with the block but we made good adjustments.It was a good win to help us prepare for the upcoming Grand Prix.'

Sarah Butler (Amarillo, Texas/West Texas A&M University)added, 'It took us a while to get into the swing of things at first, butafter that we dominated the match. We cleaned up our blocking andterminated the ball when we needed to.'

Team USA will next be in action next month when they begin playin the 2001 Grand Prix.

The USA is one of the two teams from Pool L to earn a bid to the2002 Women's Volleyball World Championships, which will be held inGermany, August 30 to September 15, 2002.

A total of 24 teams will qualify for the 2002 Women's VolleyballWorld Championships. Two teams received automatic berths to the WorldChampionships, Cuba by virtue of being the defending World Champions from1998 and Germany by virtue of being the host country for the 2002 WorldChampionships. The other 22 teams trying to qualify for the event mustqualify through qualification tournaments hosted by the Confederation ofwhich it is a member. The NORCECA Confederation of which the UnitedStates is a member of is allotted five qualified spots for the 2002 WorldChampionships. Cuba has already qualified in one to the five spots byvirtue of winning the last World Championships in 1998. The other fourteams who will qualify for the 2002 World Championships will be the toptwo finishers of both Pool K and Pool L. The team finishing in thirdplace in both Pool K and Pool L will also have one other chance toqualify for the 2002 World Championships. The highest ranked third placeteam between Pool K and Pool L (through the FIVB point system) will faceVenezuela (third place of Pool M) with the winner qualifying for thefinal spot in the 2002 World Championships. Please visit the FIVBwebsite at www.fivb.org for more information on qualification proceduresfor the 2002 Women's Volleyball World Championships.

courtesy of USA Volleyball

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