USA Women's Volleyball Wins Gold At 2001 FIVB Grand Prix

Aug. 26, 2001

Macau, China - The USA Women's National Volleyball Team captured the gold medal at the 2001 FIVB World Grand Prix for the first time since 1995 Sunday afternoon. Team USA cruised to a stunning four set victory over home-standing China (26-28, 25-20, 25-21, 25-11) in front of over 5,500 fans to put the Americans on top of the volleyball world.

USA veteran middle blocker Danielle Scott (Baton Rouge, La./Long Beach State) was named tournament MVP and best blocker after scoring 22 points (17 kills, five blocks) in the US victory.

'Wow!' said Scott following the win. 'That was a great win for the USA over China in China. Even though the gym was filled to capacity, one could hear a pin drop as USA rallied together play after play. It was a huge team win and I feel excited and blessed to have been a part of it.'

USA head coach Toshiaki Yoshida celebrated his first major international championship as head coach of team. Yoshida took over the position following the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games when then head coach Mick Haley departed for the University of Southern California. Yoshida served as an assistant under Haley at the Games. The significance of the championship was not lost on Yoshida, but he knows his team must get back work.

'We played with a lot of energy, soul, and spirit tonight,' said Yoshida. 'Our blocking was good and we played exceptional defense. We had the right players and the appropriate training for this tournament. However, this is just the start of the quadrennial and we need to maintain this level. We still have a lot of room to improve. I know things are going to get more difficult and all of the teams are going to improve. We have many issues to solve such as players going overseas and athlete support, but this was a great win for this team. We have to learn from this win. We need to keep these veterans and continue to train like we have been doing.'

USA libero Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas/Texas A&M) was named the tournament's best libero. She says it was a great feeling to climb on the medal stand.

'It is the greatest feeling to finally be on the winner's stand,' said Sykora. This team has been through so much together. It is nice to finally see how much all the hard work can pay off. We won tonight because we played as a team. It was not the result of one or two players. Everyone contributed.'

USA outside hitter Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah/Stanford Univ.) added 14 kills and two blocks in the victory, while middle blocker Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif./Univ. of Hawai'i) contributed 10 kills and three blocks.

courtesy of USA Volleyball

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