U.S. Women Sweep Italy in Series Opener

July 1, 2002

Sandy, Utah - Keba Phipps scored 14 points in her return to the U.S.women's national volleyball team and Logan Tom scored 13 points in herreturn to her hometown as Team USA kicked off a four-match domestic touragainst Italy with a 3-0 sweep at the South Towne Exposition CenterFriday night.

Phipps, a member of the national team from 1986 until 1990, has beenplaying professionally in Italy since leaving Team USA. She blasted amatch-high 12 kills to go along with two blocks.

'I think the Italian team was a little intimidated tonight,' saidPhipps. 'I play with all of those girls and could see it in their eyestonight. I think we played okay and I'm so happy because I know that ourteam is just going to get so much better. I am having so much fun! I lovemy team and my coach and am excited about the season!'

Tom, who first made a name for herself in the volleyball community as ahigh school (Highland) and club player (Klub Boom) in nearby Salt LakeCity, added 10 kills, two blocks and one ace in her first matches in herhome state since graduating from high school in 1999.

'Everything went well as we had planned and I was pleased with howeveryone played,' said Team USA head coach Toshi Yoshida. 'But this isjust the start of the four-match series. I know that Italy will be toughand ready for us in the upcoming matches.'

Heather Bown scored 10 points for the United States on six kills, threeblocks and one ace, while Danielle Scott, playing in her first match ofthe season, chipped in with seven points (six kills, one block).

'Tonight's match was a starting point for our team,' said Bown. 'Ibelieve the win tonight gives us a step in the right direction. The teameffort was 100 percent tonight. Hopefully we can continue this path andimprove as a team for the rest of this season.'

Elisa Togut and Manuela Leggeri each scored 10 points for Italy. Toguthad 10 kills, while Leggeri posted five kills and a match-high fiveblocks. Anna Vania Mello contributed eight points for Italy in the losingcause.

The second match of the series will be Sunday night at 7 p.m. in theSouth Towne Exposition Center.

courtesy of USA Volleyball

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