Italy Wins in Five Sets, Split Series with U.S. Women

July 5, 2002

Sandy, Utah - Elisa Togut scored 16 points and Manuela Leggeri added 15as Italy beat the U.S. women's national volleyball team in five sets atthe South Towne Exposition Center Thursday night.

The match was the finale of a four-match series between the two teamsheld in conjunction with the USA Girls Junior Olympic VolleyballChampionships. The United States won the first match and the third matchby 3-0 scores; Italy won the second match in four sets and the finalmatch in five.

Togut had 13 kills, two service aces and one block for Italy, whileLeggeri registered a match-high nine blocks to go along with six kills.Simona Rinieri and Francesca Piccinini each added 10 points apiece in thewin.

'We struggled tonight to maintain a consistent level of intensity andenergy,' said Team USA middle blocker Tayyiba Haneef. 'We were able tofight back and rally with the Italians, but we couldn't score at thecritical moments.'

Heather Bown led all scorers with 21 points, while hometown favorite Logan Tom added 19 points for the Americans, who fell to 3-9 on theseason. Bown blasted 16 kills with four blocks and one ace. Tom had 14kills, a match-high four aces and one block.

Danielle Scott had 14 points (11 kills, two blocks, one ace) for TeamUSA. Haneef chipped in with 12 (11 kills, one ace) and Nancy Metcalfadded 10 (nine kills, one ace)

'Haneef had a great match and brought a spark to us but we could notfinish,' said libero Stacy Sykora, who made zero reception errors in 19attempts.

Neither team hit very well. The U.S. had a hitting percentage of .140;Italy hit .110. The Italians held a big edge in blocks, 16-8, while theU.S. posted a slight edge in aces (9-6).

The U.S. women return to Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday, but it will notbe in town long. On Tuesday, the team leaves for Chengdu, China, for thefirst leg of the World Grand Prix, which runs from July 12-Aug. 4. TheUnited States is the defending champion of the eight-team, round-robintournament, which will also see preliminary rounds held in Japan, thePhilippines, Thailand, Chinese Taipei and Macau. The championship roundwill take place in Hong Kong.

Other participating teams include Brazil, China, Cuba, Japan, Germany,Russia and Thailand.

courtesy of USA Volleyball

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