Unbeaten USA to Face Cuba in Women's World Championship Quarterfinals

Sept. 9, 2002

Reisa, Germany - Keba Phipps scored a match-high 15 points and Logan Tomadded 13 to lead the United States to a 3-0 win over Germany in the finalpool-play match of the second round at the 2002 Women's Volleyball WorldChampionships Sunday night at Erdgas Arena.

Phipps (Lakewood, Calif./Foppapedretti Bergamo) had 13 kills and twoblocks and Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah/Stanford) had 12 kills and one blockin the 28-26, 25-20, 27-25 win, the eighth without a loss for the UnitedStates (8-0) through the first two rounds of the tournament.

'This match was to decide first and second place for our pool,' said TeamUSA head coach Toshi Yoshida. 'We could have finished second but we justtried to play our best to win. China however lost to Korea on purpose toavoid playing Italy. Now the quarterfinal match-ups will be differentthan I expected. We play Cuba and it will be very tough!'

Team USA, the winner of Pool G, plays Cuba, the defending world andOlympic champion and the second-place team in Pool E, on Wednesday inBremen. The winner of the match advances to the championship semifinalsand is guaranteed a top-four or better finish. The loser will play in theconsolation semifinals and can finish no better than fifth place.

The top eight teams following second-round pool play (top two in eachpool along with the two best third-place teams) advance to the WorldChampionship quarterfinals, which begin Sept. 11 in Bremen and Stuttgart.

Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Italy, Korea and Russia join the UnitedStates in the quarterfinals. In other quarterfinal match-ups, Russia willplay Bulgaria, Korea takes on Italy and China will battle Brazil.

On Sunday, a weary American team struggled at times against a German teamtrying to stave off elimination but still managed to walk away with a win.

'We were tired after last night's five-set match,' said Yoshida. 'In themiddle of the match we lost concentration. That is why the match wasclose even though we won in three.'

Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif./Hawai'i) added 11 points on a match-high five blocks, five kills and one service ace in the victory, theninth in a row overall for the United States (15-17).

'We knew going into this match that we were already going to advance soour goal was to finish this round playing aggressive and as a solidteam,' said setter Lizzy Fitzgerald (New Orleans,La./Wisconsin). 'Germany gave us a very competitive match and the crowdwas fun to play in front of. We will now head into the next round evenstronger than we were before.'

Two Long Beach State alums, Danielle Scott (Baton Rouge, La.) and TayyibaHaneef (Laguna Hills, Calif.) chipped in eight points apiece. Scott hadfour kills and four blocks, while Haneef had seven kills and one block.

Sylvia Roll scored 12 points on 12 kills to lead Germany, who finishedthe tournament with a record of 3-5 and in 10th place. Angelina Gruenscored 11 points on nine kills, one block and one ace, while OlessyaKulakova and Birgit Thumm each added nine points in the loss.

'This was a very competitive match because Germany wanted to end on a winand the home crowd was really into the game,' said Nancy Metcalf (Hull,Iowa/Nebraska), who scored four points. 'It was a good finish to end thisround and gives us momentum going into the quarterfinals.'

courtesy of USA Volleyball

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