USA Women Sweep Japan to Start Yeltsin Cup Tournament

June 12, 2003

Nizhnyi Tagil, Russia - Former Stanford volleyball player Logan Tom scored a match-high 18 points to lead the USA women's national volleyball team to a 3-0 win over Japan to begin the Yeltsin Cup tournament in Russia late Wednesday night.

Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah/Stanford) had 11 kills, a match-high six service aces and one block in the 25-21, 25-23, 25-14 win, which snapped a three-match losing streak for the United States (3-3).

'The good news is we won and some of the young ones, especially Elisha (Thomas) and Logan, played very well,' said Team USA Head Coach Toshi Yoshida. 'The bad news is Tayyiba Haneef sprained her ankle. We do not know how bad it is yet, but this makes things very difficult for our team. Tayyiba was our weapon from the right side.'

Thomas (Grass Valley, Calif./Long Beach State) scored 14 points on 13 kills and one ace. Sarah Noriega (Ulysses, Kan./Loyola Marymount) added eight points on five kills, two blocks and one ace, while Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif./Hawai'i) scored seven points on six kills and one block.

Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa/Nebraska) chipped in with six points on four kills, one block and one ace, and Haneef (Laguna Hills, Calif./Long Beach State) scored five points on four kills and one ace.

Yoshida continues to use both Lindsey Berg (Honolulu, Hawaii/Minnesota) and Jen Flynn (Pittsburgh, Pa./Ohio State) as his primary setters. Berg had 19 assists Wednesday night, while Flynn added 16.

Libero Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas/Texas A&M) added 10 digs.

Sachiko Sugiyama scored a team-high nine points on seven kills and two blocks for Japan. Kana Oyama added eight points on four kills and a match-high four blocks, while Hiromi Suzuki posted six points on five kills and one block in the loss.

The United States is in Pool B with Japan, Turkey and Russia, the world's No. 1-ranked team. Pool A consists of Azerbaijan, China, Croatia and defending world champion Italy.

Pool play continues on Thursday as Team USA plays Turkey. The Americans then wrap up pool play on Friday against Russia in a rematch of the Montreux Volley Masters semifinal between the two teams June 7, won by Russia, 3-2.

After a travel day on Saturday, June 14, the consolation and championship semifinals will take place on Sunday, June 15, followed by the final round on Monday, June 16.

courtesy of USA Volleyball

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