Stanford Players Help U.S. To Two Wins At FIVB World Grand Prix

June 23, 2008

Stanford, Calif. - Stanford seniors Foluke Akinradewo and Cynthia Barboza, along with former Cardinal standout Kristin Richards, helped the U.S. Women's National Team to two wins in the first weekend of the FIVB World Grand Prix in Kobe, Japan.

The team lost to Turkey, 28-26, 25-16, 21-25, 25-19, in the opening match on Friday. Barboza contributed two kills and a team-high three blocks for five points, while Richards provided two kills and an ace in the loss.

In the second match, played on Saturday, the U.S. notched its first of back-to-back wins, blanking Kazakhstan, 25-16, 25-17, 25-18. On Sunday, Barboza recorded four key kills in late substitution situations to help Team USA rally past host Japan, 27-29, 25-18, 18-25, 25-16, 15-13.

Team USA now travels to Wroclaw, Poland, to play three matches at the Centennial Hall as part of Group E this weekend. The U.S. challenges Thailand, the Dominican Republic and Poland in that pool. The roster for those matches will be announced later this week.

The U.S. concludes the preliminary round matches in Group H, July 4-6, against Poland, Turkey and Italy.

The FIVB World Grand Prix finals, a round-robin format of the top five teams from the preliminary round plus host Japan, will be played July 9-13 in Yokohoma, Japan. The overall ranking in the preliminary rounds is decided by the total number of World Grand Prix Points (GPP) gained by the teams in the preliminary matches. A team will earn two GPPs for a win, one for a loss and none if they forfeit the match.

Rosters can be changed prior to the start of each weekend of the World Grand Prix. Team USA and the other teams qualified for the Olympic Games will be using the World Grand Prix as a tool to evaluate players and making final roster decisions.

The U.S. has won the World Grand Prix in 1995 and 2001, along with bronze medals in 2003 and 2004.

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