USA Improves to 3-0 at Women's World Championships

Sept. 3, 2002

Riesa, Germany - Outside hitter Keba Phipps scored a match-high 16 pointsto lead the U.S. women's national volleyball team to a sweep over theDominican Republic on the third day of the 2002 Women's Volleyball WorldChampionships at Sachsen Arena Sunday night.

Phipps (Lakewood, Calif./Foppapedretti Bergamo) had a match-high 15 killsand one block to lead the United States to a 25-22, 25-17, 25-21 victory,the third without a loss in Pool C for the Americans. She also posted ahitting percentage of .790 with 15 kills and zero errors in 19 totalattempts. Through three matches, Phipps ranks fifth among all players inkill percentage (52.17) and 13th in total scoring (44 points).

Middle blocker Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif./Hawai'i) had 13 pointson 10 kills, two service aces and one block, and admitted after the matchthat the U.S. suffered a bit of a letdown following Saturday night's hugewin over the world's No. 1-ranked team, Russia.

'We started slowly in tonight's match, which is sometimes common after abig win like last night,' said Bown, who ranks fourth among all playersin kill percentage at 53.33. 'Hopefully we can get back into the rhythmthat we play best at for the remainder of the tournament.'

A pair of Long Beach State alums, Danielle Scott (Baton Rouge, La.) andTayyiba Haneef (Laguna Hills, Calif.) added 10 points apiece in the win.Scott had nine kills and one block, while Haneef had six kills and amatch-high four blocks.

'Today was a good win for us mentally,' said Haneef. 'We were able toadjust to their lineup changes and dominate the match. We will see theDominicans en route to the Olympics, so today was a good win towards thefuture.'

Outside hitter Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah/Stanford) chipped in witheight points on four kills, a match-high three aces and one block. She iscurrently tied with Jenny Rauh of Canada and Olga Tchoukanova of Russiafor most service aces in the tournament with seven.

For the third straight night, the United States held the edge in blocks,9-4. Through three matches, Team USA holds a decisive 45-21 margin overits opponents in blocking. Scott is tops on the team with 12 blocks inthree matches, followed by Bown with nine. Phipps and Tom each haveseven, while Haneef has six.

Milagros Cabral de la Cruz scored 14 points on 11 kills and three blocksto lead the Dominican Republic, which was playing without an injuredCosiri Rodriguez Andino. Nurys Aria Done and Yudelkys Bautista each addednine points in the loss.

'Dominican Republic's starting right side attacker (#15) sprained herankle in the match verses Puerto Rico last night,' said Team USA headcoach Toshi Yoshida. 'She was not able to play tonight and so this was amatch that we should have won. Therefore, it is good that we did.However, we still have to keep improving each day of the tournament.'

On Monday the women travel to Dresden, Germany, for a showdown withPuerto Rico, which is also unbeaten in Pool C (3-0). The winner isvirtually assured of a spot in the second round. The USA then finishespool play on Tuesday when it battles winless Kenya (0-3) in Riesa.

'I don't have a special tactic for tomorrow's match versus Puerto Rico,'Yoshida admitted. 'For me, it's one of five preliminary round matchesthat I have to prepare well for.'

courtesy of USA Volleyball

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