USA Advances To Second Round Of Women's World Championships

Sept. 5, 2002

Riesa, Germany - Tayyiba Haneef scored a match-high 15 points and Logan Tom added 14 as the U.S. women's national volleyball team finished first in Pool C with a perfect 5-0 record after sweeping Kenya on the fifth and final day of pool play at the 2002 Women's Volleyball World Championships at Sachsen Arena Tuesday night.

Haneef (Laguna Hills, Calif./Long Beach State) had a match-high 14 kills and one block in leading the United States to a 25-19, 25-17, 25-13 victory. Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah/Stanford) added 11 kills, two service aces and one block as the women now set their sights on the second round of the tournament.

Team USA was one of just three teams that sailed through pool play unbeaten. Italy and Korea were also undefeated through five matches.

'I personally didn't think we would end up first in our pool, but overall we are getting better,' said Team USA head coach Toshi Yoshida. 'Winning the first round gives us no guarantees for the second round, so we have to refocus and start preparing for the next three teams we will be facing.'

The top three teams in each pool advanced to the second round, which is broken down into three pools of four teams each. The United States will be a member of Pool G in the second round along with Brazil (4-1, the No. 1 team in Pool D), Germany (3-2, No. 3 in Pool A) and the Netherlands (3-2, No. 3 in Pool B).

Pool E includes Italy (5-0, No. 1 in Pool A), Cuba (4-1, No. 2 in Pool B), Russia (4-1, No. 2 in Pool C) and Greece (4-1, No. 3 in Pool D). On Tuesday Greece shocked previously unbeaten China in three sets to drop them to second place in Pool D.

Pool F is comprised of Korea (5-0, No. 1 in Pool B), Bulgaria (3-2, No. 2 in Pool A), China (4-1, No. 2 in Pool D) and Puerto Rico (3-2, No. 3 in Pool C).

Teams in the second round will play a single round-robin format to determine the ranking of each pool. The fourth-ranked teams of each pool, along with the worst third-place team, will be eliminated from the tournament at the conclusion of the second round, which runs from Friday through Sunday, Sept. 6-8. The eight remaining teams will participate in the final three phases of the tournament (quarterfinals, semifinals, finals) to determine the top eight teams in the world.

Middle blocker Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif./Hawai'i) played just two sets but chipped in with nine points on five kills, three aces and one block, while Wiz Bachman (Lakeville, Minn./UCLA) added seven points on three kills, a match-high three blocks and one ace.

'I think the team played well tonight,' said Bachman. 'We lacked energy at the beginning of the match, but the team pushed through and continued to progress through the match. Tonight's match allowed us another opportunity to improve and prepare as a team before we advance to the second round.'

Danielle Scott (Baton Rouge, La./Long Beach State) and Sarah Noriega (Ulysses, Kan./Loyola Marymount) each scored five points for Team USA in the win.

'Kenya's block was very good today; they played aggressively and especially in the first and second set they put up a lot of resistance,' said Scott. 'We're happy to stay here in Riesa as the (top team) in Pool C. We have settled in and know our way around so that we can fully concentrate on the upcoming matches.'

Violet Barasa scored nine points on seven kills and two blocks to lead Kenya, which finished pool play with a 0-5 record. Margaret Mukoya added eight points on seven kills and one block.

'The World Championship has been a good opportunity for us to build up young players for the future and forthcoming international matches,' said Kenya head coach Gilbert Ohanya. 'My young players are mentally not stable and sometimes make some rather silly mistakes having to play top teams. Coming home I expect to read that the U.S. team has captured the world title.'

courtesy of USA Volleyball

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