USA Sweeps Brazil in Second Round of Women's World Championships

Sept. 6, 2002

Riesa, Germany - The winning ways continue for Team USA at the 2002 Women's Volleyball World Championships.

Keba Phipps scored a match-high 14 points and Logan Tom added 12 as the U.S. women's national volleyball team swept Brazil to open the second round of the tournament at Erdgas Arena Friday night. The United States is one of just two undefeated teams in the tournament. Korea is also 6-0.

'What a great team win!' said Phipps. 'We played consistent, united, and determined. However, there is still room for improvement. We still hope to get better.'

Phipps (Lakewood, Calif./Foppapedretti Bergamo) had a match-high 11 kills, two blocks and one service ace in the 25-20, 25-21, 26-24 victory, the sixth straight without a loss for the United States since the World Championships began on Aug. 30.

'We played quite well in the first two sets,' said Team USA head coach Toshi Yoshida. 'In the third set we did not succeed with our attacks, but our block helped us to win the match. A sweep is a good result, but we must improve for the next game.'

Tom (Salt Lake City/Stanford) had eight kills, three blocks and one ace as a dominating block and balanced scoring once again proved to be the keys to the win. The USA out-blocked Brazil 14-7 and had five players score seven or more points in the match.

Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif./Hawai'i) added 10 points on a match-high six blocks and four kills, while Tayyiba Haneef (Laguna Hills, Calif./Long Beach State) had nine points on seven kills, one block and one ace. Danielle Scott (Baton Rouge, La./Long Beach State) had seven points on six kills and one block.

'We were very prepared for Brazil today and executed what we trained almost to perfection,' said Scott. 'Everyone was focused and had lots of energy. It was good to win in three sets.'

Through six matches the United States holds a decisive edge in blocks over its opponents, 84-40, and has six players averaging 9.5 or more points per match: Tom (12.7), Bown (11.5), Phipps (10.7), Scott (10.5) and Haneef (9.5).

The winning streak is even more impressive considering Team USA is without starting setter Robyn Ah Mow (Honolulu, Hawai'i), who is pregnant with her first child. Jen Flynn (Pittsburgh, Pa./Ohio State) has started each of the World Championship matches at setter so far, with Lizzy Fitzgerald (New Orleans, La./Wisconsin) playing an important role off the bench.

'We didn't play too well today and made too many mistakes,' said Brazil's team captain Karin Rodrigues, who scored eight points on five kills and three blocks. 'That was mainly due to the good block of the USA that's difficult to beat.'

Paula Pequeno led Brazil with 10 points on nine kills and one block. Sheilla Castro chipped in with eight points on seven kills and one ace and Valeska Menezes had six points on four kills and two blocks.

'I congratulate the U.S. team that played very well today,' said Brazilian head coach Marco Motta. 'We made too many mistakes in attack and didn't play steady. These were the main reasons for our defeat. We shall analyze the game to play better against Germany tomorrow.'

On Saturday Team USA plays the Netherlands in Pool G action. The teams have met once this season, a 3-2 win for the United States on June 7 at the Montreux Volley Masters. The Netherlands beat Germany, 3-1, on Friday to start the second round with a win.

'We are pleased with this victory today,' said USA team captain Tara Cross-Battle. 'We played very steady, and I think we are on the right track to get through to the quarterfinals.'

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

courtesy of USA Volleyball

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