USA Women Begin Pan American Cup Against Guatemala Friday

June 18, 2004

Colorado Springs, Colo. - The USA women's national volleyball team begins play in the third annual Pan American Cup on Friday, June 18, against Guatemala at the Fausto Gutierrez Moreno Municipal Auditorium in Tijuana, Mexico.

The tournament will serve as a qualifier for the 2005 FIVB World Grand Prix, the premier annual women's competition that features many of the best teams in the world. The top four finishers at the Pan American Cup qualify for next year's Grand Prix.

The United States' roster is quite different from the team that captured the silver medal at the Montreux Volley Masters in Switzerland earlier this month.

Team USA's veteran players-Robyn Ah Mow-Santos, Heather Bown, Tara Cross-Battle, Tayyiba Haneef, Keba Phipps, Danielle Scott, Stacy Sykora and Logan Tom-did not make the trip to Mexico. The group remained in Colorado Springs, Colo., along with head coach Toshi Yoshida, to prepare for the upcoming World Grand Prix in Asia next month.

Assistant coach Kevin Hambly is serving as the head coach of an American team that includes setters Lindsey Berg and Greichaly Cepero-Febres; middle blockers Wiz Bachman and Elisha Thomas; outside hitters Cynthia Barboza, Brittany Hochevar and Ogonna Nnamani; opposites Nancy Metcalf and Sarah Noriega; and libero Sarah Drury.

The 10-team field for the Pan American Cup is broken into two pools. The United States, currently ranked No. 2 in the world, will be a member of Pool A and play a round-robin schedule against No. 6 Cuba, No. 13 Argentina, No. 21 Canada and unranked Guatemala. Pool B consists of No. 3 Brazil, No. 14 Dominican Republic, No. 17 Puerto Rico, No. 31 Costa Rica and No. 34 Mexico.

Following its opening pool play match on June 18 against Guatemala, Team USA will play Canada on Saturday, June 19, have a rest day on Sunday, June 20, take on Argentina on Monday, June 21 and close out pool play against Cuba on Tuesday, June 22.

The top team in each pool earns two days off (June 23 and 24) and automatically advances to the championship semifinals that take place on June 25 at the Ciudad Deportiva Municipal Auditorium in Mexicali. The No. 2 and No. 3 teams in each pool will play crossover matches in Mexicali on July 24 (No. 2A vs. No. 3 B; No. 2B vs. No. 3A), with the winners advancing to the championship semifinals and the losers squaring off for fifth place on 25. The No. 4 and No. 5 teams in each pool will play each other on June 24 in a battle for seventh and ninth place, respectively.

courtesy of USA Volleyball

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