USA Women Sweep Guatemala To Open Pan Am Cup

June 21, 2004

Tijuana, Mexico - Wiz Bachman scored a match-high 16 points and Elisha Thomas added 12 as the USA women's national volleyball team swept Guatemala to begin pool play at the Pan American Cup Friday night.

Bachman (Lakeville, Minn.) had 10 kills, a match-high five blocks, one service ace and a hitting percentage of .714 (10 kills, zero errors, 14 attempts) in the 25-10, 25-9, 25-12 rout.

Thomas (Grass Valley, Calif.) added nine kills and three blocks for Team USA, which plays Canada in another Pool A match on Saturday night.

The tournament serves 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.

Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) added seven points on a match-high four aces and three kills as the United States improved to 6-5 overall this season.

Ogonna Nnamani (Normal, Ill.) and Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) added six points apiece for Team USA, which captured the silver medal at the Montreux Volley Masters in Switzerland last week.

Diana Arias scored four points on four kills to lead Guatemala.

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.

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.

courtesy of USA Volleyball

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