USA Women Improve to 3-0, Face Cuba Next

June 23, 2004

Tijuana, Mexico - Nancy Metcalf and Ogonna Nnamani each scored a match-high 12 points to lead the USA women's national volleyball team to a 3-0 win over Argentina in Pan American Cup action Monday night.

Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) had 12 kills and a hitting percentage of .579 in the 25-16, 25-22, 25-19 victory for the United States, which improved to 3-0 in Pool A.

Nnamani (Normal, Ill.) added nine kills, two blocks and one service ace for Team USA, whose next match is against Cuba on Tuesday night. The winner will earn the No. 1 spot in the final Pool A rankings and earn an automatic berth in Friday's tournament semifinals.

The top team in each pool will also reserve a place at 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.

'Tonight's win was an important one,' said Team USA setter Lindsey Berg (Honolulu, Hawaii). 'It puts us in a position to win the pool and qualify for the 2005 Grand Prix. We had a day-and-a-half to prepare for Argentina. We went into the match knowing their tendencies and we executed. On Tuesday night we will come out with a lot of energy and determination to beat Cuba, win our pool and qualify.'

Elisha Thomas (Grass Valley, Calif.) scored eight points, Wiz Bachman (Lakeville, Minn.) added seven points and Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) posted six as the United States improved to 8-5 overall this season.

Mirna Ansaldi scored 10 points on nine kills and one block to lead Argentina, which dropped to 0-3 in Pool A.

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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