Cuba Sweeps USA Women to Win Pool A

June 24, 2004

Tijuana, Mexico - Yaima Ortiz and Zoila Barros each scored a match-high 14 points as Cuba defeated the USA women's national volleyball team, 3-0, in Pan American Cup action Tuesday night.

Barros and Ortiz each had nine kills, three service aces and two blocks in the 25-17, 25-19, 25-15 victory that gave Cuba the No. 1 seed in Pool A and an automatic berth in the Friday's tournament semifinals.

With the win and a guaranteed spot among the top four finishers, Cuba also qualified for the 2005 World Grand Prix along with the Dominican Republic, the No. 1 team in Pool B, and Brazil, the No. 2 team in Pool B but the top South American finisher at the tournament.

Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) scored a team-high 12 points on 11 kills and one block and Ogonna Nnamani (Normal, Ill.) added 10 points on 10 kills for Team USA, which finished in second place in Pool A with a record of 3-1.

The Americans will now face Puerto Rico, the No. 3 team in Pool B, in a quarterfinal match on Thursday night. With a win, the United States will also qualify for next year's World Grand Prix.

'We struggled tonight maintaining our rhythm while Cuba did a great job serving and executing their middle attack,' said Team USA middle blocker Wiz Bachman (Lakeville, Minn.), who scored six points on a match-high four blocks and two kills. 'We will definitely use this match as a learning experience as we refocus and prepare for our upcoming matches.'

Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) chipped in with seven points on seven kills as the United States dropped to 8-6 overall this season.

'Cuba came out strong tonight,' added USA libero Sarah Drury (Louisville, Ky.), who had four digs. 'They were well-prepared for us. We made some good plays, but struggled at times. We will take what we learned tonight and use it to our advantage if we meet them again in this tournament. Now our focus is on preparing for Thursday's quarterfinals.'

courtesy of USA Volleyball

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