USA Women Clinch Berth In Championship Round With Win Over Russia

July 23, 2004

Rostock, Germany - The USA women's national volleyball team clinched a spot in the final round of the World Grand Prix with a 3-1 win over Russia on Thursday at Stadthalle Rostock.

Logan Tom scored a match-high 20 points to lead three players in double-figures as Team USA posted a 25-13, 21-25, 25-21, 25-15 victory to begin the third round of preliminary play.

Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) had 17 kills, two blocks and one service ace as the United States improved its overall tournament record to 5-2 and solidified its hold on fourth place in the overall standings.

The top five ranked teams after pool play will advance to the championship round (July 27-Aug. 1) along with the host team, Italy. With Thursday's win, Team USA can finish no lower than fifth-place even if it were to lose its remaining two matches against Thailand (Friday) and Germany (Saturday) by 0-3 scores due to a superior advantage in set-ratio (number of sets won divided by number of sets lost).

With fifth-place Italy (4-3) already assured a spot in the final rounds as the host team along with No. 1 Brazil (7-0), No. 2 Cuba (7-0) and No. 3 China (6-1) and No. 4 USA (5-2), competition for the final spot in the championship round will be between Russia (3-4), Germany (3-4) and Poland (3-4).

Tayyiba Haneef scored 14 points and Heather Bown added 10 points for the Americans, who won Grand Prix championships in 1995 and 2001 and earned a bronze medal last year.

Haneef (Laguna Hills, Calif.) had 13 kills and one block while Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) posted a match-high five blocks and five kills as the United States improved its overall season record to 15-9.

Alexandra Korukovets scored a team-high 15 points and Natalia Safronova added 11 points for Russia, which was playing without several of its top players due to injuries.

courtesy of USA Volleyball