USA Women Sweep Cuba, Win Bronze Medal At World Grand Prix

Aug. 4, 2004

Reggio Calabria, Italy - The USA women's national volleyball team earned the bronze medal at the World Grand Prix on Sunday. The medal Team USA really wants awaits the best women's volleyball team in Athens, Greece.Logan Tom scored a match-high 14 points to lead three players in double figures as the United States overwhelmed Cuba in three sets to earn third place on Sunday evening at Palapentimele Hall.Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) had 10 kills, three blocks and one service ace in the 25-20, 25-22, 25-16 victory and walked away as the tournament's Most Valuable Player by earning the Best Scorer honors in the final round (66 points on 50 kills, nine service aces and seven blocks). Tom was also named Best Server of the Grand Prix).In the championship match, Brazil defeated Italy in four sets to win the gold medal in the event for the fourth time. The Brazilians, who finished this year's tournament with a record of 12-1, also won the Grand Prix in 1994, 1996 and 1998.Tayyiba Haneef scored 11 points, Keba Phipps posted 10 points and Danielle Scott added eight points as the United States rebounded from a tough five-set loss to Brazil in Saturday's semifinals.Haneef (Laguna Hills, Calif.) had 10 kills and one ace, while Phipps (Las Vegas, Nev.) ripped seven kills along with three blocks. Scott (Baton Rouge, La.) had seven kills and one block.Daimi Ramirez scored a team-high nine points and Yumilka Ruiz added eight points for Cuba, a two-time Grand Prix champion (1993 and 2000) and owners of the last three Olympic gold medals (1992, 1996 and 2000).Team USA, which finished the Grand Prix with a record of 8-5, won the bronze medal for the second-straight year after winning Grand Prix gold medals in 1995 and 2001. The American's win over Cuba on Sunday erased a 3-2 loss to their main NORCECA rival in the first round of the tournament back on July 10.With the Grand Prix now in the books, the USA women will now switch their focus to the biggest tournament of the quadrennial and of their lives: the Olympic Games. On Aug. 14, the United States will begin its pursuit of the Olympic gold medal when it squares off against China to start competition in Pool B.Team USA will also play Germany (Aug. 16), the Dominican Republic (Aug. 18), Russia (Aug. 20) and Cuba (Aug. 22) in the preliminary rounds, with the top four teams in each pool advancing to the quarterfinals beginning on Aug. 24.courtesy of USA Volleyball