Stanford Players Lead U.S. To Fifth Place Finish At Pan Am Cup

June 9, 2008

Stanford, Calif. - Stanford junior Cynthia Barboza and freshman Alix Klineman, along with former Cardinal standout Kristin Richards, helped the U.S. Women's National Team to a fifth-place finish at the Pan Am Cup in Mexicali, Mexico last week. The trio combined for 18 starts over the eight matches, and all three were key offensive players for the team.

Richards started all eight matches at outside hitter and led the team offensively on two occasions. Barboza, who also led the team in two matches, started the first six matches at outside hitter before moving to start as the team's opposite in the final two. Klineman made appearances in all eight matches and started the final two as an outside hitter.

The U.S. began pool play in May 30, falling to the Dominican Republic 20-25, 25-18, 25-27, 25-23, 15-8. Barboza chipped in 11 kills, one block and an ace in the match for 13 points.

From there, the squad rallied to sweep opponents in its next four pool play matches, blowing by Costa Rica, Argentina, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago on consecutive days, May 31 through June 3.

In the first match of that series, a 25-20, 25-10, 27-25 sweep of Costa Rica, Barboza chipped in 10 points, all on kills off 17 errorless attacks. Richards tacked on five kills in just two sets of action. Klineman had four points in just one set start.

Against Argentina, Richards was second on the team with 10 kills on 14 errorless swings and an ace for 11 points in a 25-16, 25-18, 30-28 sweep. Barboza chipped in four kills and two blocks.

The following day, Team USA swept Mexico, 25-18, 25-22, 25-14. Richards led the U.S. with 12 points via 11 kills on 18 swings and a block. Barboza and Klineman tied for second on the team with seven points each.

In the final match of pool play, a dominant 25-11, 25-11, 25-14 decision over Trinidad & Tobago, Barboza carried the team with a match-high 12 points on 10 kills, a block and an ace. Klineman, who came off the bench in the first set and started the second two, pocketed 11 points in the victory with nine kills and two blocks.

The classification rounds began on Thursday, June 5, where Team USA fell to Puerto Rico in four sets, 25-21, 34-32, 14-25, 25-18. Barboza and Richards each tallied 15 points to pace the team in the loss. Richards provided 13 kills on 32 swings to go with two blocks, while Barboza turned in 12 kills on 34 swings with three blocks.

The U.S. then bounced back on Friday with a 25-19, 25-15, 25-16 win over Peru to reach the fifth-place match. Richards was second on the squad with 13 points on 11 kills, a block and an ace, while Barboza contributed 11 points via 10 kills and a block. Starting her first match of the tournament, Klineman turned in six kills, two blocks and an ace. The win helped the U.S. secure a berth in the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix.

In the fifth-place match, Team USA downed Venezuela in an exciting five-set match, 27-25, 28-26, 17-25, 22-25, 15-7. Barboza, starting her second straight match at opposite, contributed 17 points with 16 kills and a block. Klineman tacked on nine kills, two blocks and two aces for 13 points. Richards provided six kills, two blocks and an ace for nine points.

The players will now return to Colorado Springs to play three exhibition matches against Brazil beginning on Wednesday. From there, the team will begin the 2008 FIVB World Grand Prix in Kobe, Japan on June 20.

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