Three Stanford Players To Compete In FIVB World Grand Prix Opening Weekend

June 18, 2008

Stanford, Calif. - Rising seniors Foluke Akinradewo and Cynthia Barboza, along with former Stanford standout Kristin Richards, are three of the 12 players named to the U.S. National Team roster for the opening weekend of the FIVB World Grand Prix announced USA Volleyball today. Play begins on Friday, with Team USA taking on Turkey in Kobe, Japan.

Following Friday's match, the U.S. will complete its first round of pool play, taking on Kazakhstan on Saturday and host Japan on Sunday.

Team USA then travels to Wroclaw, Poland, to play three matches at the Centennial Hall as part of Group E on June 27-29. The U.S. challenges Thailand, the Dominican Republic and Poland in that pool.

The U.S. concludes the preliminary round matches in Group H at Hsinchuang Gym in Taipei, Chinese Taipei, July 4-6. Team USA takes on Poland, Turkey and Italy in that pool.

The FIVB World Grand Prix finals, a round-robin format of the top five teams from the preliminary round plus host Japan, will be played July 9-13 in Yokohoma, Japan. The overall ranking in the preliminary rounds is decided by the total number of World Grand Prix Points (GPP) gained by the teams in the preliminary matches. A team will earn two GPPs for a win, one for a loss and none if they forfeit the match.

Rosters can be changed prior to the start of each weekend of the World Grand Prix. Team USA and the other teams qualified for the Olympic Games will be using the World Grand Prix as a tool to evaluate players and making final roster decisions. Five current and former Stanford players are among the 19 players remaining in contention for 12 roster spots at the Olympic Games.

The U.S. has won the World Grand Prix in 1995 and 2001, along with bronze medals in 2003 and 2004.

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