Stanford Players Prepare For Final Weekend Of Grand Prix Pool Play
July 2, 2008
Stanford, Calif. - Stanford rising seniors Foluke Akinradewo and Cynthia Barboza, along with alumni Logan Tom and Kristin Richards, have been named to the U.S. Women's National Team roster for the last preliminary weekend of the FIVB World Grand Prix. The U.S. has won five straight matches and takes a 5-1 record into the final set of pool play matches in Taipei this weekend.
Team USA will face three of the top five teams in the World Grand Prix standings during Pool H play, including two rematches from earlier in the schedule. The U.S. challenges Poland (0-6) on Friday, less than a week after the Americans swept the Polish squad 25-17, 25-16, 25-20 in Poland. Team USA plays Turkey (4-2) on Saturday. Turkey defeated the U.S. on the opening day of the World Grand Prix. Team USA concludes the preliminary round versus Italy (5-1) on Sunday. The Italians won the last meeting on Nov. 16, 2007, as both teams squared off for the gold medal on the final day of the 2007 FIVB World Cup in Japan.
Akinradewo, Barboza and Richards have been on the U.S. roster since the beginning of the tournament, while Tom saw her first action last weekend. The event is being used to narrow the 19-player preliminary roster to 12 for the Olympic Games next month. Along with the four Stanford players competing this weekend, Ogonna Nnamani is also among the contenders for an Olympic roster spot.
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.
The U.S. is in a three-way tie for second place in the 12-team tournament with Italy and Brazil, one loss behind undefeated tournament leader China. Based on the tiebreaker of points won ratio, the Americans (1.203 points ratio) hold a slim advantage over Brazil (1.191) and Italy (1.117).