The USA Women's National Volleyball Team capped an outstanding week by sweeping Japan and taking the silver medal at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup Sunday at Nagoya Rainbow Hall.
Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) scored a match-high 21 points to lead four players in double figures as the United States posted a 28-26, 25-23, 25-16 victory to finish the tournament with a record of 4-1. The Americans earned wins over Korea, 2004 Olympic gold medalist China, Poland and Japan along the way.
"We are very happy to leave here with a silver medal," said first-year Team USA head coach "Jenny" Lang Ping (Beijing, China). "We did not have a lot of time to prepare for this event. I'm pleased that we had a chance to play some high-level teams and gain some valuable experience for the future."
Earlier in the day, Brazil captured the gold medal with a 3-0 win over Korea to cap a perfect 5-0 week, while China (3-2) won its third-straight match, 3-1 over Poland, and settle for the bronze medal.
Metcalf blasted 19 kills with two blocks and finished as the tournament's second-leading scorer with 85 points on 77 kills and eight blocks. Tournament Most Valuable Player Sheilla Castro led all scorers with 95 points on 80 kills, 10 blocks and five service aces.
Tayyiba Haneef (Laguna Hills, Calif.) scored 12 points while Danielle Scott (Baton Rouge, La.) and Therese Crawford (Kalamazoo, Mich.) chipped in with 11 points apiece for the United States, which finished the 2005 season with a record of 26-15.
Haneef, who had 10 kills and two blocks in Sunday's win, finished seventh among all players in total points with 70 points on 62 kills, four blocks and four aces.
Scott registered a match-high five blocks with four kills and one ace Sunday and finished second among all players in total blocks (17) and blocks per set (1.06).
Crawford ripped nine kills with two blocks in the finale for the Americans, who finished the season by winning medals in each of their last three events (gold at the FIVB World Championship Qualifying Tournament in August; gold at the NORCECA Continental Championship in September; and silver at the Grand Champions Cup in November).
Team USA's roster for this year's World Grand Champions Cup includes: setters Robyn Ah Mow-Santos (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Lindsey Berg (Honolulu, Hawaii); middle blockers Elisabeth Bachman (Lakeville, Minn.), Jennifer Joines (Milpitas, Calif.) and Danielle Scott (Baton Rouge, La.); outside hitters Therese Crawford (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Tayyiba Haneef (Laguna Hills, Calif.) and Katie Wilkins (Lakeside, Calif.); opposites Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) and Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa); and liberos Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) and Sarah Drury (Louisville, Ky.).
FIVB World Grand Champions Cup
Best Scorer – Sheilla Castro (Brazil)
Best Attacker – Zhou Suhong (China)
Best Blocker – Fabiana Claudino (Brazil)
Best Server – Welissa Gonzaga (Brazil)
Best Setter – Feng Kun (China)
Best Libero – Yuka Sakurai (Japan)
Most Valuable Player – Sheilla Castro (Brazil)
Tuesday, Nov. 15 (Tokyo)
Brazil def. China, 3-2 (15-25, 17-25, 25-20, 25-20, 15-8)
USA def. Korea, 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-20)
Poland def. Japan, 3-2 (25-19, 18-25, 16-25, 26-24, 15-12)
Wednesday, Nov. 16 (Tokyo)
USA def. China, 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 26-24)
Brazil def. Poland, 3-0 (26-24, 25-18, 25-21)
Japan def. Korea, 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-21)
Friday, Nov. 18 (Nagoya)
China def. Korea, 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-19)
USA def. Poland, 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-20, 25-19)
Brazil def. Japan, 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-15)
Saturday, Nov. 19 (Nagoya)
Brazil def. USA, 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-19)
Korea def. Poland, 3-2 (26-24, 17-25, 25-18, 15-25, 15-11)
China def. Japan, 3-1 (25-15, 21-25, 25-15, 25-19)
Sunday, Nov. 20 (Nagoya)
Brazil def. Korea, 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-20)
China def. Poland, 3-1 (17-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-20)
USA def. Japan, 3-0 (28-26, 25-23, 25-16)
Photos courtesy of FIVB