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BEIJING (Aug. 9, 2008) – Playing with heavy hearts in a difficult situation, the U.S. Olympic Women’s Indoor Volleyball Team defeated Japan 25-20, 20-25, 25-19, 25-21 in its opening match of the 2008 Olympic Games at Beijing’s Capital Indoor Stadium Saturday night.
Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.), playing in her fourth Olympic Games, led Team USA with 22 points. She scored 16 kills on 23 swings to go with a match-high six blocks. Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) added 14 kills, four blocks and an ace for 19 points. Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) charted 15 points with 12 kills on 20 attacks to go with three blocks. Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) contributed 12 points in the victory.
Kim Willoughby (Napoleonville, La.), playing in her first Olympics, tallied 11 points in the victory, including nine kills on 16 attempts with just two errors. Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.), also playing in her first Olympics, totaled four points. Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) rounded out scoring with an ace.
Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) totaled 14 digs to lead the U.S. in the backrow, while Robyn Ah Mow-Santos handed out 21 assists during the match. Tom provided a 66.7 excellent service reception percent on 36 attempts, while Davis had seven excellent receptions on 10 errorless attempts.
Earlier today, Elisabeth “Wiz” Bachman, a 2004 Olympian with the women’s indoor volleyball team and wife of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Men’s Indoor Volleyball Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon, was sight-seeing with her father and mother at the Drum Tower in Beijing when a lone assailant attacked and killed her father and severely injured her mother requiring surgery. (for full release, please visit www.usocpressbox.org)
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Wiz, but until we have a chance to talk to her, that is all we are going to say,” Ah Mow-Santos said speaking on behalf of the players at the post-match press conference. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.”
U.S. Olympic Women’s Indoor Team Head Coach “Jenny” Lang Ping discussed the attack affecting the entire USA Volleyball family during the post-match press conference.
“We had a very difficult situation,” Lang Ping said. “I told the players to concentrate on the game, the game always goes on. We have to be strong and make sure we play our game and play for the USA. We were lucky because there were many supporters behind us. We would like to thank them for that.
“We were shocked. Most of the players called their parents. We were supposed to have a technical meeting but I cancelled it to give them more time. I told my players to be strong, we have a lot of fans. I told them we have to show spirit and I know it's difficult for players to deal with this so quickly. We had three hours to deal with everything.
“In our lives there are a lot of things we cannot control. The thing we can control is ourselves. It's a difficult time. It's the first time in my life I've been in this kind of situation before a game. I have to be strong and patient first so that I can let the players get over it and cheer for them and help them.”
The U.S. held advantages over Japan in each of the three scoring areas. The Americans tallied 64 kills to Japan’s 49, while putting up a 17-10 block margin. Team USA recorded three aces to Japan’s two. Japan benefited from 24 errors by the U.S. while limiting its own miscues to 11 other than blocked attacks. The U.S. out-dug Japan 64-61 in a show of defense with several long rallies with spectacular saves.
The U.S. jumped to a 6-2 lead in the opening set as Scott-Arruda scored three early kills to set the tone before Japan inched to within one at 9-8. Team USA scored five of six points to take an 18-12 advantage and went on to win the opening set 25-20.
Japan never trailed in the second set. After falling behind 10-6, the U.S. rallied to within one at 19-18 with four points on Willoughby’s serve. However, Japan scored the final four points of the set to win 25-20.
The third set had 15 ties and three lead changes. Japan led 17-15 before Glass and Tom connected for kills to tie the set. The two teams traded points through 19-19 sending Berg to the service line following a Bown kill. Bown scored three points during a set-ending 7-0 run, including two blocks. Tom added two kills during the run.
Team USA trailed 15-10 in the fourth set before the Americans put together a run to close to within one at 15-14 as Tom scored an ace around kills from Haneef-Park and blocks from Bown and Berg. Japan regained a three-point cushion at 18-15, only to have Scott-Arruda collect a kill and two blocks to knot the set at 18-all. Tom scored consecutive blocks to yield a 23-21 American advantage. After a Japanese error, Willoughby ended the match with a block at 25-21.
Team USA started Ah Mow-Santos at setter, Scott-Arruda and Bown at middle blocker, Tom and Willoughby at outside hitter and Haneef-Park at opposite. Berg entered as a sub in the second and third sets, while starting the final set. Glass started the final two sets in place of Willoughby after subbing in the second set. Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) was a sub in the second and fourth sets.
Saori Kimura paced Japan with 15 points, while Erika Araki added 14 points. Sachiko Sugiyama contributed 11 points in the loss, while Megumi Kurihara and Miyuki Takahashi each racked up 10 points.
The Americans, looking to reach the Olympic medal stand for the first time since 1992 (bronze in 1992, silver in 1984) face NORCECA rival Cuba on Aug. 11 at 12:30 p.m. at the Capital Indoor Stadium. Team USA plays its only match at the Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium on Aug. 13 versus Venezuela at noon. The U.S. challenges China on Aug. 15 at the Capital Indoor Stadium at 8 p.m. before concluding pool play on Aug. 17 versus Poland at 12:30 p.m. at the Capital Indoor Stadium.
In other matches played today, Italy defeated Russia 25-20, 17-25, 25-16, 25-23, Serbia topped Kazakhstan 25-21, 25-17, 23-25, 25-21, Brazil overwhelmed Algeria 25-11, 25-11, 25-10, Cuba handled Poland 21-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-17 and host China downed Venezuela 25-13, 25-13, 25-18.
The U.S. is part of Pool A with host China, Cuba, Japan, Poland and Venezuela. Pool B consists of Algeria, Brazil, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia and Serbia. The top four teams in both round-robin preliminary pool advance to the quarterfinals on Aug. 19 with the winner of each pool facing the fourth-place team in the opposite pool. A drawing of lots will determine the opponents for the second- and third-place teams against the opposite pool.
The quarterfinal winners advance to the semifinals on Aug. 21, while the gold and bronze medal matches take place on Aug. 23.
The U.S. Women qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games by finishing third at the 2007 FIVB World Cup, the first qualifying event for the Olympic Games. Team USA has earned a silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games and a bronze medal at the 1992 Olympic Games.
For additional information on the U.S. Women’s National Team, click here.
U.S. Women’s Indoor Volleyball Olympic Roster
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Hometown, Colloege)
1 - Ogonna Nnamani (OH, 6-1, Bloomington, Ill., Stanford)
2 - Danielle Scott-Arruda (MB, 6-2, Baton Rouge, La., Long Beach State)
3 - Tayyiba Haneef-Park (OPP, 6-7, Laguna Hills, Calif., Long Beach State)
4 - Lindsey Berg (S, 5-8, Honolulu, Hawaii, Minnesota)
5 - Stacy Sykora (L, 5-10, Burleson, Texas, Texas A&M)
6 - Nicole Davis (L, 5-4, Stockton, Calif., Southern California)
7 - Heather Bown (MB, 6-3, Yorba Linda, Calif., Hawaii)
9 - Jennifer Joines (MB, 6-4, Milpitas, Calif., Pacific)
10 - Kimberly Glass (OH, 6-2, Lancaster, Pa., Arizona)
11 - Robyn Ah Mow-Santos (S, 5-7, Honolulu, Hawaii, Hawaii)
12 - Kim Willoughby (OH, 5-10, Napoleonville, La., Hawaii)
15 - Logan Tom (OH, 6-1, Salt Lake City, Utah, Stanford)
Head Coach: “Jenny” Lang Ping
Assistant Coach: Sue Woodstra
Therapist/Trainer: Li Yong
Technical Consultant: Tom Hogan
Technical Coordinator: Diane French
Team Leader: Joan Powell
Women's 2008 Olympic Games Indoor Volleyball Schedule
Saturday, Aug. 9 - at Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium
Pool B: Italy def. Russia, 25-20, 17-25, 25-16, 25-23
Pool B: Serbia def. Kazakhstan, 25-21, 25-17, 23-25, 25-21
Saturday, Aug. 9 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Pool B: Brazil def. Algeria, 25-11, 25-11, 25-10
Pool A: Cuba def. Poland, 21-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-17
Pool A: China def. Venezuela, 25-13, 25-13, 25-18
Pool A: USA def. Japan, 25-20, 20-25, 25-19, 25-21
Monday, Aug. 11 - at Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium
Pool B: Algeria vs. Serbia, 10 a.m.
Pool B: Kazakhstan vs. Italy, Noon
Monday, Aug. 11 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Pool A: USA vs. Cuba, 12:30 p.m.
Pool B: Brazil vs. Russia, 2:30 p.m.
Pool A: China vs. Poland, 8 p.m.
Pool A: Japan vs. Venezuela, 10 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 13 - at Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium
Pool B: Italy vs. Algeria, 10 a.m.
Pool A: Venezuela vs. USA, Noon
Wednesday, Aug. 13 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Pool B: Russia vs. Kazakhstan, 12:30 p.m.
Pool B: Serbia vs. Brazil, 2:30 p.m.
Pool A: Cuba vs. China, 8 p.m.
Pool A: Poland vs. Japan, 10 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 15 - at Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium
Pool B: Algeria vs. Russia, 10 a.m.
Pool B: Brazil vs. Kazakhstan, Noon
Friday, Aug. 15 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Pool A: Venezuela vs. Poland, 12:30 p.m.
Pool B: Serbia vs. Italy, 2:30 p.m.
Pool A: USA vs. China, 8 p.m.
Pool A: Japan vs. Cuba, 10 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 17 - at Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium
Pool B: Kazakhstan vs. Algeria, 10 a.m.
Pool A: Cuba vs. Venezuela, Noon
Sunday, Aug. 17 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Pool A: Poland vs. USA, 12:30 p.m.
Pool B: Italy vs. Brazil, 2:30 p.m.
Pool A: China vs. Japan, 8 p.m.
Pool B: Russia vs. Serbia, 10 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 19 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Women's quarterfinal 01, 10 a.m.
Women's quarterfinal 02, Noon
Women's quarterfinal 03, 8 p.m.
Women's quarterfinal 04, 10 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 21 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Women's semifinal 01, 12:30 p.m.
Women's semifinal 02, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 23 - at Capital Indoor Stadium
Women's bronze-medal match, 12:30 p.m.
Women's gold-medal match, 8 p.m.
Women's Award ceremony, 9:50 p.m.