COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 3, 2010) - The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team closed out the FIVB World Championship first round Pool C undefeated after defeating NORCECA rival Cuba 30-28, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23 in a nail-biter Wednesday evening at Matsumoto, Japan.
Team USA finished atop Pool C with a 5-0 record and takes zero losses into the second round crossover Pool F at Nagoya. The Americans, ranked second in the world by the FIVB, will face Pool B’s fourth-place Czech Republic on Nov. 6 at a time to be determined. Cuba, ranked sixth in the world, finished the first round with a 2-3 record after losing its first two matches of the tournament. Cuba finished third in Pool C as it held the tiebreaker over Thailand and Croatia, which both finished 2-3. The U.S. has now defeated Cuba in all three matches between the two countries in 2010.
F. Akinradewo (16) and L. Tom (15) celebrate versus Cuba
In the World Championship second round, the top four teams in first round Pools B and C crossover into Pool F and play teams from the opposite pool with first-round records versus remaining teams carrying over. Likewise, Pool A and Pool D crossover into Pool E for the second round. The top two teams in Pools E and F advance to the semifinal to be held Nov. 13 followed by the medal matches on Nov. 14. The third and fourth-place teams in the second round will play for fifth through eighth place in the final round held Nov. 13-14, while the fifth and sixth place teams in the second round will play for ninth through 12th place in the final round.
The U.S. rallied from a 23-21 deficit in the first set to Cuba to win 30-28 on its fifth set-point opportunity. The opening set had 17 ties and six lead changes. In the second set, Team USA scored three straight points to take a 21-17 lead and held on for a 25-23 victory. The Americans jumped to a 12-4 lead in the third set, but Cuba responded with a 12-3 run to take an 18-17 lead en route to a 25-22 victory in which the U.S. had 11 errors. In contrast to the third set, the USA came back from a 13-6 deficit with a 10-2 run taking a 16-15 advantage en route to winning 25-23.
J. Larson attempts a block versus Cuba
The FIVB World Championship first round has six teams in four pools playing a round-robin schedule with the top four teams in each pool advancing to the second round for crossover play. The U.S. is grouped in Pool C at Matsumoto with Cuba, Germany, Kazakhstan, Thailand and Croatia. In the second round, Pool C crosses over with Pool B (Brazil, Italy, Netherlands, Kenya, Puerto Rico and Czech Republic) to form Pool F in Nagoya. The semifinals and finals will be played in Tokyo on Nov. 13-14.
Earlier today in Pool C, Croatia (2-3) defeated Kazakhstan (0-5) 25-19, 25-17, 25-18 and Germany (4-1) edged Thailand (2-3) 25-14, 25-15, 25-10. With Croatia, Thailand and Cuba all tied at 2-3, but Croatia was the odd team out in advancing to the second round based on points ratio as Cuba held a ..993 ratio, Thailand .960 and Croatia .899. Germany finished second, followed by Cuba in third and Thailand in fourth.
In Pool B in Hamamatsu, Netherlands (3-2) earned its spot into the second round with a 25-12, 25-13, 25-16 victory over Puerto Rico (1-4). Czech Republic (3-2, 1.065) stopped Kenya (0-5) 25-20, 25-15, 25-20 and Brazil (5-0) finished the pool undefeated with a 25-16, 25-19, 25-7 win over Italy (3-2, 1.072). Brazil finished the pool in first place, followed by Netherlands in second, Italy in third and Czech Republic in fourth.
Peru (2-3) confirmed its spot into the second round with a 25-18, 25-18, 32-34, 25-19 victory over Costa Rica (1-4) to start the day in Pool A in Tokyo. In other Pool A matches, Poland (3-2) blanked Algeria (0-5) 25-17, 25-16, 25-12 and host Japan (5-0) edged Serbia (4-1) 28-26, 29-27, 18-25, 27-25 in a battle of previously undefeated teams. Japan finished in first place, followed by Serbia in second, Poland in third and Peru in fourth.
In Pool D at Osaka, Dominican Republic finished its World Championship with a 21-25, 28-26, 25-11, 25-20 victory over NORCECA rival Canada (0-5) as both teams failed to advance to the second round. Korea (4-1) outlasted Turkey (3-2) 16-25, 25-21, 25-21, 19-25, 15-13, while Russia (5-0) downed China (2-3) 25-22, 25-17, 25-19 in the Pool D finale. Behind pool winner Russia, Korea finished second, Turkey third and China fourth in teams advancing to the second round.
FIVB World Championship First Round Pools with FIVB World Ranking
(first three countries by seed, then next three based on drawing of lots)
Pool A (Tokyo): Japan (5), Serbia (9), Poland (8), Peru (17), Algeria (14), Costa Rica (31)
Pool B (Hamamatsu): Brazil (1), Italy (4), Netherlands (10), Kenya (35), Puerto Rico (13), Czech Republic (38)
Pool C (Matsumoto): USA (2), Cuba (6), Germany (15), Kazakhstan (16), Thailand (12), Croatia (45)
Pool D (Osaka): China (3), Russia (7), Korea (21), Dominican Republic (11), Turkey (22), Canada (24)
Pool A Standings: 1. Japan (5-0, 1.313); 2. Serbia (4-1, 1.167); 3. Poland (3-2, 1.277); 4. Peru (2-3, .952); 5. Costa Rica (1-4, .740); 6. Algeria (0-5, .605)
Pool B Standings: 1. Brazil (5-0, 1.395); 2. Netherlands (3-2, 1.222); 3. Italy (3-2, 1.072); 4. Czech Republic (3-2, 1.065); 5. Puerto Rico (1-4, 0.740); 6. Kenya (0-5, .611)
Pool C Standings: 1. USA (5-0, 1.217); 2. Germany (4-1, 1.249); 3. Cuba (2-3, .993); 4. Thailand (2-3, .960); 5. Croatia (2-3, .899); 6. Kazakhstan (0-5, .779)
Pool D Standings: 1. Russia (5-0, 1.337); 2. Korea (4-1, 1.057); 3. Turkey (3-2, 1.063); 4. China (2-3, 1.048); 5. Dominican Republic (1-4, .847); 6. Canada (0-5, 0.743)
Second Round (Nov. 6-10) - teams play opposite pool in crossover
Pool E (Tokyo): 1A, 1D, 2A, 2D, 3A, 3D, 4A, 4D
Pool F (Nagoya): 1B, 1C, 2B, 2C, 3B, 3C, 4B, 4C
Semifinals and Finals (Nov. 13-14 in Tokyo)
Menager, Media Relation and Publication
Photos: Courtesy of FIVB