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PRESS RELEASE 09/11/2005

USA is the Women’s Continental Champions of Norceca

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, September 11, 2005.- USA edged Cuba in five thrilling sets and won the gold medal at the Norceca Womem’s Continental Championships while claiming also a ticket to the Grand Champions Cup in Japan next November. A touch by Tayyiba Haneef landed on the Cuban side for the victory point of a match that lasted 114 minutes and finished by score of 25-13, 22-25, 27-25, 20-25, 15-10.

Veteran Danielle Scott was the top American scorer with 20 points followed by Nancy Metcalf with 19 and Haneef and Therese Crawford with 12 and 10 respectively. For Cuba, Zoila Barros totaled 21 points and Yumilka Ruiz (12) and Nancy Carrillo (10) were also in double digits.

The high wall of the USA blocking was a key in the outcome of the first set with Scott playing a star role. Also Crawford hit some potent kills and the Americans led 8-5 and 16-7 at the technical pauses.

USA led 8-4 at the first time out of the second set, but the difference lowered to 16-15 at the second pause. The serves of Carrillo and Barros helped the Cuban side to erase the deficit. With the score tied at 21-all, Barros converted with a block and the next spike attempt by Metcalf was long for a 23-21 Cuban lead. The kills by Carrillo and Daimi Ramirez closed for Cuba.

The third set was a gruelling battle with the USA team leading 16-15 at the second pause after a long an exciting exchange which ended with a spike by Metcalf. After that, the score was tied-up 10 times and USA finally won with one spike from Metcalf followed by an ace of Haneef.

In the fourth set, USA took advantage of Cuban’s mistakes and led 8-4 at the first time-out, but Cuba came back to tied the score at 12-all behind the serves of Barros. USA was ahead 16-15 when Carrillo’s serve was too long. With the score tied at 16-all after Barros spike, Cuba took a three-point lead 21-18 with spikes from Yanelis Santos and Ruiz and ace by Barros. One ace from Santos closed the set.

Yumilka Ruiz, captain of Cuba: “We did not play as in our previous matches and made many mistakes. On the other side, the team of USA played very well and executed in the passing and blocking.”

Robyn Ah Mow Santos, captain of USA: “The team was focused and we had good reception and blocking. I think that was the key for us tonight.”

Felipe Calderon, coach of Cuba: “Congratulations to the team of USA. They deserved the victory because did all the right things. It is a very good technically and tactically that never gives up.”

Lang Ping, coach of USA: “We tried to improve our passing from the previous match and we did it. The players deserve all the credit. Scott has a lot of experience and she helped the young players throughout the match.”

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