COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The USA women's national volleyball team,
currently ranked No. 2 in the world, will host sixth-ranked Brazil in a
series of four matches in Texas from Sept. 30-Oct. 4.
The tour begins on Sept. 30 on the campus of Texas Christian
University in Fort Worth. On Wednesday, Oct. 1, the teams will square off
at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth.
After a training day on Oct. 2, the tour resumes on Friday, Oct. 3 with a
match at the University of North Texas in Denton. The series concludes on
Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Burleson High School Arena in the city of Burleson,
hometown of USA star libero Stacy Sykora.
"This tour in Texas will be really good for us," explains Team USA
coach Toshi Yoshida. "Brazil is one of the top teams in the world, for
Brazil defeated Team USA to capture the bronze medal at the 2000 Olympics in
Sydney, Australia. The two teams have met just once this season, with
Brazil winning in four sets to win the bronze medal at the Montreux Volley
Masters in Switzerland on June 8.
The United States also defeated Brazil's junior national team twice at the
Pan American Cup in Mexico earlier this summer.
Next week Team USA heads to the Dominican Republic to compete in the NORCECA
Zone Championships, which serves as a qualifier for the first Olympic
qualifier, the 2003 World Cup in Japan in November.
"Hopefully we can qualify for the World Cup," said Yoshida,
tour (with Brazil) will be very good preparation for the World Cup."
Brazil will be playing with a new head coach, Jose Roberto Guimaraes, who
took over when Marco Aurelio Motta was fired after failing to lead his team
into the final round of the World Grand Prix (where the USA captured the
Guimaraes became the only Brazilian coach to win an Olympic gold medal when
he led the men's team to the top step of the podium in Barcelona, Spain, in
"He's an experienced coach.and his presence there should make an immediate
impact for their team," added Yoshida.
It will be a rare opportunity for fans in the United States to see players
like past Olympians Logan Tom, Danielle Scott, Keba Phipps, Heather Bown,
Sarah Noriega, Robyn Ah Mow-Santos and Sykora.
Team USA has played just one domestic tour in the last three years, a
four-match series against Italy in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the summer of
2002. The women did not play in the United States at all in 2001 and has
yet to make an appearance on American soil this season.