PRESS RELEASE 04.10.2003


USA Women Beat Brazil in Texas Tour Finale

BURLESON, Texas, October 4, 2003 – After dropping the first three matches of a four-match Texas Tour against Brazil, the United States Women's Volleyball team won the finale 3-1 (25-22, 16-25, 25-15, 25-20) in Burleson on Saturday.

Tayyiba Haneef scored a match-high 18 points in the victory as Team USA improved to 21-12 and won its final match before the World Cup begins on Nov. 1.

“It’s better than losing the last match of a four-match series,” said Team USA head coach Toshi Yoshida. “Now we can focus on the World Cup.”

The World Cup, a 12-team, round-robin tournament in Japan from Nov. 1-15, is the first Olympic qualifier. The United States qualified for the World Cup by winning the NORCECA Zone Championship last month.

“Despite injuries and changes we played well together,” explained USA outside hitter Brittany Hochevar. “And that’s what we must do more than anything—stay together—with our sights set on winning a World Cup.”

Brazil had won the first three matches of the series, 3-0, 3-0 and 3-1.

“The U.S. team position on the court was very good,” said Brazilian head coach Jose Guimaraes. “Their block and defense worked well one more time, and their serves made our defensive players work more than in the last three games.”

Erika Coimbra and Valeska Menezes scored 12 points apiece to lead Brazil.

“The last three games the USA did not serve well,” said Brazilian setter Fernanda Venturini. “However, today they made us make mistakes from their powerful serves. This is the U.S. team that we will expect in the World Cup.”