COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., March 10, 2004 - The USA women's national Volleyball team will hold intrasquad scrimmages in Colorado Springs and Denver next week, USA Volleyball announced on Tuesday.
Team USA, which qualified for the 2004 Olympic Games by finishing third in the World Cup in Japan in November 2003, will take to the court on March 17 at the United States Olympic Training Center (Sports Center I) in Colorado Springs and on Friday at the Denver Convention Center in what figures to be the team's only domestic appearances prior to the Athens Olympics.
Both scrimmages are open to the public.
Three-time Olympian (1992, 1996 and 2000) Tara Cross-Battle and 2000 Olympians Robyn Ah Mow-Santos and Sarah Noriega are the most experienced of the bunch, which also includes: Wiz Bachman, Lindsey Berg, Greichaly Cepero-Febres, Sarah Drury, Tayyiba Haneef, Brittany Hochevar, Tracy Stalls and Elisha Thomas.
Fans will also have a chance to see up-and-coming players like Cynthia Barboza, Jennifer Joines, Ogonna Nnamani and libero Nicole Davis.
The remainder of the national team is currently playing professionally overseas. Heather Bown (Volley Modena), Nancy Metcalf (Despar Perugia), Danielle Scott (Pallavolo Chieri), Stacy Sykora (Volley Modena) and Logan Tom (Monte Schiavo Jesi) are all playing in Italy, while Keba Phipps is playing for MRV/Minas in Brazil.
"I hope we can have everyone back and in the gym by the second week of May," said Team USA head coach Toshi Yoshida.
Before those players return, however, Yoshida must endure one of the most difficult aspects of being a coach: he has to cut "three or four players" from the roster of players training in Colorado Springs "at the beginning of May."
"I have to evaluate which players can be with us after May," Yoshida admits. "We don't have a lot of time, and the players don't either. I have to decide who will stay and who will go. I have to make the right decisions."