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17th Edition
31 July - 23 August 2009

 USA / USA - Team Composition

Team manager Jamie Morrision
Head coach Hugh McCutcheon
Assistant coach Charles Karch Kiraly
Doctor William Briner Jr.
Therapist / trainer Elizabeth Launiere
  No. Name Lastname Shirt Name Birthdate Height Weight Spike Block Club
  1 Nicole Fawcett Fawcett 16/12/1986 191 82 310 291 Agil Volley SSD ARL
  2   Elisha Thomas Thomas 20/07/1981 191 75 321 299 VK Prostejov
  3 Lauren Paolini Paolini 22/08/1987 193 73 317 299 Hitachi Automotive Systems
  4   Angela McGinnis McGinnis 3/11/1986 180 72 301 299 Igtisadchi Baku VC
  L 5 Stacy Sykora Sykora 24/06/1977 176 61 305 295 Clube Desportivo Futuro
  6   Nicole Davis Davis 24/04/1982 167 73 284 266 E.S. Cannet Rocheville VB
  7 Angela Forsett Forsett 6/06/1986 173 74 320 315 Sports Vereingung Schwechat
  8   Cynthia Barboza Barboza 7/02/1987 183 68 311 301 ASD Universal Volley
  9 Alexis Crimes Crimes 12/06/1986 191 68 325 300 Sariyer Belediye Spo Kulubu
  10   Kristin Lynn Hildebrand Hildebrand 30/06/1985 185 68 300 284 Impel Volleyball S.A.
  11 Jordan Larson Larson 16/10/1986 188 75 302 295 Athletes Unlimted
  C 12   Nancy Metcalf Metcalf 12/11/1978 186 73 314 292 Lokomotiv Baku
  13 Tracy Stalls Stalls 12/06/1984 193 77 315 308 Eczacibasi Sports Club
  14   Heather Lee McGuire McGuire 22/06/1986 188 75 308 296 Besiktas Volleyball Kulubu
  15 Courtney Thompson Thompson 4/11/1984 170 66 276 263 Rio de Janeiro Volei Clube
  16   Christa Harmotto Dietzen Dietzen 12/10/1986 188 79 322 300 Fenerbahce SK
  17 Mary Spicer Spicer 3/07/1987 175 65 292 280 Rabita Baku
  18   Foluke Akinradewo Akinradewo 5/10/1987 191 79 331 300 Hisamitsu Springs
  19 Jane Collymore Collymore 30/09/1984 182 68 310 305 San Sebastian
 C=Captain  L=Libero
Team profile

The U.S. Women's National Team placed fourth in the 2008 FIVB World Grand Prix with a roster balancing veteran and young talent, then basked in the glory of winning the silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

However, 2009 is the start of a brand new Olympic quadrennial for every country seeking to reach the 2012 Olympic Games podium.

For the U.S. Women's National Team, some changes have already occurred within the program. Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) has taken over the position of head coach for the U.S. Women's National Team after leading the U.S. Men to the Olympic Gold Medal in Beijing. In addition, legend Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.) has agreed to serve as the program's assistant coach, with Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.) shifting roles from the Men's Team to the Women's Team as assistant coach/technical coordinator.

McCutcheon and Kiraly are in their first years coaching a women's program, but both are certainly not new to volleyball, with their unrivaled resumes. What the U.S. coaching staff has working for them is a vast talent pool of athletes - both veterans and newcomers - striving to put the U.S. back on the medal podium at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

"Hugh has been quick to get everyone working together, from the veterans to the newcomers," said libero Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.), a 2008 Olympian. "We are starting to lay out our goals for the upcoming four years, setting precedence on what the standard will be. It is nice to see everyone in the gym working hard and improving every day. As Hugh has mentioned, we should be cognitively engaged in practice as well as be physically engaged, and I think we are all working toward that concept."

McCutcheon has already provided evidence he wants to evaluate as many players as possible. In a goodwill trip to Egypt in April 2009 arranged by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), he formed a 12-player roster that included nine players who concluded their collegiate careers five months earlier and only two Olympians. The results: two victories over the Egyptian National Team as all 12 players saw court time and 11 started at least one match.

In the meantime, veteran U.S. players who played professionally overseas this winter have filtered back into their new training center, the American Sports Centers, in Anaheim. In a condensed time span, McCutcheon has the chore of bringing everyone together to form a cohesive unit in preparation for a busy summer of volleyball that includes two domestic tournaments and the FIVB World Grand Prix. In the fall, the U.S. has confirmed spots to compete in the NORCECA Continental Championship and the FIVB Grand Champions Cup.

Team USA begins its summer with consecutive tournaments in Florida, starting with the Eighth Women's Pan American Cup staged in Miami from June 26-July 4. After a day of travel to Orlando, the U.S. hosts the four-team NORCECA-G Pool of the FIVB World Championship Qualification Tournament from July 6-8 at the University of Central Florida, with the winner advancing to the 2010 FIVB World Championship held in Tokyo.

The next volleyball stage on the calendar is the women's premier annual international tournament: the FIVB World Grand Prix, with its 12 teams playing three weekends of preliminary matches before advancing to the Final Round in Japan.

Headlining the preliminary 19-player roster are three-time Olympian Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) and Davis for the two tournaments in Florida this summer. Davis was the U.S. Women's Team libero at the 2008 Olympic Games, while Sykora served as the back-row specialist.

At middle blocker, McCutcheon has 2008 Olympic Games alternate Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.), Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Tracy Stalls (Denver, Colo.) and Elisha Thomas (Grass Valley, Calif.).

McCutcheon will have 2004 Olympian Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa), and 2008 Olympic Games alternates Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) and Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) at the opposite position. The World Grand Prix preliminary roster includes as outside hitters 2008 Olympic Games alternate Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah), 2008 2008 NCAA Division I National Player of the Year Nicole Fawcett (Zanesville, Ohio), Jane Collymore (Seattle, Wash.), Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) and Angela Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.).

Three setters are on the preliminary roster, and all three are relatively young in terms of international experience. Angela McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.), a 2008 Olympic Games alternate, played a key role in helping the U.S. finish fourth at the 2008 FIVB World Grand Prix. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) was the starting setter for much of the 2007 Pan American Games, which yielded a bronze medal. Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) concluded a standout collegiate career at UCLA in December 2009 and was on the trip to Egypt earlier this year. All three setters have plenty of experience in the USAV High Performance pipeline.

"Every time we step on the court, our goal is to win the match," McCutcheon said. "At the beginning of every quad, all teams go through the technical and systemic changes involved in adapting to the new coach's philosophies. During these early training sessions and tournaments, we will be very much invested in the process of working into our system."

Coach profile

Less than four months after leading the U.S. Men's Olympic Volleyball Team to a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) accepted the head coach position with the U.S. Women's National Team for the 2009-2012 Olympic quadrennial.

"This is a great opportunity for me to further develop professionally,” said McCutcheon after his appointment in December. “I'm excited by the challenges this change presents, and I'm optimistic that some of the knowledge we've acquired with the men's program can translate to the women.

"There will be differences in systems and aspects of developing team culture but, at the end of the day, the fundamental principles of volleyball are not gender-specific,” he added.

"Hugh proved throughout the past quadrennial his abilities as a great coach, motivator and program manager," said USA Volleyball Chief Executive Officer Doug Beal. "The direction he provided allowed our men to steadily climb into position to be champions. Rarely has a team been so good so often under such intense pressure as they were in Beijing. I look forward to him bringing his talents, abilities, personality and philosophy to our women's program. USA Volleyball is indeed fortunate and pleased to be able to retain Hugh within our national team structure."

Beal notes this is not an uncommon situation in international or professional volleyball. There are many examples of coaches moving from one gender to the other, most notably Jose Roberto Guimaraes (Ze Roberto), who led the Brazilian men's team to the gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games, and matched that success by leading the Brazilian women to the gold medal in Beijing.

"Successful coaches are successful coaches," Beal said. "I have every confidence that Hugh can learn the differences that surely exist between genders and apply his philosophy to our women's team in a positive way."

As the head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team at the 2008 Olympic Games, McCutcheon, 39, and Team USA went undefeated in Beijing to claim its third Olympic Games gold medal and its first podium finish since 1992. He compiled a 107-33 record in four years with the U.S. Men's National Team program, which ended 2008 ranked second in the FIVB World Ranking.

The U.S. enjoyed one of its best seasons ever in 2008 under McCutcheon's guidance as the team won all three of its major tournaments of the year. Team USA secured its first-ever FIVB World League championship in July 2008 after a bronze medal finish in the same event in 2007, the first time the Americans earned back-to-back medals in the annual event. The U.S. started the 2008 campaign in dominating fashion by sweeping all five matches at the NORCECA Men's Continental Olympic Qualifier to earn its berth in the 2008 Olympics.

The U.S. Men opened the 2007 season with a third-place finish at World League. McCutcheon handed the team over to assistant coach Ron Larsen for the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The United States finished 4-1 in the event, with its only loss coming to hometown favorite Brazil in the gold-medal match.

McCutcheon and his men won the gold medal in the 2007 Americas' Cup, defeating a young Brazilian team in the final. Then the United States hosted and won the 2007 NORCECA Men's Continental Championship in Anaheim, Calif. McCutcheon was presented with the inaugural Jim Coleman Award as the tournament's most outstanding coach.

In 2006, the U.S. Men encountered some bumps in the road to Beijing. Nevertheless, the team finished the season with a winning record at 18-14. In April 2006, McCutcheon and the team moved their center of operations from Colorado Springs, Colo. The move had many benefits as it put the team in the center of the men's volleyball universe in Southern California and also removed the effects of Colorado's high altitude on the team's serves.

But injuries and the disruption caused by moving the team caught up with Team USA at FIVB World League, where it did not advance from pool play and finished tied for 10th. That was followed by another 10th-place finish at the 2006 FIVB World Championships in Japan. The U.S. Men's world ranking slipped from fifth to eighth

However, 2006 ended on a high note for McCutcheon, who married U.S. Women's National Team player and 2004 Olympian Elisabeth "Wiz" Bachman on Dec. 9 in Minneapolis.

The U.S. Men's Team flourished in McCutcheon's first year as head coach in 2005 by going 27-6 and winning five medals in five tournaments. The team earned a silver medal at the USOC International Sports Invitational in San Diego, Calif., gold medals at the Americas' Cup in Brazil, the FIVB World Championship Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico and the NORCECA Continental Championship in Canada and another silver medal at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup in Japan.

McCutcheon, a former Brigham Young University assistant coach, joined USA Volleyball as a full-time assistant coach for the men's national team program in April 2003.

McCutcheon was no stranger to the organization. In the summers of 2001 and 2002, respectively, he served as a volunteer assistant coach for the men's national team, helping out during the 2001 World League, the 2002 World Championships and on five international tours.

He has also served as the head coach of the USA Boys Youth National Team in 2000 and 2001. McCutcheon was the top assistant coach and recruiter for BYU from 1995- 2001 under head coach Carl McGown. During that time, the Cougars posted a record of 138- 44 and captured two NCAA men's volleyball championships (1999 and 2001).

After leaving BYU, McCutcheon was the head coach of the Vienna Hotvolleys in Austria for two seasons. In his first season there, the Hotvolleys won the 2001-02 Inter-Liga, Austrian Cup and Austrian League championships. He also coached the first Austrian team to ever beat an Italian A1 opponent.

McCutcheon's love for volleyball developed in New Zealand where he played on the junior and senior national teams from 1986-90 before coming to the United States. He was also a member of New Zealand's national team in 1996 and represented his country on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in 1997.

He played for BYU from 1991-1993 after transferring from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. In 1993 he earned honorable mention All-America honors. In 1992 he earned Academic All-Conference honors from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

After receiving his bachelor's degree in physical education from BYU in 1993, McCutcheon played professionally for two years in Finland and Japan before returning to BYU to complete his master's degree in exercise science in 1998.

In 1999, McCutcheon received an MBA from BYU's Marriott School of Management.


Quick facts:

Years in charge: First Year

Hometown: Christchurch, New Zealand

Resides: Irvine, California

Family: Wife is Elisabeth "Wiz" Bachman McCutcheon

College: Brigham Young University (Bachelors in physical education in 1993, master's in exercise science in 1998, MBA in 1999)



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