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18th Edition
6 - 29 August 2010

 USA / USA - Team Composition

Team manager Sunahara, Reed / Iversen, Laurel
Head coach McCutcheon, Hugh
Assistant coach Kiraly, Charles
Doctor Ho, Sherwin
Therapist / trainer Stone II, James
  No. Name Lastname Shirt Name Birthdate Height Weight Spike Block Club
  1 Ogonna Nnamani Nnamani 29/07/1983 185 80 315 305 VK Prostejov
  2   Alisha Glass Glass 5/04/1988 184 72 305 300 Imoco Volley
  3 Christa Harmotto Dietzen Dietzen 12/10/1986 188 79 322 300 Fenerbahce SK
  4   Angela Forsett Forsett 6/06/1986 173 74 320 315 Sports Vereingung Schwechat
  L 5 Stacy Sykora Sykora 24/06/1977 176 61 305 295 Clube Desportivo Futuro
  L 6   Nicole Davis Davis 24/04/1982 167 73 284 266 E.S. Cannet Rocheville VB
  7 Heather Bown Bown 29/11/1978 188 90 301 290 Azerrail Baku
  8   Cynthia Barboza Barboza 7/02/1987 183 68 311 301 ASD Universal Volley
  C 9 Jennifer Tamas Tamas 23/11/1982 191 82 315 301 Azerrail Baku
  10   Courtney Thompson Thompson 4/11/1984 170 66 276 263 Rio de Janeiro Volei Clube
  11 Jordan Larson Larson 16/10/1986 188 75 302 295 Athletes Unlimted
  12   Nancy Metcalf Metcalf 12/11/1978 186 73 314 292 Lokomotiv Baku
  13 Lauren Paolini Paolini 22/08/1987 193 73 317 299 Hitachi Automotive Systems
  14   Nicole Fawcett Fawcett 16/12/1986 191 82 310 291 Agil Volley SSD ARL
  15 Logan Tom Tom 25/05/1981 186 80 306 297 Fenerbahce Acibadem
  16   Foluke Akinradewo Akinradewo 5/10/1987 191 79 331 300 Hisamitsu Springs
  17 Mary Spicer Spicer 3/07/1987 175 65 292 280 Rabita Baku
  18   Megan Easy Easy 15/10/1988 191 80 320 297 Imoco Volley
  19 Destinee Hooker Hooker 7/09/1987 193 73 320 304 Osasco Voleibol Clube
 C=Captain  L=Libero
Team profile

For the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, 2009 was a year of transition, evaluation and qualifying for two major events in 2010. All three areas were a success as the squad builds for the future and climbs toward qualification into the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Hugh McCutcheon, who led the U.S. Men’s National Team to the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games, transitioned well into becoming the head coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team in his first experience leading a female squad.  He used the first year of the 2012 Olympic quadrennial to evaluate players and implement his system of play to over 50 athletes who trained at the USA National Team Center at some point during 2009. All told, 30 players were named to at least one roster for international competition last season. While an 18-14 record in 2009 was not remarkable by itself, the young players gained valuable international experience and improved significantly each step of the way.

“We had an average year in 2009 in terms of results,” McCutcheon said. “As a staff, we knew we did as well as we could have in preparing the team. Only a couple points here and there in a handful of matches would have changed an average season to a really good season with a few more wins in close matches.”

Team USA endured seven five-set matches with a young roster in 2009. Out of those seven five-set matches, six were losses.

As part of the second year goals of the quadrennial, McCutcheon and his staff will begin to stabilize the roster into a cohesive unit in 2010.

“This year, as a staff, we will try to identify a core group of athletes for the rest of the quadrennial,” McCutcheon said. “At the same time, we will continue to implement and refine our system with this group of athletes.”

To open the season, the U.S. Women’s National Team will compete in two tournaments held in quick succession in June. Team USA participates in the 26th Montreux Volley Masters, which will take place June 8-13 in Montreux, Switzerland. The Americans, who have not been part of the prestigious tournament since 2005, are part of Group A with Russia, Japan and Germany. Group B includes China, Cuba, Netherlands and Poland. The U.S. will face Japan on June 8, Germany on June 9 and Russia on June 11. Pool cross-over matches take place on June 12, while the medal matches take place on June 13.

Right after Montreux, Team USA will play in the Pan American Cup being held June 16-27 in Tijuana and Mexicali, Mexico. The Pan American Cup comprises the top teams from NORCECA and the South American Volleyball Confederation. The tournament schedule with Pool A and Pool B breakdown should be available in late April or early May. The Pan American Cup’s top three NORCECA teams and top South American Team earn berths into the 2011 FIVB World Grand Prix next year.

With only a small time window between Montreux and the Pan American Cup, McCutcheon will delicately balance the two tournament rosters ensuring maximum opportunities to win with player development in mind at both events.

We will split into two rosters for Montreux and the Pan American Cup,” McCutcheon said. “Obviously, our goal every time we step on the court is to win and play our best. These two tournaments will provide strong back-to-back events in which we can evaluate a large population of our athletes.”

After a month without international competitions in July, Team USA will travel to Poland, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong in consecutive weekends in August as part of the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix, the premier annual international tournament for women. The tournament format consists of nine preliminary round matches with three consecutive weekends of three matches each. The top five countries in the preliminary round plus the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round host advance to a five-day, five match round robin to determine the overall winner. The 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round will take place in Ningbo, China.

The U.S., ranked fourth in the world, opens FIVB World Grand Prix action Aug. 6-8 in Poland with matches against No. 11 Poland, No. 9 Germany and No. 13 Dominican Republic in Group B. Team USA travels to Asia for the second and third preliminary round weekends. The Americans will face No. 7 Italy, No. 14 Puerto Rico and No. 12 Thailand Aug. 13-15 in Chinese Taipei as part of Group D. Italy won the 2009 FIVB Grand Champions Cup to end the 2009 season on a high note. The U.S. concludes the preliminary round Aug. 20-22 in Hong Kong as part of Group G. Team USA will challenge No. 2 China, No. 9 Germany and No. 12 Thailand.

According to McCutcheon, Team USA will utilize more of a balanced FIVB World Grand Prix roster of experienced veterans and young players based on international experience. Last year, the U.S. used only three players with Olympic Games experience at the FIVB World Grand Prix in which it finished ninth. Only nine of the 19 players on the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix preliminary roster players had ever competed in the grueling month-long competition.

“The FIVB World Grand Prix is always a great opportunity to play against great opponents,” McCutcheon said. “The team is excited to again play in this event. As a team, we learned some valuable lessons at last year’s World Grand Prix. This year, we will do a better job in managing the event.”

Based on the outcome of the Pan American Cup in June, the U.S. may qualify for the four-team Women’s Final Four Intercontinental Cup that is scheduled between Sept. 19-26 in Mexico. The top two South American teams at the Pan American Cup and the top team from NORCECA join host Mexico to form the four-team event.

The FIVB World Championship, taking place Oct. 29 to Nov. 14 in various Japanese cities, is the season-concluding tournament. The FIVB World Championship, an event held every four years in the second year of the Olympic quadrennial, has a total of 24 countries drawn into four first-round pools of six teams.

“The FIVB World Championship is a very significant part of our quadrennial preparation and player development,” McCutcheon said. “It is the first major event of the quadrennial. For many of our younger players, it will be their first major competition in their international careers. The World Championship brings with it a lot of stresses and challenges along the way, and we must overcome those obstacles to perform well against the top teams in the world.”

Team USA joins NORCECA rival and No. 6 Cuba to headline Pool C of the World Championship being held Oct. 29 to Nov. 3 at Matsumoto, Japan. Other teams participating in Pool C are No. 9 Germany, No. 12 Thailand, No. 16 Kazakhstan and No. 45 Croatia. The order of matches for the Americans will be Thailand on Oct. 29, Croatia on Oct. 30, Germany on Oct. 31, Kazakhstan on Nov. 2 and Cuba on Nov. 3.

“Pool C is a strong group to contend against - as are all of the teams who have earned the right to compete in the World Championship,” McCutcheon said. “We're excited to compete in this event and build on the foundation we established in 2009. While we hope to do well in this tournament, our initial focus and goal is to get out of our pool and qualify for the next round of competition.”

Pool A consists of host and fifth-ranked Japan, No. 10 Serbia, No. 11 Poland, No. 15 Algeria, No. 17 Peru and No. 31 Costa Rica. The six teams will play their matches in Tokyo with the top four teams advancing to the second round to play the top four teams from Pool D.

Brazil, the 2008 Olympic Games champion, heads Pool B that includes 2009 FIVB Grand Champions Cup winner Italy. Brazil is the No. 1 team in the world, while Italy is ranked No. 7. Other countries in Pool B are No. 8 Netherlands, No. 14 Puerto Rico, No. 35 Kenya and No. 38 Czech Republic. All Pool B matches will be played at Hamamatsu, with the top four teams advancing to the second round to face Pool C’s top four teams.

Pool D is made up of No. 2 China, No. 3 and 2006 FIVB World Championship winner Russia, No. 13 Dominican Republic, No. 21 Korea, No. 22 Turkey and No. 24 Canada. The group will play its set of round-robin matches at Osaka.

When Nov. 15 rolls around and the curtain falls on the 2010 season, McCutcheon will not look solely at the record as a defining factor in determining the season as a success.

“In 2010, we hope to have better results than the 18-14 record in 2009,” McCutcheon said. “When we look back on the season, we just want to know that we all did our bests. That will define our season as a success.”

Coach profile

Hugh McCutcheon
Head Coach

Second Year
Hometown: Christchurch, New Zealand
Resides: Irvine, Calif.
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)

Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) is in the second year as head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team.

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 en route to being named the 2008 USOC National Coach of the Year, McCutcheon accepted the head coach position of the U.S. Women's National Team for the 2009-2012 Olympic quadrennial, USA Volleyball Chief Executive Officer Doug Beal announced on Dec. 15, 2008.

“This is a great opportunity for me to further develop professionally. 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,” McCutcheon said in regards to changing roles to the U.S. Women's National Team. “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.”

In his first year leading the U.S. Women’s National Team, McCutcheon was able to evaluate 30 players in international competitions along with training several other players who were new or returning to the program. With the mix of youth and veterans, Team USA finished 2009 with an 18-14 record and provided vast experience for a young roster. During the year, McCutcheon also took on the role of spokesperson for Human Options, which aims to create awareness of domestic violence.

The squad qualified for the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix and 2010 FIVB World Championship based on results in 2009. The U.S. won the FIVB World Championship – NORCECA Group G third-round pool to advance to the FIVB World Championship to be end at the end of 2010. It also placed fourth at the Pan American Cup held June 26-July 4 at Miami with several newcomers gaining their first international experience. Later in the year, the Americans placed ninth at the FIVB World Grand Prix utilizing a roster of only three Olympians. The U.S. earned the silver medal at the Final Four Intercontinental Cup, losing to Brazil in the title match. Team USA ended the year with a fourth-place finish at the NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship with all three losses coming in five-set heartbreakers.

“Hugh proved throughout the past quadrennial his abilities as a great coach, motivator and program manager,” Beal said. “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.



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