McCutcheon: “They will do better”
It’s a wrap. After a one win, two loss week in Bangkok, Thailand, the World Grand Prix came to an end for the US Women, who ended in 9th place with an overall 3-6 record.
The tournament was a learning experience for the team, as it won a thrilling 3-2 comeback victory over Dominican Republic in Rio de Janeiro and came tantalizingly close to the big upset in a 3-2 loss to #2 Netherlands in ChineseTaipei, but fell short too often to advance to the Final Round. Still, as Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon noted after the Netherlands match, “we have seen possibilities in our players and believe they will do better.”
Among the talented young players who will be looking to make an impact in the future are Penn State’s Nicole Fawcett, (who played in 33 of 36 sets in the World Grand Prix with three match starts, totaled 84 points to rank as the 35th Best Scorer in the Preliminary round, and recorded the team’s top World Grand Prix offensive performance (27 points and 11 digs) against Puerto Rico on August 1st) and Christa Harmotto (who started first two World Grand Prix matches, played in a total of six sets during the opening weekend of the event, and tallied five points with three kills on five attacks and two blocks versus Germany on July 31st).
Other promising young players include Lauren Paolini , Angie McGinnis, Cynthia Barboza, Alexis Crimes, Kristin Richards, Jordan Larson, Courtney Thompson, and Foluke Akinradewo, whose 99 points ranked 17th in the tournament and led the US Women.
Week 3 Review – Bangkok
The week began with a loss to disappointing 3-0 loss to Russia, followed by a 3-0 sweep of Puerto Rico (25-16, 25-18, 25-22) on August 15th. Head coach Hugh McCutcheon said in his post-match press conference that the team “tried to control what we must control the game and we accomplished that. We also tried to refrain from making mistakes. We played our level. I think we played a bit better than yesterday.” According to Captain Nancy Metcalf, the team “expected to win this match and we could make it. I’m happy that we made it again.”
Unfortunately, the US Women followed that victory with a disappointing loss to host team Thailand 3-2 (19-25, 25-20, 25-21, 23-25, 15-11). Both Head coach Hugh McCutcheon and Captain Nancy Metcalf congratulated Thailand on its win, with McCutcheon saying “We tried our best, but had to surrender to their great form” and Metcalf adding that “Thailand played very well against us. They deserved the win.”
World Grand Prix Overall Standings – Preliminary Round
1 Brazil 9-0
2 Netherlands 8-1
3 China 7-2
4 Russia 6-3
5 Japan 5-4
6 Germany 5-4
7 Poland 4-5
8 Thailand 4-5
9 USA 3-6
10 Puerto Rico 1-8
11 DOM Dominican Republic 1-8
12 KOR Korea 1-8