COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 14, 2014) - The U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team, ranked No. 2 in the world, hosts No. 1 Brazil in the four-match USA Volleyball Cup with the first two contests in Southern California.
The USA Volleyball Cup opens on July 5 at UC Irvine's Bren Center at 7 p.m. PT, while the series shifts to University of Southern California's Galen Center on July 6 at 5 p.m. PT. The final two matches will be played at the University of Hawaii on July 11-12.
The U.S. Women have lost to Brazil in the last two Olympics Games gold-medal matches in 2008 (Beijing) and 2012 (London). Surprisingly, the U.S. Women have never won a major volleyball gold medal in the program's history (Olympic Games, FIVB World Championship, FIVB World Cup) whereas their male counterparts have won Olympic gold three times.
In the second year of the Olympic quadrennial, the American team is building toward Olympic qualification. Team USA was 25-6 in 2013 playing a young roster that netted 13 wins against teams among the top 10 in the world. Not only will they need to be their best to be one of the 12 teams to earn a spot into the Olympic Games once team qualifications start in 2015, but they will need to be their best in 2016 to overcome their arch rival, Brazil, who will play host to the 2016 Olympic Games.
Team USA is coached by legendary Karch Kiraly, the greatest male player of all-time and who is the only person to have Olympic gold in both indoor (1984 and 1988) and beach (1996). Karch's competitive fire and will to win are legendary, but at the same time he is one of the most positive and motivational head coaches you will find in any sport.
The USA Volleyball Cup 2014 is a potential preview of the 2016 Olympic Games gold-medal match that will be played in Rio De Janeiro. Victory for the US Women on the 4th of July weekend will provide a major confidence boost that will propel their preparations over the next two years.
"We are so fortunate to be able to host Brazil for this year's USA Volleyball Cup," Kiraly said. "This series of matches will provide our team with an important opportunity to see how we measure up against the world's No. 1 team and how much harder we need to work to achieve our goals of becoming world No. 1 as well as Olympic champions. Having large pro-USA crowds on hand to support our effort will be essential. It will be a fun and exciting weekend of world-class volleyball that does not come to this area at this level very often."
Team USA features several players with local roots including two-time Olympian Nicole Davis (Stockton Calif., University of Southern California), Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif., Stanford University), Juliann Faucette (San Diego, Calif., University of Texas), Natalie Hagglund (Encinitas, Calif., University of Southern California), Cursty Jackson (Los Angeles, University of Arizona), Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California, University of California-Berkeley) and Sonja Newcombe (Lake Arrowhead, Calif., University of Oregon).
Ticket prices and Match Information:
July 5, UC Irvine, Bren Center, 7 p.m. PT
July 6, USC, Galen Center, 5 p.m. PT
VIP - $150
Preferred - $35
General Admission - $20
Active Military/Seniors - $15
Youth (Ages 4-17) - $10
Children 3-uner - Free
Tickets can be purchased online at USAVolleyballCup.com. For sponsorship, luxury sky-box and general information, please contact Tom Huston at 415-370-1026. For all other information, please contact USA Volleyball Senior Manager of Communications Bill Kauffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.