Current and former members of the Stanford women's volleyball team have such exotic places as Miami and Mexico on their summer schedule, but it's hardly been a vacation for them as members on USA Volleyball rosters.
Incoming freshmen Karissa Cook and Hayley Spelman, both members of the U.S. Junior National Team, are preparing for the FIVB Junior World Championships that begin Thursday in Mexico. Sites include Mexicali and Tijuana.
Stanford associate head coach Denise Corlett is a member of that team's 2009 staff, and another Cardinal newcomer, Hannah Benjamin, has been a member of the training team in Chula Vista.
Former Cardinal players Cynthia Barboza and Kristin Richards recently competed in the Pan Am Cup in Miami and the FIVB World Championship Qualification Tournament in Orlando.
The U.S. Women's National Team finished fourth at the Pan Am Cup, which took place at the University of Miami's BankUnited Center June 26-July 4. With Barboza and Richards alternating for a starting outside hitter position, Team USA swept through pool play to win Pool A with a 5-0 record. The squad then dropped a four-set match to Brazil in the July 3 semifinals, and fell to Puerto Rico in four sets in the bronze medal match. Barboza led the team with nine points in its three-set sweep of Guatemala on June 27, while Richards paced the U.S. with 18 points in a critical pool play win over Puerto Rico on June 30.
Team USA then played three matches (July 6-8) at the FIVB World Championship Qualification Tournament at UCF Arena in Orlando, winning NORCECA Pool G with a 3-0 record to earn a spot into next year's FIVB World Championship.
Barboza, who led Team USA with 18 points on 16 kills in its final match against Costa Rica, was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player and Best Spiker. She was the top American scorer, paced the squad in two of its three matches and finished sixth overall with 39 points in three tournament matches. In the squad's second match, Richards came off the bench to lead Team USA with 11 points in its victory over Barbados.
Up next for the U.S. Women's Team is the FIVB World Grand Prix, which takes place July 31-Aug. 23 at sites around the world. The roster for that event will be named later this month. The Americans (10-2 overall) will open against Germany in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.