1998 Champions Cup Days 1 & 2
On Saturday, it was the Lloy and Barney show in Grand Rapids, Michigan as the
powerful USA mens team blasted Team Canada 3-1 (10-15 15-6, 15-11, 15-11) in
the first day of action in the 1998 Champions Cup for men. Starting line up
for USA men was Ball, Lambert, Nygaard, Barnett, Ring, Winslow.
The USA men were led by the outstanding setting of Lloy Ball and the
tremendous all around play of Kevin Barnett. Barnett was the statistical
leader in all three scoring categories with 21 kills, 3 blocks and 3 service
aces. Kevin Winslow was next in the kill column with 16 and Jason Ring had 15.
Ring also stunned the crowd with numerous great defensive plays.
The turning point of the match came in the third game with the U.S. behind
7-10 as Barnett got red hot hand led his teammates on an eight to one surge to
win the game.
USA coach Doug Beal was disappointed with the slow start by his charges but
was pleased as the USA men cut down on early mistakes to sweep the last three
games. Coach Beal noted that Canada was the strongest team the USA faced in
1998, and that they will be in the same pool as the USA in Novembers 1998
World Championship in Japan. He noted excellent overall match by Barnett and
was also pleased as the team serving improved greatly after set number one.
Today, Sunday, in the first ever match between the USA and Australia, the USA
mens team dominated their guests from down under with a 3-0 victory (15-10,
15-11, 15-8). The Australians were sluggish in the first game, but came out
firing bullets in the second as they ran up a 10-6 lead. At that point the
Americans showed great concentration as they outscored the Aussies 9-1 to
finish off the game 15-11.
For the second nite in a row Kevin Barnett led the USA men with 16 kills,
followed by Tom Hoff with 13 winners. Mike Lambert, Mike Sealy and Hoff each
had four successful blocks. Hoff and Lambert also each had two ace serves.
Coach Doug Beal said, "The Australians show great promise as the hosts for the
2000 Games, but they showed the effect of their six month layoff since their
last international match. They will get better as the tournament proceeds."
Australia was led by Shane van Beest, the NCAA blocking leader this past year
as a member of Brigham Young University. "The Beest" had 12 kills, three
blocks and two ace serves.
In the first match today, France defeated Canada 3-0 (15-13, 15-7, 15-12).
USA leads the 1998 Champions Cup with a record of 2-0, followed by France at
1-0, Australia at 0-1 and Canada at 0-2.
The remainder of the Cup schedule is:
Mon 8th FRA vs AUS 7:00pm
Tue 9th CAN vs AUS 6:00pm
USA vs FRA 8:00pm
Wed 10th ALL TEAMS OFF
Thu 11th Semis 6:00 & 8:00pm
Fri 12th Finals 6:00 & 8:00pm
Awards Ceremonies after completion of finals 6/12/98
Meanwhile, brief USA news from the BCV VolleyMasters event in Lausanne
Switzerland. After losing to Russia 3-0 (15-9,15-6,15-9) the USA women met
Italy, who was third in Pool B with a 1-2 record (defeating Japan 3-0 / 15-10,
15-9, 15-13) and losing 0-3 to both China and Brazil. The USA women defeated
Italy 3-0 (15-9, 15-8, 15-11) in a 1 hour and 23 minute match in front of a
near full house of 2,600 spectators. In the Semis, Cuba beat Brazil 3-0 (15-6,
15-6, 15-6) and China thrashed Russia 3-0 (15-5,15-5,15-5).
This morning Japan defeated USA 3-2 (11-15, 12-15, 15-12, 15-10, 15-8) putting
the USA ladies in 6th place. Salima Davidson as the Number one ranked setter
in the event overall, with 578 total attempts and 219 kills by hitters for a
20.59 average per set. Chinas Qi He was second with 19.44, and Brazils Helia
Souza third with 19.00. Monique Adams made the Top Ten Scorers list in 8th
place with 36 total points (Attacks, Blocks, Serve Aces), just two behind the
fourth place finishers of Silva of Brazil and Saski of Japan who had 38
points. Virna Dias of Brazil led all with 47 total points. Allison Weston was
ranked the second best server, behind Regla Torres of Cuba, Laura Davis was
the 8th ranked Digger with a 1.76 average per set (Japan took 3 of the top 4
spots in this division, no one from Cuba or Russia made the top 10 in this
bracket). Karrie Downey was seventh ranked (45.18% efficiency - 84 excellent
out of 166 with 9 faults) and Alison Weston tenth ranked (39.58% - 90
excellent out of 192 with 14 faults) in Reception, where Japans Tsukumo lead
all with 69.77% handling 172 serves with 127 excellent and only 7 faults.
Meanwhile, Russia defeated Brazil for third, in a real dogfight of a match,
3-2 (15-10,10-15, 13-15, 16-14, 15-11), and Cuba took first over China 3-0
(15-7, 15-12, 15-7)
For more info on the BCV VolleyMasters98 go to
for all BCV results