Lincoln - Former Huskers Jordan Larson and Nancy Metcalf will each represent the United States at the upcoming FIVB World Championships after the two were selected to the 14-player national team on Tuesday, Oct. 26. Larson was one of four outside hitters pick by Head Coach Hugh McCutheon, while Metcalf is one of three players that will be used at opposite. The FIVB World Championships will take place Oct. 29 to Nov. 14 and are held every four years in the second year of the Olympic quadrennial.
"There were some extremely difficult decisions to make in selecting the final World Championship roster," McCutcheon said. "We've now developed some depth across all positions and, as a result, it's been a very competitive training block. It was tough to determine the final 14, but we think we have selected the best team we can to represent our country at these World Championships. We are excited to go to Japan and compete."
The FIVB World Championship first round has six teams in four pools playing a round-robin schedule with the top four teams in each pool advancing to the second round for crossover play. The U.S. is grouped in Pool C at Matsumoto with Cuba, Germany, Kazakhstan, Thailand and Croatia. In the second round, Pool C crosses over with Pool B (Brazil, Italy, Netherlands, Kenya, Puerto Rico and Czech Republic) to form Pool F in Nagoya. The semifinals and finals will be played in Tokyo on Nov. 13-14.
The Americans open the FIVB World Championship against Thailand on Oct. 29 at 4:15 p.m. Japan Time (2:15 a.m. CT). The U.S. challenges Croatia on Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. Japan Time (11 p.m. CT on Oct. 29) and Germany on Oct. 31 at 6 p.m. Japan Time (4 a.m. CT) before an off day. Pool C concludes with the U.S. facing Kazakhstan on Nov. 2 at 6:45 p.m. Japan Time (4:45 a.m. CT) and NORCECA rival Cuba on Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. Japan Time (4 a.m. CT).
According to the FIVB World Ranking released on Aug. 30, the U.S. is ranked second in the world behind top-ranked Brazil. The Americans' first-round pool has No. 6 Cuba, No. 12 Thailand, No. 15 Germany, No. 16 Kazakhstan and No. 45 Croatia.
The U.S. will leave for Japan on Oct. 21 and train in the city of Shiga leading up to the start of the World Championship. Team USA will scrimmage Toray, reigning champion of the Japanese V-League, on Oct. 26 before leaving for Matsumoto. Barboza played for Toray last season.
A total of 96 teams took part in the continental qualifying rounds for the FIVB World Championship. Among the 96 teams, 22 countries advanced to the Final Round in Japan. The 22 qualified teams, in addition to defending champion Russia and the host Japan, will compete for this year's title.
The Americans qualified for the FIVB World Championship by winning the FIVB World Championship NORCECA Pool G Qualification Tournament held July 6-8, 2009, in Orlando, Fla. Team USA swept Netherlands Antilles, Barbados and Costa Rica in the third-round qualification event.
The U.S. Women's National Team holds a 21-9 record in 2010 with three podium finishes, highlighted by winning the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix held Aug. 6-29. Earlier this year the Americans earned the silver medal at the Montreux Volley Masters and the bronze at the Pan American Cup.
The U.S., currently ranked second in the world by the FIVB, has medaled at the FIVB World Championship four times. Team USA earned the silver medal at the 2002 World Championship in Berlin and the 1967 World Championship in Tokyo. The Americans captured the bronze in the 1990 World Championship in Beijing and the 1982 World Championship in Lima, Peru.
At the most recent FIVB World Championship held in Japan in 2006, the U.S. finished in a disappointing ninth place.
In its most recent tournament, the U.S. Women's National Team captured the 18th FIVB World Grand Prix title with a 5-0 record in the Final Round following its sweep of Japan on Aug. 29. Earlier, the U.S. defeated Poland, Italy, Brazil and China in the Final Round.