Tomes, USA Set for Pan American Cup

June 20, 2007

NORMAN, Okla. - Former Sooner volleyball player Laura Tomes will be representing the United States on Thursday as a member of the Women's National Volleyball Team at the Sixth Annual Pan American Cup in Colima, Mexico. The 12-team competition will run from June 21-29 at the Polideportivo Universitario de Villa de Alvarez.

Tomes is only the fourth Oklahoma volleyball player in school history to represent the Sooners on a USA National Team. Patrice Arrington, who played on the USA National Team in 2005, was the last Sooner to be named to a USA squad.

Tomes been training with the team since March 9 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

 USA Volleyball | Tomes Added to USA Roster

Team USA will open the tournament against Argentina on June 21 at 4 p.m. MDT. USA faces Costa Rica on June 22 at noon MDT, followed by Dominican Republic on June 23 at 4 p.m. MDT, Trinidad & Tobago on June 24 at noon MDT and host-country Mexico on June 25 at 8 p.m. MDT to conclude Pool A action.

Pool B consists of defending Pan American Cup champion Brazil, along with Canada, Cuba, Peru, Puerto Rico and Uruguay.

The quarterfinal round is set for June 27 (6 and 8 p.m. MDT), followed by the semifinals on June 28 (6 or 8 p.m. MDT). The second- and third-place teams from each pool advance to the quarterfinals, while the winner of each pool advances directly to the semifinals. The championship is slated for June 29 at 8 p.m. MDT following the third-place match at 4 p.m. MDT.

Representing Team USA on the Pan American Cup roster include setters Robyn Ah Mow-Santos (Honolulu), Lindsey Hunter (Papillion, Neb.) and Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.), middle blockers Jennifer Joines (Milpitas, Calif.), Tracy Stalls (Denver, Colo.) and Laura Tomes (Sioux City, Iowa), outside hitters Katie Wilkins (Lakeside, Calif.), Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) and Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.), opposites Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) and Katie Olsovsky (Hermosa Beach, Calif.), and libero Candace Lee (Eugene, Ore.).

Team USA finished fourth at last year's Pan American Cup held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and qualified for the 2007 FIVB World Grand Prix by advancing to the semifinals. Brazil captured the tournament title with a four-set victory over Cuba. Ah Mow-Santos was honored with the "Best Setter" award at the conclusion of the tournament.

Although the 2007 Pan American Cup does not have direct bearing on 2008 Olympic qualification, it will have an impact on the 2008 season. Based on the final standings of the Pan American Cup, the top three teams from NORCECA (North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Federation) and the top team from the CSV (South American Confederation) qualify for the 2008 FIVB World Grand Prix.

Tomes ended her Oklahoma volleyball career in 2006 as the team completed its most successful season in school history. Tomes, an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection, led the Sooners to its second Sweet 16 appearance in school history and a 28-6 overall mark.

Laura Tomes will represent the USA at the Pan American Cup June 21-29.