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Utes' Launiere to help coach U.S. team

Published: Thursday, July 23 2009 1:13 a.m. MDT

University of Utah head volleyball coach Beth Launiere has been selected as an assistant coach for the U.S. Women's National Team at the premier annual women's international tournament, the 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix, July 31 through Aug. 9.

Launiere, who led her team to 10 NCAA Tournament appearances in 20 seasons as head coach of the Utes, will help Team USA compete against a field of 12 national teams playing a total of 69 matches over four consecutive weekends in 10 cities.

Team USA's preliminary rounds are set to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on the first weekend, Li Miao, Chinese Taipei during the second weekend and Bangkok, Thailand over the third weekend. "I feel fortunate to have this opportunity to work with Hugh McCutcheon and Karch Kiraly as well as some of the top players in our country," Launiere said. "I look forward to helping the team in any way I can and bringing back the international experience gained from this tournament to the Utah volleyball program."

Launiere and the US National team will begin the tournament at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as part of Pool A. The Americans will open against Germany on July 31 and Puerto Rico on Aug. 1. They will play the featured match of the preliminary round on Aug. 2 as Team USA takes on host and 2008 Olympic Games gold medalist Brazil.

The team then travels to Miao Li, Chinese Taipei, for Pool D play, Aug. 7-9, to play the Dominican Republic (Aug. 7), Netherlands (Aug. 8) and Germany (Aug. 9).

Launiere will be on the team's coaching staff through the first two preliminary rounds, then return to Salt Lake City Aug. 10 as the Utes begin preseason practice. Team USA will continue to Bangkok for the conclusion of group play. If they qualify for the finals, the Americans head to Tokyo, Aug. 19-23.

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