The U.S. Women’s National Team has still not dropped a set at the 2023 NORCECA Championship after defeating Cuba, 3-0 (25-8, 25-17, 25-14) on Wednesday in Quebec.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 31, 2023) – The U.S. Women’s National Team has yet to drop a set at the 2023 NORCECA Championship after defeating two-time defending champion Dominican Republic, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-16) on Thursday in Quebec.
The U.S wins Pool B (3-0) and advances directly to the semifinal at 2 p.m. PT on Saturday, Sept. 2.
MATCH STATISTICS (PDF)
With a hitting efficiency of .400, the U.S. had six more kills on the match than DOM (39-33) but conceded the serve advantage with only one ace compared to the opponent’s three. The U.S. held the advantage in blocks over DOM 10-7 and forced 25 opponent errors.
“Dominican [Republic] is a really good team, a very dangerous team that eliminated Serbia from this year’s VNL,” U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly said after the match. “They beat China, the silver medalist at VNL. So, we love it whenever we have a chance to play a really good team across the net.”
The U.S. was challenged early in the match and were down by as much as five in the first set. Middle Dana Rettke tied the set at 19 thanks in part to a run of key serves. An error by DOM resulted in the first lead of the match at 22-21. The U.S. would go on to take the first set 25-22.
“They started pushing us right out of the gate,” Kiraly said. “We were not clean at all, playing very poor volleyball, but the good news was we got better as it went along. We just had to calm down and know that we were a little frantic. We had to understand that we have more time than we think to make plays.”
Rettke finished as the third leading scorer for the U.S. with nine points on six kills, two blocks and an ace. Outside hitter Ali Frantti was one of three U.S. scorers with four kills after the first set and would add another kill to her final tally. Libero Justine Wong Orantes had 10 of her 17 total digs in the first set. Setter Lauren Carlini had 30 of her 75 total sets and was ultimately named player of the match.
The second set was as much of a battle as the first. Dominican Republic tied the score at 13 and then took the lead at 14-13. The U.S. would control the lead at 16-14 and traded points until the score was knotted up at 20. Opponent errors and consistent contribution from Jordan Thompson helped the team capture the second set at 25-22. Thompson scored five points on four kills and one block in the second set. She finished as the leading scorer on the night with 15 total points on 12 kills and three blocks.
Middle Chiaka Ogbogu provided support to the offensive and defensive effort throughout the match. Ogbogu had two blocks and two kills in both the second and third sets. She finished the match as the second leading scorer with 10 points on six kills and four blocks.
The U.S. maintained their momentum heading into the third, doubling up DOM with a 10-5 score. Kathryn Plummer and Annie Drews aided the leading scorers with a kill and a block respectively as the team cruised to a 25-16 victory in the third and final set.
Drews would finish with four points on three kills and a block. Kelsey Cook scored six points on six kills.
Seven teams are competing in Quebec, divided in two groups: Pool A consists of host Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, while Cuba, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic join the U.S. in Pool B.
The U.S. Women are eight-time NORCECA Championship winners, but are looking to reclaim the title for the first time since 2015.
Matches are being streamed at https://go.usav.org/23wnorcecastream.
U.S. Women’s Preliminary Roster for 2023 NORCECA Championship
No. Name (Pos., Ht., Hometown, College, USAV Region)
1C Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Okla., Penn State Univ., Oklahoma)
4 Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Cypress, Calif., Univ. of Nebraska, Southern California)
5 Ali Frantti (OH, 6-1, Spring Grove, Ill., Penn State, Great Lakes)
6 Morgan Hentz (L, 5-9, Lakeside Park, Ky., Stanford Univ., Pioneer)
7 Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, Aurora, Ill., Univ. of Wisconsin, Great Lakes)
10 Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., Univ. of Nebraska, Great Plains)
11 Annie Drews (Opp, 6-4, Elkhart, Ind., Purdue Univ., Hoosier)
12 Jordan Thompson (Opp, 6-4, Edina, Minn., Univ. of Cincinnati, North Country)
15 Haleigh Washington (MB, 6-3, Colorado Springs, Colo., Penn State Univ., Rocky Mountain)
16 Dana Rettke (MB, 6-8, Riverside, Ill., Univ. of Wisconsin, Great Lakes)
22 Kathryn Plummer (OH, 6-6, Aliso Viejo, Calif., Stanford, Southern California)
23 Kelsey (Robinson) Cook (OH, 6-2, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Univ. of Nebraska, Southern California)
24 Chiaka Ogbogu (MB, 6-2, Coppell, Texas, Univ. of Texas, North Texas)
27 Avery Skinner (OH, 6-1, Katy, Texas, Baylor, Lone Star)
Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coach: Tama Miyashiro
Second Assistant Coaches: Alfee Reft, Erin Virtue
Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer: Kara Kessans
Performance Analyst: Rianne Verhoek
Strength & Conditioning Coach: Brandon Siakel
Team Manager: Dana Burkholder
Team Doctor: William Stetson
Massage Therapist: Ricardo Brambila
U.S. Referee: Jung Park
NORCECA Championship Schedule
All times PDT
Aug. 29 USA def. Costa Rica, 3-0 (25-3, 25-13, 25-5)
Aug. 30 USA def. Cuba, 3-0 (25-8, 25-17, 25-14)
Aug. 31 USA def. Dominican Republic (25-22, 25-22, 25-16)
Sept. 1 at 2 and 4:30 p.m. Quarterfinals
Sept. 2 at 2 p.m. Semifinal, opponent TBD
Sept. 3 Gold, Bronze, and Fifth-Place matches