COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (July 6, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team went undefeated in the Pan American Cup pool play after sweeping Olympic Games-bound Argentina 25-14, 25-13, 25-23 on Wednesday in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The U.S. improved to 5-0 in pool play, and as winner of Pool B, advance directly to Saturday’s semifinal round to play one of Friday’s quarterfinal winners. The Pan Am Cup concludes on Sunday with the medal rounds.
Outside hitter Madi Kingdon (Phoenix, Arizona) led all scorers with 14 points on the strength of 12 kills via 19 swings and two blocks. Middle Rhamat Alhassan (Glenarden, Maryland) added 11 points with six kills on 12 attacks, a team-high four blocks and an ace.
Setter Micha Hancock(Edmond, Oklahoma) contributed nine points, including six aces as she upped her tournament total to 37 aces over 17 sets in the five victories. Outside hitter Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) provided nine points with eight kills on 19 swings and a block. Opposite Alex Holston (Olney, Maryland) pocketed nine points as well with six kills on 16 attacks, two blocks and an ace.
Middle Carly Wopat (Santa Barbara, California) turned in three kills on six errorless attacks and an ace for four points. Nikki Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii), who was the double-sub opposite in the final two sets along with setter Lauren Carlini (West Aurora, Illinois), rounded out the scoring with two kills.
Libero Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California) was credited with a team-high 10 digs and added five excellent receptions on eight errorless chances. Courtney contributed seven excellent receptions on 17 chances.
The U.S. converted 48.1 percent of its attacks into points with a .354 hitting efficiency (38-10-79) as Hancock had 10 running sets on 56 set attempts. Team USA’s defense limited Argentina to a 23.3 kill percent and .055 hitting efficiency (17-13-73).
Team USA held a 9-2 advantage in aces and an 11-5 margin in blocks. The American offense enjoyed a 38-17 edge in kills to offset their 26 errors in the match.
With the FIVB World Grand Prix running concurrently with the Pan Am Cup, Team USA is using a roster of athletes either still in college or just recently graduated. For many of the players the Pan Am Cup is their first international competition including the junior and youth ranks.
The U.S. has won the Pan American Cup three of the past four years and four total times since the inaugural event in 2002.