COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (June 25, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team, using a bevy of young and promising athletes, claimed the 16th Pan American Cup championship by defeating a veteran-laden Dominican Republic squad 25-16, 19-25, 25-20, 25-23 on Sunday evening in Canete, Peru.
The Americans finished the tournament with a 7-0 record and handed Dominicans their only set losses of the tournament as both teams entered the contest undefeated. Team USA now has a record five Pan American Cup titles, breaking a three-way tie with Dominican Republic and Cuba who each have four titles. The U.S. has won the tournament four times since 2012 (2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, along with 2003). Only Dominican Republic has won the title during the same time period as it earned gold in 2014 and 2016.
Outside hitter Madi Kingdon (Phoenix, Arizona) scored a team-best 21 points with 16 kills on 44 swings, three blocks and two aces. Opposite Liz McMahon (Liberty Township, Ohio), who was selected best opposite of the tournament, added 18 points with 13 kills on 32 swings, three blocks and two aces. Middle Paige Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota) scored a personal tournament best 13 points with eight kills on 22 attacks, four blocks and an ace. Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Maryville, Illinois) contributed 13 points with 11 kills on 33 swings and two blocks in the victory.
Middle Rhamat Alhassan (Glenarden, Maryland) pocketed nine points with five kills on nine swings and four blocks. Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana), who was the opposite in the double sub in all four sets, chipped in four points, all kills coming on eight errorless attacks. Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma) rounded out the scoring with one kill and one ace for two points.
Hancock, who was named the most valuable player of the tournament along with best server and best setter, was credited with 38 running sets on 103 total set attempts in helping the U.S. to a 38.2 kill percent and .250 hitting efficiency (58-20-152). Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois), who was the setter in the double-sub all four sets, compiled nine running sets on 21 chances.
Libero Amanda Benson (Litchfield Park, Arizona) was credited with 16 excellent receptions on 24 errorless chances to go with 15 digs. Bartsch chipped in 14 digs and 19 excellent receptions on 27 chances.
The Americans held a 16-8 block advantage over the Dominican Republic, in addition to a 6-3 margin in aces. The U.S. held a 58-52 edge in kills as it limited a 33.6 kill percent and .174 hitting efficiency (52-25-155).
Carlini, Hancock, Kingdon, Alhassan, Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) and Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress) all were part of last year’s bronze-medal-winning Pan Am Cup team, but have had little time training with the top U.S. team until this year. Meanwhile, Tapp, Drews, Benson, McMahon, Molly McCage (Spring, Texas) and Amber Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska) were playing in their first international tournament for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for Pan Am Cup
# – Player (Position, Height, College, Hometown)
1 – Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Penn State, Edmond, Oklahoma)
2 – Rhamat Alhassan (M, 6-4, Florida, Glenarden, Maryland)
4 – Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Nebraska, Cypress, California)
6 – Amber Rolfzen (M, 6-3, Nebraska, Papillion, Nebraska)
7 – Lauren Carlini (S, 6-1, Wisconsin, Aurora, Illinois)
9 – Madi Kingdon (OH, 6-1, Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona)
11 – Annie Drews (OPP, 6-3, Purdue, Elkhart, Indiana)
14 – Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (OH, 6-3, Illinois, Maryville, Illinois)
16 – Molly McCage (M, 6-3, Texas, Spring, Texas)
17 – Megan Courtney (OH, 6-1, Penn State, Dayton, Ohio)
18 – Sonja Newcombe (OH, 6-1, Oregon, Lake Arrowhead, California)
20 – Amanda Benson (L, 5-7, Oregon, Litchfield Park, Arizona)
21 – Paige Tapp (M, 6-1, Minnesota, Stewartville, Minnesota)
23 – Liz McMahon (OPP, 6-6, Illinois, Liberty Township, Ohio)
Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Tama Miyashiro, Erin Virtue
Team Leader/Assistant Coach: Jon Newman-Gonchar
Technical Coordinator: Jeff Liu
Athletic Trainer: Beri Dwyer
16th Pan American Cup Schedule and Results for U.S. Women
June 17: U.S. def. Venezuela 25-9, 25-16, 25-11
June 18: U.S. def. Colombia 25-8, 25-19, 29-27
June 19: U.S. def. Puerto Rico 25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 21-25, 15-12
June 20: U.S. def. Mexico 25-13, 25-15, 25-13
June 21: U.S. def. Argentina 27-25, 25-14, 25-23
June 23: Puerto Rico def. Cuba 25-23, 25-22, 25-17
June 23: Peru def. Argentina 20-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-19, 15-9
June 24: Dominican Republic def. Puerto Rico 25-18, 25-21, 25-19
June 24: USA def. Peru 25-14, 25-17, 27-25
June 25: Puerto Rico def. Peru 25-22, 13-25, 27-25, 25-15 (bronze medal match)
June 25: USA vs. Dominican Republic 25-16, 19-25, 25-20, 25-23 (gold medal match)