COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 9, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Team lost to Brazil 25-21, 25-22, 25-17 in the Pan American Games pool play as both teams utilized young squads in Lima, Peru.
The U.S. will conclude its Pan Am Games on Saturday against a time and opponent to be determined.
“It was tough,” said Rob Browning, who is serving as head coach of the U.S. Pan American Games team. “Brazil is very good and they played really well. Their attack was so strong today. We did a good job serving but their attack, even when they didn’t receive very well, served off and we had a hard time with that. What’s hard for us is that we didn’t play at our potential. We weren’t close to play the way we can. We never found a rhythm and we know we can play a lot better. We have another match tomorrow. We will regroup and be ready.”
Opposite Krystal Rivers (Birmingham, Alabama) led the U.S. with 13 points via 10 kills on 32 attacks and three blocks. Outside hitter Sarah Wilhite Parsons (Eden Prairie, Minnesota) chalked up 11 kills on 27 attacks and an ace for 12 points. Outside hitter Madi Kingdon Rishel (Phoenix, Arizona) contributed eight kills.
“We came out with a lot of intensity, but our execution wasn’t there,” Rivers said. “We had moments, but we just couldn’t stop them, especially in the first two sets they were at a high level. Brazil was steady and executed well.”
Middle Hannah Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota) scored a match-high four blocks to go with a kill for five points. Middle Rhamat Alhassan (Glenarden, Maryland) charted three kills and a block for four points. Danielle Cuttino (Indianapolis, Indiana) tacked on four kills.
U.S. libero Gabby Curry (Buford, Georgia) was credited with a team-high 10 digs and had six excellent receptions on 18 reception chances. Wilhite Parsons added eight digs and Kingdon Rishel had nine excellent receptions on 39 chances.
The U.S. converted 37.8 percent of its attacks into points with a .224 hitting efficiency (37-15-98) behind the setting of Samantha Seliger-Swenson (Minnetonka, Minnesota) and Madison Lilley (Overland Park, Kansas). Brazil scored on 42.6 percent of its attacks with a .287 hitting efficiency (43-14-101).
Brazil held advantages in all three scoring phases: 43-37 in kills, 8-5 in blocks and 6-4 in aces. The Americans committed 18 errors to the Brazilians’ 14.
The U.S. started Kingdon Rishel and Wilhite Parsons at outside hitter, Alhassan and Tapp at middle, Rivers at opposite, Seliger-Swenson at setter and Curry at libero. Lilley started the third set. Kathryn Plummer (Aliso Viejo, California) and Cuttino were subs in the first two sets, while Kadie Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska) was a sub in the third set.
Brazil started the opening set with a 3-0 advantage before the answered with a Rivers kill, Brazil error and Alhassan block to tie the set at 3-all. However, Brazil knocked out the next four points to stake a 7-3 advantage. After trailing 8-4, the U.S. cut the gap to 8-6 with a Wilhite Parsons kill and Rivers ace. Wilhite Parsons and Kingdon Rishel connected for consecutive kills to cut the gap to 9-8. Team USA went in front 11-10 with from Wilhite Parsons and Kingdon Rishel followed by a Brazil attack error. Brazil reversed the lead to its side at 13-12 with consecutive points, then extended the lead to 15-13. The U.S. went into the second technical timeout leading 16-15 with consecutive Tapp blocks after a Rivers kill. Brazil responded with a 6-1 run to build a 21-17 advantage. Wilhite Parsons pocketed consecutive kills to trim the gap to 21-19. Brazil scored the final two points for the 25-21 victory.
Brazil opened the second set with a 2-0 lead. Rivers and Tapp pocketed consecutive kills to tie the set at 5-all. Brazil scored consecutive points heading into the first technical timeout up 8-6. The U.S. squared the set at 11-all with a Rivers kill and Brazil error. Team USA went in front 14-13 on a Cuttino kill and Wilhite Parsons ace. However, Brazil answered with three consecutive points to go in front 16-14 at the second technical timeout and extended the advantage to 19-16. The Americans called timeout trailing 22-18. Out of the break, Rivers slammed a kill and served an ace to cut the gap in half at 22-20. Brazil finished the set at 25-22.
Trailing 4-2 in the third set, Alhassan delivered a kill and Rivers served an ace to tie the set at 4-all. Team USA went in front 6-5 with kills from Rivers and Alhassan. The Americans raised their advantage to 9-7 with consecutive Brazil errors. Brazil answered quickly to tie the set at 9-all, then went in front 15-10 on an 8-1 run. Brazil increased its margin to 19-11 with four straight points. Team USA cut the gap to 21-16 forcing a Brazil timeout, but could not get any closer in falling 25-17.