U.S. Women at NORCECA Final 6

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 26, 2024) – The U.S. Women’s National Team competing at the NORCECA Pan American Cup Final Six got a hard-won sweep (33-31, 27-25, 25-15) of Mexico in their first match on Wednesday in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The U.S. Women (1-0) will get Thursday off before facing Canada at 2 p.m. PT on Friday.

The U.S. led Mexico in kills (47-44) and dominated in blocks (14-5), led by middle blocker Sophie Fischer with six. Mexico led in aces (7-4). Mexico committed 20 scoring errors while the U.S. had 15.

The U.S. had a .365 hitting efficiency behind setter Kami Miner, who also scored six points on four kills and two blocks. Backup setter Mia Tuaniga also played as a substitute.

Outside hitter Jess Mruzik led the U.S. scoring with 15 points on 14 kills and one block.

“It was our first match and there were a lot of nerves and a lot of anxiety surrounding the game,” Mruzik said. “I thought we did a good job of sticking together and battling through those hard moments.”

Behind Mruzik, Fischer scored 14 points on her six blocks, seven kills and one ace.

Outside hitter Eva Hudson totaled 11 points on nine kills and two aces. Opposite Olivia Babcock added nine points on five kills, three blocks and one ace.

Middle Khori Louis scored five points on four kills and one block.

Setter Merritt Beason, middles Carter Booth and Cara Cresse and outside hitters Sarah Franklin and Taylor Landfair each scored a point as a substitute.

Libero Elena Scott also played as substitutes.

Mexico led 13-10 in the first set before the U.S. tied it at 14-14 and then led 18-14. Mexico came back to tie it at 20-20 and the two teams traded points. At 31-31, the U.S. got a big block from Fischer who followed that with a kill to give the U.S. the set win.

Mexico took a 9-6 lead in the second set, but the U.S. came back to tie at 9-9. The U.S. later led 17-13, but Mexico came back to tie at 19-19. Mexico reached set point first at 24-22, but the U.S. tied it on another Fischer block and Mruzik kills. Mexico took set point again at 25-24. The U.S. responded with a Fischer block, Mexico hitting error and Babcock block to win 27-25.

Mexico led the third set 7-6 when Mruzik scored with an attack. She took the serve and sparked the U.S. to a 4-0 run. Mexico never recovered.

U.S. Roster for the NORCECA Women’s Final Six Pan American Cup
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
Olivia Babcock (Opp, 6-4, Los Angeles, Calif., Pitt, Southern California)
Merritt Beason (Opp, 6-3, Gardendale, Ala., Univ. of Nebraska, Southern)
Carter Booth (MB, 6-7, Englewood, Colo., Univ. of Wisconsin, Rocky Mountain)
Cara Cresse (MB, 6-6 Fort Wayne, Ind., Univ. of Louisville, Hoosier)
Sophie Fischer (MB, 6-5, Fort Mill, S.C., Univ. of Georgia, Palmetto)
Sarah Franklin (OH, 6-4, Lake Worth, Fla., Univ. of Wisconsin, Florida)
Eva Hudson (OH, 6-1, 2004, Fort Wayne, Ind., Purdue, Hoosier)
Taylor Landfair (OH, 6-4, Plainfield, Ill., Univ. of Nebraska, Great Lakes)
10 Khori Louis (MB, 6-3, Tallahassee, Fla., Florida State, Florida)
11 Kami Miner (S, 6-0, Redondo Beach, Calif., Stanford, Southern Cal)
12 Jess Mruzik (OH, 6-2, Livonia, Mich., Penn State, Lakeshore)
13 Lexi Rodriguez (L, 5-5, Sterling, Ill., Univ. of Nebraska Great Lakes)
14 Elena Scott (L, 5-9, Louisville, Ky., Univ. of Louisville, Pioneer)
19 Mia Tuaniga (S, 5-9, Long Beach, Calif., University of Southern California, Southern California)

Rachel Fairbanks (S, Pitt)
15 Anna Dodson (MB, UCLA)
16 Lauren Briseño (L, Baylor University)
17 Chloe Chicoine (OH, Purdue University)
18 Anna DeBeer (OH, University of Louisville)
20 Kate Georgiades (L, University of Houston)
21 Megan Wilson (Opp, University of Kentucky)
22 Sami Francis (MB, Stanford University)
23 Jordan Iliff (Opp, University of Missouri)
24 Kate Lang (S, University of Hawaii)

Team Manager: James Lundgren
Head Coach: Brad Rostratter
Assistant Coach: Jonathan Charette
2nd Assistant Coach: Tayyiba Haneef-Park
Physiotherapist: Mandolyn Peterson
Statistician: T.J. Read

U.S. Schedule for the NORCECA Women’s Final Six Pan American Cup
(All times PT)

June 26 USA def Mexico 3-0 (33-31, 27-25, 25-15)
June 28 at 2 p.m. USA vs Canada
June 29 Semifinals
June 30 Medal matches