The U.S. Women’s National Team finished pool play undefeated on Thursday with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-18) win over Canada at the 2023 Pan Am Cup in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 2, 2023) – The U.S. Women’s National Team advanced to the 2023 NORCECA Championship gold medal match with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 25-16) semifinal victory over Cuba on Saturday in Quebec.
The U.S. (4-0) has not dropped a set in the championship and will face the winner of the Dominican Republic-Canada semifinal in Sunday’s final at 2:30 p.m. PT.
The U.S. Women dominated every facet of the match in sweeping Cuba for the second time in four days, finishing with a 40-18 edge in kills, 10-5 in blocks, and 11-1 in aces.
Opposite Jordan Thompson led all scorers with 13 points on 12 kills and one block. Outside hitter Jordan Larson totaled 11 points on seven kills, one block and four aces, and middle blocker Dana Rettke also reached double digits with 11 points on six kills, three blocks and two aces.
“We are just trying to get better every day as a team no matter who is on the other side of the net. We are really just focusing on our side and what we can do better,” Larson remarked. “We approach each day like it is a new challenge.”
Middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu matched Rettke with three blocks and recorded six kills. Outside hitter Ali Frantti scored seven points on four kills and three aces, adding a match-best 11 successful receptions and 11 digs.
Libero Justine Wong-Orantes led all players with 14 digs and registered seven successful receptions. Setter Lauren Carlini ran the offense that posted a .349 hitting efficiency percentage.
The U.S. took control of the match immediately, taking a 12-1 lead in the first set. Rettke led all scorers with five points on three kills and two blocks. She and Ogbogu each had two of the six team’s blocks in the set.
Cuba took its only lead of the match, 2-1, in the second set, but the U.S. scored 10 of the next 12 points. Larson dominated in the set with nine points on five kills and four of the five U.S. aces.
The third set was more of the same for the U.S., who scored six of the first eight points. Cuba fought off three match points before a Rettke kill sent the U.S. into the final.
The U.S. Women are eight-time NORCECA Championship winners, but they 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 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, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-16)
Sept. 2 Semifinal, USA def. Cuba, 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 25-16)
Sept. 3 2:30 p.m. Gold Medal Match, USA vs. Dominican Republic/Canada