COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 6, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Colombia 25-17, 25-18, 25-21 on Saturday to open Pool B of the Pan American Cup in Chiclayo, Peru.
Opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California) led the U.S. with 18 points, all on kills via 35 attacks. Outside hitter Madi Kingdon Rishel (Phoenix, Arizona) contributed 15 points for Team USA with 12 kills on 33 attacks, two aces and block. Middle Hannah Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota) pocketed nine kills on 14 attacks and three blocks for 12 points.
Middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio) tacked on nine points with six kills on 14 swings and a block. Outside hitter Kadie Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska) charted seven kills on 23 attacks and a block for eight points. Setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma) rounded out the scoring with two kills on four swings and an ace for three points.
“We started well, we did a good job, but we finished better,” Hancock said. “Colombia played with a good defense. The truth is that they played better than we expected. We are adapting to play together, but chemistry and team play was the best today.”
“I think we did not play as well as possible, but we played stable and this team (Colombia) is very good, does a lot of things well, prepared well for today’s game,” said Rob Browning, who is serving as head coach for the U.S. Pan Am Cup squad. “What we did well is that we maintained an appropriate and constant level. It’s the first game as a team for us, it’s the first time they’ve played together and I think they played well, especially when the game progressed, we improved.”
Kingdon Rishel was 46 percent positive on a team-high 28 receptions and added seven digs. Rolfzen was credited with a 70 positive reception percent on 20 chances. Libero Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California) handled seven receptions with an 86 positive reception percent to go with 10 digs. Lowe and Hancock added 10 and nine digs, respectively.
Hancock set Team USA to a 44 kill percent and .317 hitting efficiency (54-15-123). The American defense limited Colombia to a 27 kill percent and .096 hitting efficiency (28-18-104).
The Americans out-blocked Colombia 8-5 and had a slim 3-2 margin in aces.
In a close opening set, the U.S. broke free from a close 16-14 advantage by scoring nine of the final 12 points as Adams scored the last three points while Lowe scored two late points. Colombia led 8-6 at the second set’s first technical timeout, but Team USA rolled off four straight points to grab a 10-8 lead and slowly widened its lead before scoring the final three points a commanding seven-point win. Columbia led 15-13 in the third set, but Kingdon Rishel scored a kill and ace around a Tapp block and Lowe kill for an 18-15 advantage. The U.S maintained momentum the rest of the set as Adams scored the final two points.
The U.S. faces Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET followed by Mexico on Monday at 6 p.m. ET Team USA concludes pool play on July 10 against Puerto Rico at 6 p.m. ET. The matches are scheduled to air on flovolleyball.tv.