COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 10, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Team used a balanced offense with five players in double-figure scoring in defeating Dominican Republic 27-25, 25-17, 25-14 in a battle of undefeated teams to conclude Pool B of the NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Team USA is ranked second in the world and Dominican Republic is ranked 10th.
The U.S., now 3-0, advances directly to the semifinals on Saturday while Dominican Republic falls into the crossover quarterfinals on Friday. The tournament concludes on Sunday with the medal rounds.
All U.S. matches at the NORCECA Championship will be streamed on FloVolleyball.tv.
Opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California) lead the American offense with 16 points, including 15 kills on 34 attacks and a block. Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois) connected for 12 kills on 25 swings and a block for 13 points.
“I think everyone was bringing everything they had,” Lowe said. “The energy and intensity were really high. It was a lot of fun. It is always fun to play Dominican Republic. We are ready to go on to the semifinals.”
The U.S. Women swept Dominican Republic 27-25, 25-17, 25-14 to advance directly into the NORCECA Championship semifinals…
Middle Hannah Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota) chalked up eight kills on 14 attacks and three blocks for 11 points. Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon) powered down nine kills with an ace and block 11 points. Middle Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minnesota) added 10 points with eight kills on 15 attacks, one block and one ace for 10 points. Setter Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois) rounded out the scoring with a kill and block for two points.
Hill handled 26 receptions with a 62 positive reception percent and four digs. Bartsch-Hackley was 50 percent positive on 20 receptions to go with 13 digs. Libero Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California) turned in six digs and was 60 percent positive on five chances. Carlini added 10 digs and Lowe had six digs in the victory.
The Americans converted 47 percent of their attacks with a .372 hitting efficiency (53-11-113) behind the setting of Carlini. Team USA held Dominican Republic to a 31 kill percent and .183 hitting efficiency (32-13-104).
Team USA out-blocked Dominican Republic 8-3 and held a slim 2-1 margin in aces. The Americans offense dominated with a 53-32 kill advantage.
Lowe said the difference between the close first set and the final two sets was the “little things.”
“Controlling the passes, keeping off the net and controlling what we could control to enable us to run our offense,” Lowe said.
The U.S. started Bartsch-Hackley and Hill at outside hitter, Dixon and Tapp at middle, Lowe at opposite, Carlini at setter and Wong-Orantes at libero.
Dominican Republic battled back from a 6-2 deficit in the opening set to take a 22-20 advantage on a 3-0 scoring run. The Americans responded with a Bartsch-Hackley kill and Dixon block to tie the set at 22-all. The U.S. saved a set point and went into the lead at 25-24 on consecutive blocks by Tapp and Carlini. Bartsch-Hackley ended the set with two kills, her ninth of the set, for a 27-25 victory.
Team USA kept the momentum early in the second set taking a 6-0 advantage with Lowe providing two kills and block. The teams kept pace with one another until an American 3-0 run pushed the gap to 23-14. Dominican Republic saved two set points before the U.S. wont 25-17 on a Dixon kill.
After Dominican Republic tied the third set at 8-all, Hill answered with consecutive kills and Dominican followed with back-to-back errors to put the Americans up 12-8. Lowe scored back-to-back kills, Hill served an ace, Dixon put up a block and Lowe pounded a kill to push Team USA’s lead to 18-11. Dixon put the American lead at 20-12 with a kill and ace. Hill gave Team USA match points with a kill and block, then Tapp finished the set with a kill at 25-14.