COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 10, 2016) – Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma) set a new single-match serving record for the Pan American Cup leading the U.S. Women to a 20-25, 25-9, 25-15, 25-9 bronze-medal victory over Cuba in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on Sunday.
Hancock recorded 12 aces on 31 serving attempts, topping her 11 aces tallied against Costa Rica in pool play earlier in the tournament. She added two blocks and a kill to lead the U.S. with 15 points. The U.S. previously defeated Cuba 19-25, 25-20, 18-25, 25-15, 15-7 earlier in the tournament in pool play.
Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) led the American offense with 10 kills on 20 swings, adding two blocks and an ace for 13 points. Carly Wopat (Santa Barbara, California) and Taylor Simpson (Colorado Springs, Colorado) added seven kills apiece as part of 12-point performances. Wopat also aced Cuba three times with two blocks, while Simpson came off the bench in the second set to turn five blocks.
After falling behind in the first set, the U.S. increased its tempo, neutralizing Cuba’s offense with 17 team blocks. Rhamat Alhassan (Glenarden, Maryland) rounded out the top point scorers with 11 points (five kills, five blocks, one ace).
Madi Kingdon (Phoenix, Arizona) added seven points in the victory, while Alex Holston (Olney, Maryland) chipped in three points in starting the first set. Rounding out the scoring with one point each were Lauren Carlini (West Aurora, Illinois), Nikki Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Kelsie Payne (Austin, Texas).
The Americans dominated behind the service line, tallying 20 aces to Cuba’s two. The U.S. also out-blocked Cuba 17-9. Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California) anchored the defense with nine digs. Kingdon and Courtney added five and four digs, respectively. Kingdon contributed 11 excellent receptions on 25 errorless attampts, while Courtney had six excellent receptions on 15 chances.
The U.S. moved out of gold-medal contention after an Olympic-bound Puerto Rico team defeated a U.S. roster comprised largely of recent college graduates 25-20, 21-25, 25-17, 25-20 in the semifinals on Saturday. The U.S. had won gold at three of the last four Pan American Cups.
U.S. Women’s Roster for Pan American Cup
Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 – Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, West Aurora, Illinois, University of Wisconsin)
3 – Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Oklahoma, Penn State)
4 – Megan Courtney (OH, 6-1, Dayton, Ohio, Penn State)
5 – Brittany Howard (OH, 6-3, Los Altos, California, Stanford University)
6 – Madi Kingdon (OH, 6-1, Phoenix, Arizona, University of Arizona)
7 – Taylor Simpson (OH, 6-3, Colorado Springs, Colorado, University of Colorado)
10 – Alex Holston (OPP, 6-1, Olney, Maryland, University of Florida)
11 – Nikki Taylor (OPP, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, University of Hawaii)
12 – Carly Wopat (MB, 6-2, Santa Barbara, California, Stanford University)
13 – Rhamat Alhassan (M, 6-4, Glenarden, Maryland, University of Florida)
14 – Kelsie Payne (M, 6-3, Austin, Texas, University of Kansas)
22 – Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Cypress, California, University of Nebraska)
Head Coach: Dan Fisher (University of Pittsburgh)
Assistant Coach: Heather Olmstead (BYU)
Assistant Coach/Team Leader: Jon Newman-Gonchar (University of Arkansas)
Scout: Tristan Johnson (Arkansas State University)
Athletic Trainer: Peter Higbie
2016 Pan American Cup Schedule (times ET)
July 2: USA def. Peru 25-20, 25-19, 27-25
July 3: USA def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-11, 25-13, 25-19
July 4: USA def. Cuba 19-25, 25-20, 18-25, 25-15, 15-7
July 5: USA def. Costa Rica 25-16, 25-10, 25-18
July 6: USA def. Argentina 25-14, 25-13, 25-23
July 9: Puerto Rico def. USA 25-20, 21-25, 25-17, 25-20
July 10: USA vs. Dominican Republic/Cuba semifinal loser, 3 p.m. (Bronze-Medal Match)