The U.S. Women’s U21 Team swept Cuba on Saturday (25-15, 25-13, 25-20) to advance to the gold medal match at the NORCECA Pan American Cup in Nogales, Mexico
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 28, 2023) – The U.S. Women’s U21 Team defended its title at the NORCECA Pan American Cup with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-21) win over Mexico on Sunday in the gold medal match in Nogales, Mexico.
The U.S. Women finished the tournament 5-0 without dropping a set. It was their second Pan Am Cup victory in a row and their third overall.
Chloe Chicoine was named tournament MVP and First Best Outside Hitter. Norah Sis was named Second Best Outside Hitter. Rachel Fairbanks took Best Setter. Gabrielle Essix earned First Best Middle Blocker and libero Lauren Briseño also won Best Receiver.
A crowd of 1,800 was on hand to cheer the home team. The Mexican Women’s U21 Team responded in the third set, pulling to within two at 18-16 before the U.S. Women pulled away.
“I thought that Mexico were great hosts this week and it was a wonderful crowd,” U.S. Head Coach Dan Fisher said. “Our girls did a good job of not letting the crowd get to them. I thought our pins were very impressive the whole tournament and hit for very high numbers. Tonight, in the third set, Mexico really took a lot of chances with their serve, and it worked. We had to fight through that storm, and we did. I’m proud of this group.”
The U.S. led Mexico in kills (46-27), blocks (13-4) and aces (6-3). Mexico scored 16 points on U.S. errors while giving up 10.
“I think that we prepared really well for this team, so we knew what to expect,” Fairbanks said. “At times we could have executed better, but in the end, we picked up tips, we worked hard and were the more aggressive team.”
Fairbanks and backup setter Alexis Stucky combined to set the U.S. Women to a .385 hitting efficiency.
Briseño was credited with 10 digs and nine excellent receptions. Chicoine and Sis were also credited with 10 blocks each.
Chicoine led all scorers with 19 points on 12 kills, a match-high five blocks and two aces. Opposite Devin Kahahawai added 14 points on 12 kills and two blocks.
Sis totaled nine points on eight kills and one ace. Middle blocker Bre Kelley finished with nine points on seven kills and two blocks.
Mckenna Wucherer played as a substitute and scored five points on four kills and one block. Essix scored five points on three kills and two blocks.
Fairbanks scored two points with a block and an ace. Substitute Eva Hudson scored two points with two aces.
2023 Women’s U21 NORCECA Pan American Cup Roster
Name (Position, Height, Birth Year, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
2 Lauren Briseño (L, 5-7, 2003, San Antonio, Texas, Baylor, Lone Star)
3 Chloe Chicoine (OH, 5-10, 2004, Lafayette, Ind., Purdue, Hoosier)
5 Rachel Fairbanks (S, 6-0, 2003, Santa Ana, Calif., Pitt, Southern California)
7 Mckenna Wucherer (OH, 6-1, 2004, Brookfield, Wis., Univ. of Minnesota, Badger)
8 Eva Hudson (OH, 6-1, 2004, Fort Wayne, Ind., Purdue, Hoosier)
9 Norah Sis (OH, 6-2, 2003, Papillion, Neb., Creighton, Great Plains)
10 Alexis Stucky (S, 6-2, 2004, Laramie, Wyo., Univ. of Florida, Rocky Mountain)
13 Gabrielle Essix (MB, 6-3, Hoover, Ala., Univ. of Florida, Southern)
14 Devin Kahahawai (Opp, 6-4, 2004, Kailua, Hawaii, Univ. of Texas, Aloha)
15 Allie Sczech (Opp, 6-4, 2004, Sugar Land, Texas, Baylor, Lone Star)
16 Bre Kelley (MB, 6-4, 2003, Rockwall, Texas, Undecided. North Texas)
17 Marianna Singletary (MB, 6-4, 2004, Charleston, S.C., Texas, Southern)
1 Emmy Klika (L, 5-7, 2003, Novelty, Ohio, Pitt, Ohio Valley)
4 Caroline Bien (OH, 6-0, 2003, Overland Park, Kan., Univ. of Kansas, Heart of America)
6 Raven Colvin (MB, 6-1, 2003, Indianapolis, Ind., Purdue, Hoosier)
11 Mimi Colyer (OH, 6-3, 2004, Lincoln, Calif., Univ. of Oregon, Northern California)
12 Ella Swindle (S, 6-2, 2004, Columbia, Mo., Univ. of Texas, Heart of America)
18 Kennedy Martin (OPP, 6-6, 2005, Fort Mill, S.C., Univ. of Florida, Badger)
U.S. Women’s U21 Schedule for the Pan American Cup
(All times PT)
May 24 USA def Guatemala, 3-0 (25-8, 25-13, 25-14)
May 25 USA def Dominican Republic, 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-14)
May 26 USA def. Costa Rica, 3-0 (25-11, 25-8, 25-9)
May 27 Semifinal USA def Cuba, 3-0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-20)
May 28 Gold medal: USA def Mexico, 3-0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-21)