COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (July 2, 2016) – Rhamat Alhassan (Glenarden, Maryland) scored 12 points to lead the U.S. Women’s National Team to a 25-20, 25-19, 27-25 victory over Peru on Saturday to open the Pan American Cup being held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
With the FIVB World Grand Prix running concurrently with the Pan Am Cup, Team USA is using a roster of athletes either still in college or just recently graduated. For many of the players the Pan Am Cup is their first international competition including the junior and youth ranks.
Alhassan scored her dozen points with seven kills on 11 swings with just one error and a match-high five blocks from her middle position. Outside hitter Madi Kingdon (Phoenix, Arizona) added 10 points – all kills on 17 attacks. Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma), who came off the bench all three sets as the setter in the double-sub, scored all eight of her points on serves – 14 total serves in the match. She finished one ace shy of the Pan Am Cup record set by American Nicole Branagh in a 2002 match against Puerto Rico.
Opposite Nikki Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii) contributed eight points for Team USA with four kills, three blocks and an ace. Captain and outside hitter Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) added seven points, including four kills and three blocks. Middle Carly Wopat (Santa Barbara, California) turned in seven points via six kills on 11 swings and an ace. Starting setter Lauren Carlini (West Aurora, Illinois) charted two points, as did opposite Alex Holston (Olney, Maryland). Brittany Howard (Los Altos, California), a sub in the third set, round out the scoring with an ace.
Libero Justine Wong-Orantes (Cyrpress, California) was credited with 10 excellent receptions on 14 errorless chances to go with six digs. Courtney provided six digs and eight excellent receptions on 28 attempts in the victory. Kingdon chipped in five excellent receptions on 12 chances.
The Americans converted 41.7 percent of their attacks into points with a .293 hitting efficiency (34-10-82) as Carlini was credited with 10 running sets on 56 set attempts and Hancock with four running sets on nine set attempts. The Team USA defense limited Pero to a 38.8 kill percent and a .204 hitting efficiency (40-19-103).
The U.S. out-blocked Peru 12-5 and managed an 11-4 margin in aces. Peru held a 40-34 advantage in kills with 21 more swings than the Americans.
Team USA continues action on Sunday against Trinidad & Tobago at 4 p.m. ET.
The U.S. has won the Pan American Cup three of the past four years and four total times since the inaugural event in 2002.