Women Pan American Championships Day 1

May 28, 2013, 9:09 a.m. (ET)

After a day of travel, Team USA spent their Memorial Day in the Dominican Republic preparing for the Pan American Championships, which will take place June 1-8.

The day began with an 8:30 a.m. breakfast where members of the team were able to meet and greet following a tiring day of travel. The team, composed of some returning and veteran players, alongside some new additions, seems excited to get to work.

Following breakfast, the team gathered in a conference room at the hotel to meet with the coaching staff and run through expectations, the game plan, and the schedule for the day. For some of the players, it was their first encounter with experienced coaches Christian Latulippe and Javier Garcia Cuesta, who wasted no time in laying out the plan for Team USA. Plan: Qualify for the World Championships.

Lunch was followed by another team meeting, this one focused around the tactical elements of the team's first practice at 3 p.m. This practice will focus around team defense and the coaches are hoping to get a better understanding of each athlete's individual strengths. Putting together a strong and cohesive defensive lineup before the start of the tournament is key to the USA's hopes in qualifying for the World Championships.

The first Team USA practice took place at 3 p.m. The team was only allocated an hour and a half to use the space so the women got into warm ups and drills right away. With the focus of the practice being on defense, the main drills composed of 2 vs. 2 and 3 vs. 3 sets with crosses incorporated into the mix. These drills were followed by a scrimmage where some of the players, playing together for the first time, started gaining an understanding of their teammates abilities. Overall, the first practice went well and the building blocks are in place for many improvements to come as the team continues to practice this week.

More to come! Stay tuned for regular updates on Team USA as they prepare for the Pan Am Championships in hopes of qualifying for the World Championships.