Associate Director, Communications
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 17, 2011) – The U.S. Women’s National Team swept Mexico 25-14, 25-16, 31-29 Monday evening to conclude Pool B of the Pan American Games being held in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The U.S. Women improve to 3-0 in pool play and earn a spot directly into the semifinals on Oct. 19 as the group winner. Mexico ends pool play with a 0-3 record. Team USA, with seven of its 12 players competing in their first international tournament at the senior level, will play a quarterfinal round winner to be determined.
The U.S. used an 11-3 scoring run to establish a 16-7 advantage in the opening set to cruise to a 25-14 victory. Team USA scored the final seven points of the second set to score a 25-16 victory. The Americans bolted to a 7-1 lead in the third set, but Mexico battled back to within a 9-8 score. The U.S. reached a 23-18 advantage late in the third, only to have Mexico rally and take a 25-24 lead setting off a barrage of six lead changes after the first match point was gained by the U.S. at 24-23. In the end, the U.S. won the set 31-29 on its fourth match-point opportunity and after saving three set points by Mexico.
Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) led four Americans in double-figure scoring with 14 points, all on kills. Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) charted a match-high five blocks to go with five kills for 10 points. Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) and Regan Hood (Carrollton, Texas), who both played just two sets, tallied nine kills and a block for 10 points. Jessica Jones (Naperville, Ill.) contributed four kills and three blocks for seven points in the victory, while Keao Burdine (Pico Rivera, Calif.) added three kills and a block for four points. Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) totaled three kills, while Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) rounded out the scoring with two blocks.
“We try to come out aggressively whenever we play,” Klineman said. “It is ultimately on our side that determines how a game will go. That’s what we try to focus on. It doesn’t matter how we scout the other team. In the end, it’s about how we play.”
Thompson set Team USA to a 43.1 kill percent and .266 hitting efficiency (47-18-109). Mexico was limited to a 25.4 kill percent and .085 hitting efficiency (30-20-118). Tama Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) provided the Americans with a team-high nine digs, while Klineman had a team-high four excellent receptions.
Team USA out-blocked Mexico 13-6 and held a 47-30 advantage in kills. Mexico managed a slim 19-18 margin in digs and totaled 29 excellent receptions on 71 attempts compared to the Americans’ 10 excellent receptions on 55 attempts.
“We knew tonight’s crowd would be way more intense than the past two days,” Klineman said of the near-capacity crowd. “Our coaches told us to embrace it and use it.”
Thompson added that the environment was special to compete in against the host team.
“Any time you get to play a game like this, it’s special,” Thompson said. “These games may happen once in a tournament. It was an honor to play Mexico here.”
Andy Banachowski, who is serving as head coach for the U.S. Women at the Pan American Games, started Klineman and Barboza at outside hitter, Jones and Gibbemeyer at middle blocker, Lichtman at opposite and Thompson at setter. Miyashiro was the libero for the match. Hood started the second and third sets in place of Lichtman, while Burdine started the third set in place of Barboza. Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) was a serving sub in both the second and third sets.
“The crowd was outstanding,” Banachowski said. “You can’t prepare for that. We just told our players to focus on what’s between the lines because, I’ll tell you what, that crowd was loud.”
Samantha Bricio paced Mexico with eight points in a non-starting role, while Andrea Rangel added seven points.
“Every player for Mexico is strong,” Barboza said. “That’s true for us, too. You have to adjust to your opponent as the game goes on. The players on our side who finished the match did a great job.”
In other Pan American Games matches played on the final day of pool play, Puerto Rico rallied to defeat Peru 24-26, 25-21, 25-21, 25-11 in Pool B. Puerto Rico ends pool play with a 2-1 record, while Peru ends pool play 1-2. In Pool A, Dominican Republic came back from two sets down to defeat Canada 27-29, 22-25, 27-25, 25-21, 15-12. Brazil finished Pool A with a 3-0 record after edging Cuba 25-23, 21-25, 25-22, 25-18 in a battle of undefeated teams. Cuba ended the pool with a 2-1 record, while Dominican Republic finished 1-2 and Canada 0-3. The second- and third-place teams in each pool advance to crossover quarterfinals.
The U.S. scored the first two-point separation at 5-3 following a Klineman kill and Mexico error. Lichtman scored a kill and Thompson followed with a block to push the lead to 7-4. Team USA extended the gap to 10-5 with a block by Barboza between two Mexico errors. The Americans increased the lead to 12-6 with a Barboza kill and Thompson block. Out of a Mexico timeout, Team USA increased the margin to 13-6 with a Jones block. Thompson followed a Klineman back-row kill with consecutive service winners to forge a 16-7 advantage at the second technical timeout. Mexico shaved two points off its deficit to close to 17-10. However, Lichtman and Klineman notched back-to-back kills and Gibbemeyer added a block for a 20-10 advantage. Mexico tallied consecutive points at 21-13, but Gibbemeyer hammered consecutive kills to regain a 10-point advantage at 23-13. Out of Mexico’s second timeout, Barboza tipped over the block to yield set points at 24-13. Klineman capped the set at 25-14 with a back-row kill, her fourth kill of the set. Barboza also scored four points in the set as the Americans held a 5-0 block advantage.
The U.S. scored a 5-3 advantage following a Klimeman kill and Gibbemeyer block. Mexico went into the first technical timeout leading 8-7 after scoring three unanswered points. Team USA returned to the lead at 10-9 on kills by Barboza and Klineman. Barboza pocketed consecutive back-row kills and Gibbemeyer put a block to yield a 13-10 American lead at a Mexico timeout. A Mexico error increased the margin to four at 14-10. Mexico cut the deficit in half at 17-15. Team USA reached a five-point cushion at 21-16 with a Hood kill followed by consecutive Mexico attacks into the net. Out of Mexico’s second timeout, Hood connected for another kill and Jones followed with a block for a 23-16 advantage. Barboza hammered a kill from the back-row and Klineman ended the set with a kill at 25-16, ending a 7-0 scoring run on Barboza’s serve. Barboza finished the set with six points, while Hood totaled five points.
Hood scored the first two points of the third set and Thompson served consecutive winners that Mexico could control leading to a 4-0 advantage. The Americans increased the margin to 7-1 with kills from Jones and Klineman kill around a Mexico error. Mexico scored four straight points to narrow the deficit to 7-5, then close to within a single point at 9-8 on an ace. Burdine and Klineman spiked back-to-back kills to increase the lead to 11-8. Hood scored a kill and block on consecutive plays, then Jones ended a long rally with a block to push the lead to 15-10. Mexico sliced the deficit to 16-13 with the first two points out of the second technical timeout. Gibbemeyer followed a Mexico service error with a block to regain a five-point edge at 18-13. Mexico answered with back-to-back points for an 18-15 score, then closed to 20-18 after winning a long rally. Klineman and Hood notched back-to-back points to extend the American lead to 22-18. Out of a Mexico timeout, Jones pounded an overpass to increase the lead to 23-18. Mexico scored three straight points to close to two again at 23-21. Out of a U.S. timeout, Mexico tied the score at 23-all as part of a 5-0 scoring run, then took the lead at 25-24. Team USA returned to the lead at 26-25 on kills by Jones and Lichtman. Mexico bounced back in front at 27-26 with consecutive points. Burdine scored a kill and block on consecutive plays to place the Americans in the lead at 28-27. Mexico answered with back-to-back points for a 29-28 lead. However, Team USA returned to the lead at 30-29 on a Gibbemeyer kill and Mexico error, then Klineman ended the set at 31-29 with a cross-court winner.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for Pan American Games
# - Name (Position, Ht, Hometown, College)
2 – Kayla Banwarth (Libero, 5-10, Dubuque, Iowa, Nebraska)
3 – Keao Burdine (OH, 6-1, Pico Rivera, Calif., Southern California)
4 – Angie Forsett (OH, 5-8, Lake Worth, Fla., California-Berkeley)
6 – Tamari Miyashiro (L, 5-7, Kaneohe, Hawaii, Washington)
8 - Cynthia Barboza (OH, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Stanford)
10 – Lauren Gibbemeyer (MB, 6-2, St. Paul, Minn., Minnesota)
11 – Regan Hood (OPP, 6-2, Carrollton, Texas, LSU)
12 – Alix Klineman (OH, 6-4, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Stanford)
13 – Cassidy Lichtman (OPP, 6-1, Poway, Calif., Stanford)
14 – Carli Lloyd (S, 5-11, Bonsall, Calif., California-Berkeley)
15 – Courtney Thompson (S, 5-8, Kent, Wash., Washington)
19 – Jessica Jones (MB, Naperville, Ill., Minnesota)
Head Coach: Andy Banachowski
Assistant Coach: Mike Hebert
Assistant Coach: Jay Hosack
Technical Coordinator: Jenni Hirneisen
Team Leader: Ken Sullivan
Pan American Games
Oct. 15: Cuba def. Canada 25-22, 25-16, 25-18
Oct. 15: Brazil def. Dominican Republic 25-22, 21-25, 25-16, 25-20
Oct. 16: Cuba def. Dominican Republic 25-23, 21-25, 25-20, 25-16
Oct. 16: Brazil def. Canada 25-19, 25-21, 25-10
Oct. 17: Dominican Republic def. Canada 27-29, 22-25, 27-25, 25-21, 15-12
Oct. 17: Brazil def. Cuba 25-23, 21-25, 25-22, 25-18
Oct. 15: USA def. Puerto Rico, 25-17, 25-18, 25-14
Oct. 15: Peru def. Mexico 27-25, 16-25, 25-19, 25-19
Oct. 16: USA def. Peru 25-19, 25-15, 25-19
Oct. 16: Puerto Rico def. Mexico 22-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-13
Oct. 17: Puerto Rico def. Peru 24-26, 25-21, 25-21, 25-11
Oct. 17: USA def. Mexico 25-14, 25-16, 31-29
Quarterfinals (Times subject to change)
Oct. 18: Cuba (2A) vs. Peru (3B), 6 p.m. (Match 13)
Oct. 18: Puerto Rico (2B) vs. Dominican Republic (3A), 8 p.m. (Match 14)
Classification 5-8 (Times subject to change)
Oct. 19: Canada (4A) vs. Loser Match 13 or Match 14, 1 p.m. (Match 15)
Oct. 19: Mexico (4B) vs. Loser Match 13 or Match 14, 6 p.m. (Match 17)
Semifinals (Times subject to change)
Oct. 19: USA (1B) vs. Winner Match 13 or Match 14, 3 p.m. (Match 16)
Oct. 19: Brazil (1A) vs. Winner Match 13 or Match 14, 8 p.m. (Match 18)
Oct. 20: Loser Match 15 vs. Loser Match 17, 1 p.m.
Oct. 20: Winner Match 15 vs. Winner Match 17, 3 p.m.
Oct. 20: Loser Match 16 vs. Loser Match 18, 6 p.m.
Oct. 20: Winner Match 16 vs. Winner Match 18, 8 p.m.