U.S. Women Topped by Cuba in Semifinal

Oct. 19, 2011, 6:18 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Associate Director, Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bill.kauffman@usav.org

Unofficial DataVolley Stats * Official Stats

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 19, 2011) – The U.S. Women’s National Team lost to Cuba 25-17, 25-16, 25-27, 25-21 in the Pan American Games semifinal round in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The U.S. Women, with seven players making their international senior-level debut, will face the loser of the other semifinal match between Brazil and Dominican Republic in the bronze-medal match on Thursday at 6 p.m. local time (4 p.m. Pacific Time).

Cuba never trailed in the opening set, moving out in front 11-5 and holding at least a three-point lead to the 25-17 final score. Team USA held a 10-8 advantage in the second set, but a 6-1 Cuban run to 21-14 proved the difference in the 25-16 victory. The American used an 11-3 scoring run to overcome a 12-7 deficit in the third set, then needed to save three match points before winning 27-25 to push the match to a fourth set. After a see-saw affair in the fourth set, Cuba came back from an 18-17 deficit to win 25-21 by scoring six of the final eight points.

Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) scored a U.S.-high 14 points with all coming on kills. Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), who played just the last two sets, added 12 points with nine kills, two aces and a block. Jessica Jones (Naperville, Ill.) contributed five kills and four blocks for nine points. Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) pocketed six kills and two aces for eight points, while Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif.) charted three blocks, two aces and two kills for seven points. Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) scored five kills and two blocks for seven points, while Angie Forsett (Lake Worth, Fla.) collected four kills. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) rounded out the scoring with a block and ace for two points.

“This team has good chemistry,” Lloyd said in regards to the comeback that started in the third set. “Even though it is our first time together, we really trust each other. Courtney (Thompson) really changed the momentum of the game. She called a good offense.”

The U.S. converted 36.3 percent of its attacks with a .210 hitting efficiency (45-19-124), while Cuba converted 56.4 percent of its attacks via a .479 hitting efficiency.

“Cuba is a really good team,” Lichtman said. “It took a while to adjust. We came out a little tentative, but by the third set, we had nothing to lose. They made great plays. It was hard to counter that. We’re always happy to be in a place to play for a medal.”

Cuba held a commanding 66-45 advantage in blocks to help offset 18 errors in the match to the Americans’ 12 miscues. Cuba also held a 16-11 margin in blocks, while Team USA produced a slim 7-6 lead in aces. Team USA tallied a 59.3 positive reception percent with Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) contributing 26 excellent receptions on 37 errorless chances. She added nine digs in the match. Meanwhile, Cuba’s reception was limited to a 38.5 excellent percent.

“Cuba is a powerful team,” Lloyd said. “We didn’t dig as many balls as we should have, especially in the first couple sets. We need to play our game. That wasn’t really us today. We have a lot of fire, but today was our first big push we’ve faced.”

Andy Banachowski, who is serving as head coach for the U.S. Women at the Pan American Games, started Forsett and Barboza at outside hitter, Jones and Gibbemeyer at middle blocker, Lichtman at opposite and Lloyd at setter. Miyashiro was the libero for the match. Klineman replaced Forsett to start the third and fourth sets, Thompson was a sub in all but the second set. Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) was a serving sub in the final two sets, while Regan Hood (Carrollton, Texas) was a sub in the second set.

"We came with the hope of winning a medal and the possibility still exists for us," Banachowski said. "Cuba put a lot of pressure tonight with the service. I am really proud of how the team played in the third and fourth sets.”

Cuba produced six players in double-figure scoring led by Yoana Palacios Mendoza’s 25 points. Kenia Carcases Opon and Gyselle de la Caridad Silva Franco each totaled 14 points.

“USA is a team we respect a lot," Cuba coach Juan Carlos Gala said. "We could achieve the goal on the first two sets with our service. USA knew how to recover and went out looking for the victory on the third and fourth. They are a team with a lot of courage, and they showed by winning their pool in the tournament.”

To watch the Pan American Games live on the Internet, visit click here. For more information on the U.S. Women at the Pan American Games, visit the team’s event page at usavolleyball.org/events/8694.

Cuba opened the first set with consecutive blocks for a 2-0 lead, but the U.S. answered with consecutive points off a Cuba error and Lloyd ace to tie the score at 2-all. Cuba regained a two-point edge at 4-2 with back-to-back points. Cuba extended the advantage to 7-4, then went into the first technical timeout on an ace at 8-4. Cuba reached a six-point edge at 11-5 following a block. A Gibbemeyer block followed a Cuba service error to trim the deficit to 11-7. Cuba collected its fourth block of the set to go up 13-7. The U.S. moved to within 13-9 on a Barboza attack and Jones block. Barboza hammered a kill off the block and Cuba followed with an error to close the gap to 15-12. Cuba scored points on each side of the second technical timeout to go up 17-12. The U.S. called timeout after falling behind 20-14, then Cuba followed with a third straight point out of the timeout. Cuba closed out the set at 25-17. The U.S. had five players score either two or three points and limited their errors to two for the set. Cuba notched four blocks in the set.

Like the first set, Cuba began the second set with a 2-0 lead. Team USA leveled the score at 3-all with a Barboza kill and Cuba attack error. Lloyd notched a kill and ace to lift the U.S. in front 5-4. However, Cuba bounced back with two straight points to regain a 6-5 margin. Gibbemeyer scored consecutive kills and Lloyd put up a block to push the Americans in front 10-8. Cuba answered with two straight points to tie the score at 10-all, then captured the lead at 13-11 on a block and ace going into an American timeout. Cuba increased its lead to 15-12 on a block. Cuba extended its advantage to 21-14 with a 6-1 scoring run. Lloyd, Barboza and Gibbemeyer all scored three points in the set. While the U.S. committed just one official error in the set, Cuba held a 5-1 block advantage in the period.

Cuba scored three unanswered points to take a 7-4 advantage in breaking a 4-all tie in the third set. Cuba extended the lead to 11-6 with a 4-1 scoring run. Barboza followed a Gibbemeyer block with a kill, then Klineman served an ace to narrow the gap to 12-10 at a Cuba timeout. Out of the break, Klineman served a second straight ace to close the deficit to 12-11. Klineman knotted the score at 15-all on a kill after a Lichtman spike. Team USA went into the second technical timeout leading 16-15 following a Cuba error, the third straight point for the Americans. The U.S. increased its lead to 18-15 on a block and kill by Jones out of the break to cap a 5-0 scoring run. Cuba responded with three unanswered points to tie the set at 18-all. Cuba took the lead back at 22-21 on an ace. Out of a Team USA timeout, Cuba upped its lead to 23-21 with an American error. The U.S. saved two match points with kills from Barboza and Lichtman to tie the set at 24-all. Team USA took the lead at 26-25 on a Jones block after a Lichtman kill, then the Americans captured the set with a Jones overpass kill. Klineman scored seven points in the set, while Jones added five points. The U.S. notched five blocks and two aces in the third set.

Team USA took a 3-0 lead to start the fourth set with a Klineman kill, Lichtman ace and Lloyd block. Cuba scored four straight points capped by an ace and block to gain a 4-3 advantage. The Americans regained the lead at 7-6 on a Barboza kill after a Cuba service error, then the U.S. went into the first technical timeout up 8-6 following a Cuba attack error. Cuba scored the first three points out of the break to assume a 9-8 advantage. Jones put the Americans in the lead at 10-9 with a block after a Barboza kill. The scoreboard swung to Cuba’s favor at 13-11 on three straight points. Team USA responded with a Barboza back-row kill and Lichtman ace to level the score at 13-all. Cuba went into the second technical timeout on a block at 16-14. Team USA gained an 18-17 lead with a Klineman kill, Thompson ace and Cuba error. Cuba’s Carcases served an ace to yield a 19-18 lead for her team. Cuba increased its advantage to 21-19, then 23-20 on an American attack error. Cuba finished off the set at 25-21 with a block.

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

Head Coach: Andy Banachowski
Assistant Coach: Mike Hebert
Assistant Coach: Jay Hosack
Technical Coordinator: Jenni Hirneisen
Team Leader: Ken Sullivan

2011 Pan American Games
Guadalajara, Mexico
Oct. 15-20, 2011

Pool A
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, 25-12, 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

Pool B
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 - Match Times are Central Time)
Oct. 18: Cuba (2A) def. Peru (3B) 25-18, 25-19, 26-24 (Match 13)
Oct. 18: Dominican Republic (3A) def. Puerto Rico (2B) 25-21, 25-22, 26-28, 22-25, 15-8 (Match 14)

Classification 5-8 (Times subject to change - Match Times are Central Time)
Oct. 19: Peru def. Canada (4A) 26-24, 18-25, 25-22, 25-19 (Match 15)
Oct. 19: Mexico (4B) vs. Puerto Rico, 6 p.m. (Match 17)

Semifinals (Times subject to change - Match Times are Central Time)
Oct. 19: Cuba def. USA (1B) 25-17, 25-16, 25-27, 25-21 (Match 16)
Oct. 19: Brazil (1A) vs. Dominican Republic, 8 p.m. (Match 18)

Classification 7-8 (Times subject to change - MatchTimes are Central Time)
Oct. 20: Canada vs. Loser Match 17, 1 p.m.

Classification 5-6
Oct. 20: Peru vs. Winner Match 17, 3 p.m.

Bronze-Medal Match
Oct. 20: USA vs. Loser Match 18, 6 p.m.

Gold-Medal Match
Oct. 20: Cuba vs. Winner Match 18, 8 p.m.