B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 21, 2011) – The U.S. women’s beach volleyball team of Emily Day and Heather Hughes fell just short of winning a bronze medal on Friday at the Pan American Games in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) finished fourth after falling to Puerto Rico’s Yarleen Santiago and Yamileska Yantín, 21-16, 16-21, 15-7 in 48 minutes in the bronze medal match.
Day and Hughes led in attacks, 35-34 and tied the Puerto Ricans in aces (3-3) and blocks (4), but Puerto Rico took advantage of 11 U.S. team errors while committing only two.
In the third-set tiebreaker, the U.S. team gained a slim 3-2 advantage before Puerto Rico scored nine of the next 11 points to claim an 11-5 lead it would not relinquish.
“They got a bunch of quick points really fast and threw us off guard. It was really hard to slow it down at that point,” Hughes said. “We just needed to refocus, take our time and go back to what we normally do… Those are really fast games, so you’ve got to stay consistent.”
The opening set was back and forth from the start. The teams were tied at 15 before Puerto Rico ran off five consecutive points to secure the set. In the second, the U.S. led 9-8 before winning five of the next six points to build a 14-9 advantage en route to evening the match.
Day and Hughes led in attacks, 35-34 and tied the Puerto Ricans in aces (3-3) and blocks (4), but Puerto Rico took advantage of 11 U.S. team errors while committing only two. Day was credited with the fastest serve of the match, clocked at 75 kilometers per hour.
“We had some really good matches and some not-so-good matches,” Hughes said reflecting on the tournament. “For the rest of our season, and for long-term goals, we just really want to get that consistency and make sure we play steady all the time, no matter who we’re playing or where we are.”
2011 Pan American Games
Beach Volleyball Results and Schedule (all times CT)
Sunday, Oct. 16
Women: Day/Hughes (USA) def. Francisca Rivas/Camila Pazlivek (CHI), 21-10, 21-7 (:30)
Monday, Oct. 17
Men: Igor Hernandez/Farid Mussa (VEN) def. Fuller/Van Zwieten (USA), 21-19, 18-21, 16-14 (:54)
Women: Day/Hughes (USA) def. Maria Jose Orellana/Anna Lourdes Ramirez (GUA), 28-26, 20-22, 15-8 (:58)
Tuesday, Oct. 18
Women: Day/Hughes (USA) def. Andrea Carolina Galindo/Claudia Patricia Galindo (COL), 21-19, 21-14 (:36)
Men: Fuller/Van Zwieten (USA) def. Jeovanny Ademir Medrano/David Gabriel Vargas (ESA), 21-16, 21-12
Wednesday, Oct. 19
Men: Fuller/Van Zwieten (USA) def. Esteban Grimalt/Marco Grimalt (CHI), 21-15, 21-19 (:41)
Women’s Quarterfinal: Day/Hughes (USA) def. Lucia Guigou /Fabiana Gomez (URU), 21-12, 21-12 (:31)
Thursday, Oct. 20
Men's Quarterfinals: Santiago Etchegaray/Pablo Miguel Suárez (ARG) def. Fuller/Van Zwieten (USA), 22-20, 21-18 (:45)
Women's Semifinals: Mayra Garcia/Bibi Candelas (MEX) def. Day/Hughes (USA), 21-12, 21-14 (:32)
Women’s bronze medal match: Yarleen Santiago/Yamileska Yantín (PUR) def. Day/Hughes (USA), 21-16, 16-21, 15-7 (:48)