US Women Block Colombia Upset at Pan Am Cup

By Bill Kauffman | July 15, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
USA Volleyball Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800
@USA_Volleyball - USAV Facebook

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 15, 2012) – Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) scored 22 points with 11 blocks to lead the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team past Colombia 25-27, 25-21, 25-13, 25-17 Sunday afternoon during the Women’s Pan American Cup at Juarez, Mexico.

The U.S., now 3-1 in the Pan American Cup, concludes pool play on July 16 versus host Dominican Republic at 6 p.m. MT. To view video live stream, visit

Colombia overcame a 12-6 deficit in the opening set to win 27-25 thanks to 11 Team USA errors. The U.S. let a 17-12 lead in the second set slip away to a tie at 19-all, but then scored five of the final six points for a 25-21 win. Colombia tallied five aces in the set, but committed eight errors to the Americans’ two. Team USA went on a 9-0 scoring run with seven blocks, including six by Gibbemeyer, to comfortably earn a 25-13 victory in the third set. After falling behind 6-3 in the fourth set, the U.S. came back to take a 9-7 lead and used a key 6-0 run late to take a 23-15 advantage in route to a 25-17 victory.

Gibbemeyer tallied her 22 points with 11 blocks, nine kills on 12 errorless attacks and two aces. Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah) picked up 10 kills on 15 attacks and two blocks for 12 points. Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) contributed nine points off the bench with eight kills on 14 swings, while Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) had a matching nine points with eight kills on 14 attacks from her opposite position. Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif.) chipped in four blocks as part of an eight-point performance. Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.) scored five points off the bench with four kills on five attacks, while Keao Burdine (Pico Rivera, Calif.) and Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) added two points each.

Lloyd provided 17 running sets on 73 assist attempts in the victory. Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) tallied a team-high five digs and added seven excellent receptions.

Reed Sunahara (Cincinnati, Ohio), who is serving as the head coach for the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team competing at the Pan American Cup, started Burdine and Lichtman at outside hitter, Paolini and Gibbemeyer at middle blocker, Fawcett at opposite and Lloyd at setter. Banwarth is the designated libero for the tournament. Richards and Tamas started the last three sets in place of Burdine and Paolini. Metcalf was a sub in the first two sets, then started in place of Fawcett in the third and fourth sets. Stacy Sykora, the captain for the team at the Pan American Cup, was a sub in the third set.

“It is always good to win,” Sykora said. “This was a positive thing. We faced a great team that showed good service and went so far. They are a great team now and I am sure they will be great in the future.”

The U.S. out-blocked Colombia 20-4 and held a 52-46 margin in kills. Team USA converted 55.3 percent of its attacks as part of a .426 hitting efficiency. Colombia produced a 40.7 kill percent, but only a .239 hitting efficiency with 19 attack faults. The Americans limited their errors to 11 after the first set for a total of 22 for the match as Colombia had 25 errors. Colombia led 6-3 in aces.

“When we watched them playing better I thought we had to stop them,” Sunahara said. “We couldn’t in the first set. They showed good execution and had momentum. Our players woke up and started doing things correctly.”

Diana Arrechea tallied 20 points for Colombia, while its captain Lorena Zuleta added 14 points.

The Pan American Cup serves as a qualification tournament into the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix, which the U.S. has won each of the past three years. The top four teams from NORCECA, plus the top team from South America other than Brazil, will qualify for the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix.

After an off-day on July 17, cross-over quarterfinal matches between second- and third-place teams in each pool will take place at COBACH on July 18 as well as classification matches for positions seven through 12. Pool winners earn a direct ticket to the semifinals, which take place on July 19 at COBACH. The tournament concludes with medal round and final classification matches on July 20 at COBACH.

Colombia gained an early 4-2 lead in the first set as Arrechea tallied three kills. Team USA used a 3-0 scoring run to take a 6-5 lead with a kill and block by Gibbemeyer and a Burdine spike. The Americans went into the first technical timeout leading 8-6 with a Colombia error and Lloyd kill. Out of the break Gibbemeyer served an ace followed by a Colombia error and kills by Fawcett and Lloyd to lift the lead to 12-6 on six unanswered points. Colombia responded with four straight points to cut the deficit to two at 12-10. Colombia moved to within one at 13-12 on two straight points. Colombia scored back-to-back points to knot the score at 18-all, then took the lead at 21-20. Colombia took a two-point edge at 23-21, but Fawcett followed up a Colombia error with an ace to level the score at 23-all. Colombia won the set 27-25 on its third set-point opportunity. Gibbemeyer tallied a team-high six points for the U.S. in the first set, but 11 American errors helped Colombia come back and win the set.

Team USA reached a two-point separation at 4-2 in the second set with a Gibbemeyer block after two Colombia errors. Colombia bounced back to take a 6-5 lead with two aces. The Americans responded with a Lichtman kill and Lloyd block to switch the lead to 7-6 and the U.S. went into the technical timeout leading 8-6 on a Colombia error. Fawcett and Gibbemeyer hammered back-to-back kills for a 10-7 advantage, but Colombia answered with two straight at 10-9. Gibbemeyer and Richards pounded kills and Richards followed with a block to raise the U.S. lead to 13-9. A Colombia error gave the U.S. a fourth straight point at 14-9. Colombia notched three straight points to close to 14-12. Team USA reached the second technical timeout leading 16-12 after a Fawcett kill and Colombia error. Out of the break Fawcett notched a kill to increase the margin to 17-12. Colombia responded with four straight points to close to 17-16. Colombia tied the set at 19-all on its fifth ace of the set. Gibbemeyer, Richards and Metcalf scored consecutive kills to lift the U.S. to a 23-20 lead. The U.S. reached set points at 24-20 on a Colombia error. Richards ended the set with a kill, her fourth point of the set, at 25-21.

The U.S. scored four straight to take a 4-1 lead in the third set with kills from Richards and Lloyd around a Colombia error followed by a Gibbemeyer ace. Richards added a kill after a timeout to push the lead to 5-1. Colombia picked up two straight points at 5-3.Tamas and Gibbemeyer downed kills to extend the lead to 9-5, only to have Colombia respond with its own 2-0 run to close back to 9-7. Gibbemeyer followed a Metcalf kill with four straight blocks to build a 15-8 advantage. The U.S. scoring run reached nine points at 19-8 with a Colombia error followed by a Lloyd block and two more Gibbemeyer blocks. Colombia scored back-to-back points at 20-11, but USA gained the points back at 22-11 with a Colombia error and Metcalf kill. The U.S. ended the set with a Richards kill and Gibbemeyer block, her nine of the set, to take a 25-13 victory. Gibbemeyer finished with 10 points in the second set and the U.S. compiled 13 blocks.

Colombia gained the first two-point separation of the fourth set at 4-2, then added to it at 5-2 with a third unanswered point. Lichtman, Metcalf and Richards scored consecutive kills and Colombia committed an error to give the U.S. a 7-6 advantage. Gibbemeyer and Metcalf tallied kills to push the Americans to a 9-7 lead, but Colombia came back to tie the score at 9-all. Gibbemeyer and Richards answered with kills to put the U.S. in front 11-9. A Richards kill and Tamas block extended the Team USA lead to 13-10. The U.S. reached the second technical timeout leading 16-12 following a Metcalf kill and Colombia error. Colombia closed to 17-15 with consecutive points. The U.S. reached a 21-15 advantage with two kills by Lichtman and one by Lloyd. A Lichtman block and Colombia error gave the U.S. a 23-15 advantage. Team USA closed out the set 25-17 with a Gibbemeyer kill and Colombia error. Metcalf scored five points in the set.

Women's Pan American Cup Year-by-Year
Year: Gold – Silver – Bronze
2002: Cuba – Dominican Republic – USA
2003: USA – Dominican Republic – Cuba
2004: Cuba – USA – Dominican Republic
2005: Cuba – Dominican Republic – Brazil
2006: Brazil – Cuba – Dominican Republic
2007: Cuba – Brazil – Dominican Republic
2008: Dominican Republic – Brazil – Argentina
2009: Brazil – Dominican Republic – Puerto Rico
2010: Dominican Republic – Peru – USA
2011: Brazil – Dominican Republic - USA

2012 U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Roster for Pan American Cup
# - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 - Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, Leland, Mich., Penn State)
5 – Stacy Sykora (L, 5-10, Burleson, Texas, Texas A&M)
6 – Kayla Banwarth (L, 5-10, Dubuque, Iowa, Nebraska)
9 - Jennifer Tamas (MB, 6-4, Milpitas, Calif., Pacific)
11 – Lauren Paolini (MB, 6-4, Ann Arbor, Mich., Texas)
12 - Nancy Metcalf (Opp, 6-1, Hull, Iowa, Nebraska)
14 - Nicole Fawcett (Opp, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State)
15 – Cassidy Lichtman (OH, 6-1, Poway, Calif., Stanford)
17 – Carli Lloyd (S, 5-11, Bonsall, Calif., California-Berkeley)
19 – Keao Burdine (OH, 6-1, Pico Rivera, Calif., Southern California)
24 – Kristin Richards (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford)
25 – Lauren Gibbemeyer (MB, 6-2, St. Paul, Minn., Minnesota)

Head Coach: Reed Sunahara (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Assistant Coach: Tom Pestolesi (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Dan Fisher (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
Team Manager: Mike Hebert (San Diego, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo (Lincoln, Neb.)
Medical Support: Maria “Larnie” Boquiren (Culver City, Calif.)

2012 Women's Pan American Cup Schedule

Pool A: Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, United States
Pool B: Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago

Pool A
July 12: Dominican Republic def. Colombia 25-13, 25-18, 25-11
July 12: United States def. Canada 25-15, 25-22, 25-15
July 12: Cuba def. Puerto Rico 16-25, 25-15, 25-18, 25-19
July 13: Cuba def. Colombia 25-19, 25-21, 25-15
July 13: Dominican Republic def. Canada 25-17, 18-25, 25-19, 25-21
July 13: United States def. Puerto Rico 25-15, 25-12, 25-14
July 14: Canada def Colombia 25-12, 25-19, 25-13
July 14: Dominican Republic def Puerto Rico 25-22, 25-19, 25-22
July 14: Cuba def United States 25-18, 25-23, 18-25, 25-19
July 15: United States def. Colombia 25-27, 25-21, 25-13, 25-17
July 15: Puerto Rico def. Canada 25-20, 25-18, 25-18
July 15: Dominican Republic vs. Cuba, 8 p.m. MT
July 16: Cuba vs. Canada, 4 p.m. MT
July 16: Puerto Rico vs. Colombia, 4 p.m. MT
July 16: United States vs. Dominican Republic, 6 p.m. MT

Pool B
July 12: Brazil def. Costa Rica 25-9, 25-15, 25-11
July 12: Peru def. Argentina 14-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-23
July 12: Mexico def. Trinidad & Tobago 27-25, 25-20, 17-25, 25-19
July 13: Argentina def. Trinidad & Tobago 26-24, 25-14, 25-13
July 13: Brazil def. Peru 25-11, 25-19, 25-16
July 13: Costa Rica def Mexico 25-27, 25-18, 25-20, 25-23
July 14: Brazil def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-16, 25-16, 25-20
July 14: Peru def. Costa Rica 25-11, 25-11, 25-15
July 14: Argentina def. Mexico 25-15, 25-19, 25-21
July 15: Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 6 p.m.
July 15: Brazil vs. Argentina, 6 p.m. MT
July 15: Mexico vs. Peru, 8 p.m. MT
July 16: Peru vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 6 p.m. MT
July 16: Argentina vs. Costa Rica, 8 p.m. MT
July 16: Mexico vs. Brazil, 8 p.m. MT

July 18: Match 31 - 4B vs. 5A, 4 p.m. MT (at UACJ) – Classification 7-10
July 18: Match 32 - 4A vs. 5B, 6 p.m. MT (at UACJ) – Classification 7-10
July 18: Match 33 - 6A vs. 6B, 8 p.m. MT (at UACJ) – Classification 11-12
July 18: Match 34 - 2A vs. 3B, 6 p.m. MT (at COBACH) – Quarterfinal
July 18: Match 35 - 2B vs. 3A, 8 p.m. MT (at COBACH) – Quarterfinal

July 19: Match 36 – M31 winner vs. M34 loser, 4 p.m. MT (at UACJ) – Classification 5-8
July 19: Match 37 – M32 winner vs. M35 loser, 6 p.m. MT (at UACJ) – Classification 5-8
July 19: Match 38 – M31 loser vs. M32 loser, 8 p.m. MT (at UACJ) – Classification 9-10
July 19: Match 39 – Pool B Winner vs. M34 winner, 6 p.m. MT (at COBACH) – Semifinal
July 19: Match 40 – Pool A Winner vs. M35 winner, 8 p.m. MT (at COBACH) – Semifinal

July 20: Match 41 – M36 loser vs. M37 loser, 2 p.m. MT (at COBACH) – Classification 7-8
July 20: Match 42 – M36 winner vs. M37 winner, 4 p.m. MT (at COBACH) – Classification 5-6
July 20: Match 43 – M39 loser vs. M40 loser, 6 p.m. MT (at COBACH) – Bronze-Medal Match
July 20: Match 44 – M39 winner vs. M40 winner, 8 p.m. MT (at COBACH) – Gold-Medal Match