U.S. Advances to NORCECA Semis

Sept. 18, 2013, 11 p.m. (ET)

OMAHA, Neb. (Sept. 18, 2013) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will advance straight to the semifinals of the Visit Omaha NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship after it overwhelmed Cuba, 25-9, 25-13, 25-12 on Wednesday at Ralston Arena.

Alisha Glass (1) and Lauren Gibbemeyer (8) block against Cuba
  Alisha Glass (1) and Lauren Gibbemeyer (8) put up a block
  against Cuba.

The United States (2-0) won Pool B and had the top point ratio of the three pool winners. The Dominican Republic (2-0) had the second best ratio and will also advance. Thursday’s quarterfinal matches will determine the other teams that will play in Friday’s semifinals at Ralston Arena. The U.S. match will be at 8 p.m. regardless of the opponent. All NORCECA matches can also be watched live online at usavolleyball.org.

The United States had little trouble defeating Cuba (0-2), which had lost a hard-fought, five-set match to Mexico late on Tuesday night. The U.S. Women led in kills (39-17), blocks (11-2) and aces (9-1). The United States’ greatest adversity came from a mix-up in its warm-up time prior to the match.

“One of our focal points this year is embracing adversity,” U.S. Coach Karch Kiraly said. “We had a nice opportunity for that because we had a mix-up in the warm-up time. Our team handled that really well. They came out and served tough and passed well, just like we focused on.”

For a second straight match, every U.S. athlete had playing time.

U.S. middle blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) led all scorers with 13 points on eight kills and a match-high five blocks. Opposite Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) added 11 points on a match-high 10 attacks and one ace. Middle blocker Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) came off the bench to start the second and third sets and finished with eight points on eight attacks.

“I thought that tonight we did a really good job putting pressure on Cuba and focusing on our side of the net,” U.S. Team Captain Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah) said. We played really clean for the majority of the match. We had a lot of people come off the bench and make great contributions.

“The crowd was awesome,” Hildebrand added. “It was fun to see more people come out and we’re hoping it will keep growing.”

Among other U.S. scorers, Hildebrand scored six points on five attacks and one block. Outside hitter Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.) totaled six points on one kills, two blocks and a match-high three aces. Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) entered the match in the second set and scored five points on three attacks and two aces.

Opposite Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio), who played as a substitute in the third set, compiled four points on four attacks. Middle blocker Christa Harmotto (Hopewell Township, Pa.) scored three points on two kills and one block in the first set. Setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) score two points on two blocks.

Glass was credited with 18 running sets. Backup setter Jenna Hagglund (West Chester, Ohio) had four running sets. The two combined to set the U.S. women to a 58.6 kill percent and a .500 hitting efficiency.

U.S. libero Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) was credited with a match-leading nine digs and nine excellent receptions.

U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Roster for NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship
# - Name (Position, Height, Spike Touch, Block Touch, Hometown, College)
1 - Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, 10-0, 9-10, Leland, Mich., Penn State University)
7 - Cassidy Lichtman (OH, 6-1, 9-10, 9-2, Poway, Calif., Stanford University)
8 - Lauren Gibbemeyer (MB, 6-2, 10-1, 9-7, St. Paul, Minn., University of Minnesota)
9 - Kristin Hildebrand (OH, 6-1, 9-10, 9-4, Orem, Utah, Stanford University)
10 – Jordan Larson-Burbach (OH, 6-2, 9-11, 9-8, Hooper, Neb., University of Nebraska)
12 - Kayla Banwarth (L, 5-10, 9-8, 9-3, Dubuque, Iowa, University of Nebraska)
13 - Christa Harmotto (MB, 6-2, 10-7, 9-10, Hopewell Township, Pa., Penn State University)
14 - Nicole Fawcett (OPP, 6-4, 10-2, 9-7, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State University)
15 - Kelly Murphy (OPP, 6-2, 10-4, 10-1, Wilmington, Ill., University of Florida)
17 - Lauren Paolini (MB, 6-4, 10-5, 9-10, Ann Arbor, Mich., University of Texas)
20 - Jenna Hagglund (S, 5-10, 9-7, 9-6, West Chester, Ohio, University of Washington)
24 - Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, 10-6, 10-2, Portland, Ore., Pepperdine University)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Reed Sunahara, Mike Hebert
Technical Coordinator: Joe Trinsey
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek
Team Leader: Kenneth Sullivan

2013 Visit Omaha NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship Schedule
(all times Central)

Sept. 16
Dominican Republic def. Costa Rica 25-13, 25-6, 25-20 (Pool A)
Puerto Rico def. St. Lucia 25-9, 25-15, 25-12 (Pool C)
United States def. Mexico 25-9, 25-12, 25-11 (Pool B)

Sept. 17
Trinidad & Tobago def. Costa Rica 25-14, 22-25, 21-25, 27-25, 15-13 (Pool A)
Canada def. St. Lucia 25-14, 25-9, 25-14 (Pool C)
Mexico def. Cuba 25-18, 25-23, 23-25, 21-25, 18-16 (Pool B)

Sept. 18
Dominican Republic def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-13, 25-20, 25-13 (Pool A)
Puerto Rico def. Canada 19-25, 28-26, 25-23, 13-25, 15-8 (Pool C)
United States def. Cuba 25-9, 25-13, 25-12 (Pool B)

Sept. 19
Cuba (3B-2) vs. St. Lucia (3C-3) in 9th-Place Classification Final, 4 p.m.
Canada (2C-1) vs. Trinidad & Tobago (2A-2), 6 p.m.
Puerto Rico (1C-1) vs. Mexico (2B-3), 8 p.m.

Sept. 20
7th/8th-Place Classification Final, 4 p.m.
Semifinals, 6 p.m.
Semifinals, 8 p.m.

Sept. 21

Fifth-Place Match, 4 p.m.
Bronze-Medal Match, 6 p.m.
Championship Finals, 8 p.m.

Year by Year Podiums
Year: Gold – Silver – Bronze
1969: MEX - CUB – USA
1971: MEX - CUB – AHO
1973: CUB - CAN – USA
1975: CUB - USA – MEX
1977: CUB - USA – CAN
1979: CUB - USA – MEX
1981: USA - CUB – MEX
1983: USA - CUB – CAN
1985: CUB - USA – CAN
1987: CUB - USA – CAN
1989: CUB - CAN – USA
1991: CUB - USA – CAN
1993: CUB - USA – CAN
1995: CUB - USA – CAN
1997: CUB - USA – DOM
1999: CUB - USA – CAN
2001: USA - CUB – DOM
2003: USA - CUB – DOM
2005: USA - CUB – DOM
2007: CUB - USA – DOM
2009: DOM - PUR – CUB
2011: USA – DOM - CUB