U.S. Women Cruise Past Mexico

Sept. 16, 2013, 10:30 p.m. (ET)

OMAHA, Neb. (Sept. 16, 2013) – The United States got off to a strong start at the Visit Omaha NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship with a 25-9, 25-12, 25-11 victory over Mexico on Monday at Ralston Arena.

  Kayla Banwarth (12) receives the ball as Jordan Larson-Burbach
  watches on Sept. 16 in Omaha, Neb.

The U.S. Women's Volleyball Team is 1-0 in pool play and will get Tuesday off before playing Cuba on Wednesday (Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. CT). Mexico (0-1) and Cuba will play on Tuesday. All NORCECA matches can be watched live online at usavolleyball.org. In other NORCECA matches on Monday, Dominican Republic defeated Costa Rica (3-0) and Puerto Rico beat St. Lucia (3-0).

The U.S. Women dominated Monday’s opener, leading in kills (43-17), blocks (9-2) and aces (6-2). They also took advantage of 17 Mexico errors while committing 11. Every athlete on the U.S. roster competed in the match and 10 out of the 12 scored at least one point.

“I thought we did a good job,” U.S. Team Captain Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah) said. “We served really well, passed well and ran a fast offense. I thought a lot of people came off the bench and made great contributions.”

Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) led all scorers with 14 points on a match-high 12 kills and two aces. Outside hitter Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.), playing her first competitive match in Nebraska since she was a collegiate player at the University of Nebraska, added 11 points on seven attacks, two blocks and two aces. Middle blocker Christa Harmotto (Hopewell Township, Pa.) totaled 10 points on four kills and a match-high six blocks.

“Tonight, all 12 players we brought here made nice contributions against a feisty and spunky Mexican team,” U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “I loved how (Mexico) never gave up. They pursued a lot of balls on defense that other teams might not have been able to get over the net.”

U.S. libero Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa), who also played for the University of Nebraska, led all players in digs with 20 and also led in excellent receptions with 11.

Among other U.S. scorers, opposite Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio), who played as a substitute in the second set and started the third, had eight points on eight kills.

Middle blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) had four points on three attacks and one block. Middle blocker Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) totaled four points on four kills. Hildebrand finished with three points on three attacks.

Setter Jenna Hagglund (West Chester, Ohio) added two points on two straight aces. Starting setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) and outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) each scored with one kill.

Glass was credited with 18 running sets and Hagglund, who started the third set, was credited with six.

Kiraly started Hildebrand and Larson at outside hitter, Gibbemeyer and Harmotto at middle blocker, Murphy at opposite, Glass at setter and Banwarth at libero.

Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) substituted in the second set and started the third at outside hitter. Fawcett substituted in the second set and started the third at opposite. Paolini started the second and third sets at middle blocker. Hagglund started the third set at setter and Kim Hill started the second set at outside hitter.

The U.S. Women took an 8-4 lead in the first set and increased it to 10-4 and Mexico couldn’t rally. Harmotto had eight points in the set on three kills and five blocks. Murphy added seven kills.

Mexico took a 5-3 lead in the second set, including two kills, a block and an ace. With Mexico leading 6-5, Murphy scored with two straight kills and sparked seven-point run behind the serving of Larson to give the U.S. women a 12-6 lead. Fawcett was brought in and ended the set with two straight kills to give the U.S. the 25-12 victory.

The third set was tied 3-3 when Larson took the serve on Mexico’s service error and served for four points, including two straight aces to give the U.S. a 7-3 lead that it never relinquished. The U.S. led 16-9 at the second technical timeout and only allowed Mexico two more points in the match.

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, 25-8, 25-15, 25-12 (Pool C)
United States vs. Mexico, 25-9, 25-12, 25-11 (Pool B)

Sept. 17
Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 4 p.m. (Pool A)
Canada vs. St. Lucia, 6 p.m. (Pool C)
Mexico vs. Cuba, 8 p.m. (Pool B)

Sept. 18
Dominican Republic vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 4 p.m. (Pool A)
Puerto Rico vs. Canada, 6 p.m. (Pool C)
United States vs. Cuba, 8 p.m. (Pool B)

Sept. 19
9th-Place Classification Final, 4 p.m.
Quarterfinals, 6 p.m.
Quarterfinals, 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