TORONTO -- With one 3-0 pool play win against Peru down, the U.S. women’s volleyball team was confident as it took to the court against Puerto Rico at the 2015 Pan American Games Saturday night.
After the crowd watched host Canada defeat Cuba in Pool A, the energy hadn’t left the building and propelled the Americans to their second pool play win, 3-0, to lead Pool B.
Team USA began the first set with a dominant performance led by Krista Vansant’s defensive kills. Nicole Fawcett led the team in the set with four spikes. Team USA led the entire way, taking the first set, 25-17.
“Puerto Rico’s a great team and they’ve done well this tournament,” team captain Kristin Hildebrand said.
Puerto Rico regained momentum in the second set and tied it up early with the U.S., 3-3. The Americans quickly regained control behind Hildebrand’s senior leadership.
“I thought we did a great job fighting back, especially when we needed to in that second set,” Hildebrand said. “We made the plays that we needed to make. We kept our serves tough and let our blocking defense do the work.”
Puerto Rico tied the set up at 9 and before a serving error gave the lead back to the U.S., Puerto Rico took the lead at 17-16 as the two traded points. Team USA pulled out the set win, 25-22.
“I thought we did a great job scouting them and preparing for that fast offense,” Hildebrand said.
In the third, Team USA held off a quick start from Puerto Rico to win and take the match, 25-14.
The U.S. will face Brazil on Monday night in the final pool play game before the quarterfinals.
“Any time we get to play Brazil, we’re really excited,” Hildebrand said. “They’re an amazing team and we have a long rivalry with them.”
“It’s been really fun playing here,” Hildebrand said. “All of us are really enjoying it and looking forward to the rest of the tournament.”