Puerto Rico Downs U.S. Women for Bronze

July 04, 2009, 7:04 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bill.kauffman@usav.org

MIAMI, Fla. (July 4, 2009) – Puerto Rico notched a 25-22, 20-25, 25-21, 25-20 victory over United States in the bronze-medal match of the Eighth Women’s Pan American Cup being played at the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center.

Puerto Rico finished the tournament in third place, while USA settled for fourth place. Earlier in the tournament, the Americans defeated Puerto Rico in four sets on the final day of pool play to win Pool A with a 5-0 record.

Aurea Cruz led all scorers with 27 points for Puerto Rico, include 23 kills and four blocks. Sarai Alvarez added 20 points with 19 kills and an ace. Yarimar Rosa and Sheila Ocasio chipped in eight points in the victory.

Danielle Scott-Arruda led the U.S. with 14 points via 10 kills and four blocks. Nancy Metcalf contributed 13 points on 10 kills and three blocks. Kristin Richards added 11 points on 10 kills and one ace.

Puerto Rico outscored the U.S. 61-46 in kills to offset a 13-10 block disadvantage and 14 service errors.

“This victory represents a good finish to the tournament,” an elated Puerto Rican Head Coach Carlos Cardona said in the post-match press conference. “We played with a lot confidence as it was hard to go through the U.S. defense.”

“Congratulations to Puerto Rico as they certainly deserved to win the match,” U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon said. “We came out flat and never got into any rhythm. Puerto Rico was able to return the big points when they needed them.”

“Puerto Rico made the important plays at the right time,” said Scott-Arruda, the U.S. captain. “We need to play more consistently throughout the match to improve.”

McCutcheon was able to utilize a tournament roster dotted with youth as well as veterans. At the press conference, McCutcheon related one of the goals of the tournament was to involve the Olympians as a matter of familiarization with the staff before they get some deserved rest between the professional league seasons.

“For many of our Olympians, this was a chance for our coaching staff to see them and have them be a part of our system early in the process,” McCutcheon said.