U.S. Women Rally Past Puerto Rico 3-2

By Bill Kauffman | June 11, 2013, 12 a.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman, USA Volleyball Senior Manager of Communications, Phone: 719-228-6800, Email: bill.kauffman@usav.org
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Unofficial DataVolley Stats * Official NORCECA Stats

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 11, 2013) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team rallied from two sets down to defeat Puerto Rico 28-30, 23-25, 25-14, 25-17, 15-13 on Tuesday during Pool A of the Pan American Cup in Callao, Peru.

Team USA (2-0) concludes Pool A versus Argentina (2-0) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. PT. Earlier today, Argentina defeated Trinidad & Tobago 25-23, 25-18, 25-11 to set up tomorrow's battle of the two undefeated teams of Pool A. Argentina leads the pool with 10 points, while the U.S. has eight points. The top two teams of the three Pan Am Cup pool winners advance directly to the semifinals on Saturday.

The U.S. committed nine errors in the opening set and saved three set points when down 24-21 to take two set point chances of its own only to fall 30-28 as Puerto Rico scored three unanswered to end the frame on its sixth set point opportunity. The U.S. rallied from a 16-12 deficit in the second set to tie at 16-all, but Puerto Rico pushed to a 20-17 lead en route to winning 25-23.

The third set was a roller coaster with the Puerto Rico scoring the first three points, followed by a 6-0 run by the U.S. After Puerto Rico knotted the score at 12-all, Team USA rolled 10 unanswered points in winning 25-14. The U.S. used a key 4-0 run to take a 19-14 lead in the fourth set as they pushed on to a 25-17 victory sending the match to a tiebreaker. In the fifth set, Puerto Rico came back from a 3-0 deficit to take an 11-10 advantage, but the U.S. scored four of the final five points to win 15-13.

“Puerto Rico played very good volleyball and forced us to play as hard, the hardest we have had to play in 2013,” U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.) said. “Our team did a nice job, staying calm and fighting hard.”

U.S. opposite Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) led all scorers with 30 points coming off 25 kills on 60 attacks, three aces and two blocks. She scored six points alone in the deciding fifth set. Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) added 16 kills on 36 aattacks and one block for 17 points in the victory. Kristin Richards Hildebrand (Orem, Utah) charted eight kills and a match-high six blocks for 14 points. Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) pocketed 11 kills on 24 swings and three blocks for 14 points.

Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio) collected three kills on six attacks and two blocks for five points, while Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) produced three blocks and an ace for four points. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) added three points with two blocks and a kill coming off the bench. Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) rounded out the scoring with a key ace in the fifth set as a reserve.

Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) provided the Americans with team-highs of 18 digs and 14 excellent receptions on 25 attempts. Glass was credited with 38 running sets on 91 set attempts in four sets, while Jenna Hagglund (West Chester, Ohio) added 14 running sets on 38 chances. Fawcett charted 15 digs and Richards Hildebrand added 10 digs.

The U.S. started Hodge and Richards Hildebrand at outside hitter, Gibbemeyer and Adams at middle blocker, Fawcett at opposite and Hagglund at setter. Banwarth is the designated Team USA libero for the tournament. Glass started the final four sets in place of Hagglund, who was a sub in the final two sets. Paolini started the final three sets in Adam’s spot.

Team USA converted 40.4 percent of its attacks into points with a .298 hitting efficiency (65-17-161). Meanwhile, Puerto Rico converted just 36.2 percent of its attacks for kills with a .198 hitting efficiency (64-29-177). The U.S. out-blocked Puerto Rico 19-9 and held slim margins in kills (65-64) and aces (4-3), along with a 64-53 margin in digs. Team USA committed 23 errors in the match, but only 14 after the first set. Meanwhile, the U.S. benefited from 28 errors by Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico was led by Karina Ocasio with 25 points, while Yarimar Rosa added 18 points and Daly Santana contributed 15 points in the loss.

In Pool B at Iquitos, Peru, Canada (1-1) edged host Peru (1-1) 25-19, 22-25, 25-20, 20-25, 15-11 and Cuba (2-0) swept Costa Rica (0-2) 25-20, 25-14, 25-17. In Pool C at Huacho, Dominican Republic (2-0) blanked Colombia (0-2) 25-19, 25-14, 25-21, while Brazil (1-1) rallied past Mexico (1-1) 23-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-15.

The Pan American Cup, now in its 12th year, consists of 12 teams from NORCECA (North American, Central America and Caribbean Confederation) and CSV (South America Federation). The tournament serves as a qualification tournament into the 2014 FIVB World Grand Prix. The top four teams from NORCECA and the top placing team from CSV other than Brazil will earn tickets to next year’s World Grand Prix.

After the U.S. scored the first point of the opening set on a Hodge kill, Puerto Rico recorded the next four points with three coming on U.S. errors. USA bounced back to take an 8-7 lead at the first technical timeout as Fawcett poured in three kills. Puerto Rico scored the first two points after the break to assume a 9-8 advantage, then stretched the advantage to 14-11 with three unanswered points. The U.S. closed to 15-14 with a Puerto Rico error and Hildebrand Richards kill. Puerto Rico returned to a three-point cushion at 18-15 with two straight points, only to have Gibbemeyer notch consecutive kills to narrow the gap down to a single point at 18-17. Puerto Rico moved back in front by three at 20-17 following a Daly Santana ace. Back-to-back kills from Richards Hildebrand and Hodge closed the deficit to 20-19. The U.S. tied the set at 21-all with a Gibbemeyer kill and Adams block. Puerto Rico answered with three consecutive points to reach set point at 24-21. The U.S. saved two set points with kills from Fawcett and Hagglund to narrow the gap to 24-23. Hodge then knotted the score at 24-all with her sixth kill. Adams put up her second block of the set to give the Americans a 25-24 advantage. Puerto Rico saved its first set point against it with back-to-back points for a 26-25 lead. Fawcett and Richards Hildebrand tallied consecutive kills to reverse the lead to the U.S. at 28-27, but Puerto Rico quickly shifted the momentum with three straight points to win 30-28. Fawcett and Hodge each scored seven points for the U.S. in the set.

Puerto Rico gained the first two-point cushion of the second set at 5-3 and went into the first technical timeout leading 8-5. Gibbemeyer came out of the break with a kill and block to cut the gap to 8-7. Puerto Rico answered with two back-to-back points of its own at 10-7. Hodge and Richards Hildebrand placed back-to-back kills on the ledger to narrow the gap to 12-11, but Puerto scored four of the next five points to take a 16-12 lead into the second technical timeout. Team USA reeled off the next four points out of the break to tie the set at 16-all with a Fawcett kill, two Puerto Rico attack errors and a Fawcett ace. Puerto Rico returned to a three-point cushion at 20-17 with three straight points leading to a USA timeout. The U.S. closed to 22-21. After Puerto Rico reached three set points at 24-21, the U.S. saved two set points with winners from Adams and Hildebrand before Puerto Rico ended the set 25-23.

Puerto Rico scored the first three points of the third set, but the U.S. came back with a Richards Hildebrand kill, Puerto Rico error and Gibbemeyer block to knot the score at 3-all. Fawcett and Richards Hildebrand scored back-to-back blocks followed by a Fawcett kill to send the score to 6-3 on six unanswered points. Puerto Rico came back with two straight points to close to 6-5. The U.S. pushed back to a 9-5 lead capped by a Richards Hildebrand block. Puerto Rico leveled the score at 11-11 with a 5-1 run. Team USA regained a five-point edge at 17-12 with kills from Fawcett, Paolini and Richards Hildebrand around a Puerto Rico error. Richards Hildebrand and Fawcett added kills to put the run at 19-12. The run capped at 10 at 22-12 with a Paolini block. Team USA ended the set at 25-14 with Richards Hildebrand’s fourth block and seventh point of the set.

Puerto Rico produced a 4-1 scoring run to establish a 7-4 lead in the fourth set. The U.S. scored three straight out of the first technical timeout with two kills from Hodge and a Puerto Rico error to knot the score at 8-all. Paolini added a block to reverse the lead to the U.S. at 9-8 to cap the 4-0 run. The U.S. increased its lead to 11-9 with points from Fawcett and Richards Hildebrand, then pushed the gap to 14-10 with a Richards Hildebrand kill followed by consecutive Puerto Rico errors. Puerto Rico cut the gap to a single point at 15-14 with three straight points. The Americans answered with a Gibbemeyer kill, Glass block, Hodge block and Puerto Rico error to gain a five-point edge at 19-14 edge. Hodge and Fawcett tallied back-to-back kills to extend the American lead to 22-16. Hodge followed a Puerto Rico error with a kill to give U.S. set points at 24-17. Paolini ended the set with a block for a 25-17 victory.

Glass and Fawcett scored the first two points of the fifth set and Puerto Rico followed with an error to put the Americans in front 3-0. However, the U.S. committed back-to-back error to narrow its lead to 3-2. Fawcett pocketed back-to-back kills to yield a 5-2 American advantage, but Puerto Rico scored the next two point to close to 5-4. Puerto Rico tied the set at 8-8 after the teams traded several points. After a Fawcett kill, Lichtman served an ace to put the U.S. in front 10-8. However, Puerto Rico answered with its own 3-0 run to take an 11-10 advantage. The U.S. reversed the lead with a Gibbemeyer kill and ace by Fawcett at 13-12. Hodge ended the match with a kill at 15-13 on the Americans’ first match-point opportunity.

2013 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)
7 – Cassidy Lichtman (OH, 6-1, Poway, Calif., Stanford)
8 – Lauren Gibbemeyer (MB, 6-2, St. Paul, Minn., Minnesota)
11 – Megan Hodge (OH, 6-3, Durham, N.C., Penn State)
12 – Kayla Banwarth (L, 5-10, Dubuque, Iowa, Nebraska)
14 – Nicole Fawcett (Opp, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State)
16 – Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, Portland, Ore., Pepperdine)
17 – Lauren Paolini (MB, 6-4, Ann Arbor, Mich., Texas)
20 – Jenna Hagglund (S, 5-10, West Chester, Ohio, Washington)
22 – Rachael Adams (MB, 6-2, Cincinnati, Ohio, Texas)
24 – Kristin Hildebrand (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford)
25 – Kelly Murphy (Opp, 6-2, Wilmington, Ill., Florida)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Reed Sunahara, Tom Black
Technical Coordinator: Joe Trinsey
Physiotherapist: Jill Wosmek
Team Manager: Rob Browning

2013 Pan American Cup Schedule

Pool Play (Times Listed as Pacific Time)
June 10: Argentina def. Puerto Rico 25-23, 25-21, 25-15 (at Callao – Pool A)
June 10: United States def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-13, 25-12, 25-13 (at Callao – Pool A)
June 10: Peru def. Costa Rica 25-19, 25-18, 25-16(at Iquitos – Pool B)
June 10: Cuba vs. Canada 21-25, 20-25, 25-21, 25-20, 15-13 (at Iquitos – Pool B)
June 10: Mexico def. Colombia 25-18, 25-23, 25-16 (at Huacho – Pool C)
June 10: Dominican Republic def. Brazil 21-25, 25-20, 25-21, 35-33 (at Huacho – Pool C)
June 11: Argentina def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-23, 25-18, 25-11 (at Callao – Pool A)
June 11: United States def. Puerto Rico 28-30, 23-25, 25-14, 25-17, 15-13 (at Callao – Pool A)
June 11: Canada def. Peru 25-19, 22-25, 25-20, 20-25, 15-11 (at Iquitos – Pool B)
June 11: Cuba def. Costa Rica 25-20, 25-14, 25-17 (at Iquitos – Pool B)
June 11: Dominican Republic def. Colombia 25-19, 25-14, 25-21 (at Huacho –Pool C)
June 11: Brazil def. Mexico 23-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-15 (at Huacho – Pool C)
June 12: Puerto Rico vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 4 p.m. (at Callao – Pool A)
June 12: United States vs. Argentina, 6 p.m. (at Callao – Pool A)
June 12: Peru vs. Cuba, 5 p.m. (at Iquitos – Pool B)
June 12: Canada vs. Costa Rica, 7 p.m. (at Iquitos – Pool B)
June 12: Dominican Republic vs. Mexico, 4 p.m. (at Huacho – Pool C)
June 12: Brazil vs. Colombia, 6 p.m. (at Huacho – Pool C)

Classification Rounds
June 14: 3rd A/B/C (1) vs. 4th A/B/C (1 or 3), 4 p.m. (at Callao – 7-10 Classification, Match 19)
June 14: 3rd A/B/C (2) vs. 3rd A/B/C (3 or 4), 4 p.m. (at Lima – 7-10 Classification, Match 20)
June 14: 2nd A/B/C (1) vs. 3rd A/B/C (2 or 3), 6 p.m. (at Callao – Quarterfinals, Match 21)
June 14: 1st A/B/C (3) vs. 2nd A/B/C (2 or 3), 6 p.m. (at Lima – Quarterfinals, Match 22)
June 15: 4th A/B/C (3) vs. Loser Match 19 or 20, 2 p.m. (at Callao – 9-12 Classification, Match 23)
June 15: 4th A/B/C (2) vs. Loser Match 19 or 20, 2 p.m. (at Lima – 9-12 Classification, Match 24)
June 15: Winner Match 19 vs. Loser Match 21 or 22, 4 p.m. (at Callao – 5-8 Classification, Match 25)
June 15: Winner Match 20 vs. Loser Match 21 or 22, 6 p.m. (at Callao – 5-8 Classification, Match 26)
June 15: 1st A/B/C (2) vs. Winner Match 21 or 22, 4 p.m. (at Lima – Semifinals, Match 27)
June 15: 1st A/B/C (1) vs. Winner Match 21 or 22, 6 p.m. (at Lima – Semifinals, Match 28)
June 16: Loser Match 23 vs. Loser Match 24, 10 a.m. (at Callao – 11th/12th Place, Match 29)
June 16: Winner Match 23 vs. Winner Match 24, noon (at Callao – 9th/10th Place, Match 30)
June 16: Loser Match 25 vs. Loser Match 26, 2 p.m. (at Callao – 7th/8th Place, Match 31)
June 16: Winner Match 25 vs. Winner Match 26, 2 p.m. (at Lima, 5th/6th Place, Match 32)
June 16: Loser Match 27 vs. Loser Match 28, 4 p.m. (at Lima, 3rd/4th Place, Match 33)
June 16: Winner Match 27 vs. Winner Match 28, 6 p.m. (at Lima, 1st/2nd Place, Match 34)