U.S. Women Sweep Brazil, Reach Pan Am Cup Title Match

By Bill Kauffman | June 15, 2013, 11:25 p.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 15, 2013) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team used a complete team effort in powering past Brazil 25-11, 25-20, 25-22 on Saturday evening during the semifinal round of the Pan American Cup in Lima, Peru.

Team USA, the defending tournament champion, will now play Dominican Republic in Sunday’s gold-medal match at 5 p.m. PT. Dominican Republic defeated Argentina 25-18, 25-18, 25-11 in the first semifinal match of the day. Both United States and Dominican Republic have won the title twice in the past 11 editions of the intercontinental tournament. The Americans have been in the finals three previous times while the Dominicans have played for the gold in seven past occasions.

The U.S. captured the 2012 Pan American Cup by defeating Brazil in the title match two weeks prior to the start of the Olympic Games. The 2013 U.S. roster has seven players returning from last year’s Pan Am Cup championship and only one Olympian.

The U.S. built an early 7-2 lead in the opening set and cruised to a 25-11 victory as seven different players scored. The Americans held a 4-0 margin in aces in the first set. Team USA started five new players in the second set and led throughout in a closely contested 25-20 victory. Team USA overcame an 18-17 deficit in the third set by using a 7-2 scoring run to establish a 23-19 advantage and went on to win 25-22.

“I am glad to arrive to this stage,” U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.) said. “Our team has played well and united. The Dominicans will be a tough opponent as they have won all their matches, but it will be a good match.”

Team USA had all 11 of its non-libero players score during the match. Rachael Adams (Cincinnati) led the Americans with 12 points and a match-high six blocks to go with six kills on 12 attacks. Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) secured 11 points with 10 kills on 14 attacks and an ace, while Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) matched the 11 points with 10 kills on 22 swings and a block. Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) charted seven kills on 16 attacks and two blocks for nine points.

Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) chipped in seven points with six kills on 10 errorless attacks and an ace. Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) tacked on four kills on nine errorless swings, one block and one ace for six points in just one set of action. Kristin Richards Hildebrand (Orem, Utah) pocketed two kills on three attacks, while Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) served two aces in the first set. Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) provided a kill and ace for two points. Setters Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) and Jenna Hagglund (West Chester, Ohio) both turned in one block.

Hagglund provided the U.S. with 30 running sets in relief of Glass, who had five running sets. Hill totaled a team-high nine excellent receptions on 18 errorless attempts, while Banwarth charted a team-high nine digs to go with six excellent receptions on 12 errorless chances. Richards Hildebrand secured seven digs in just one set of action. Lichtman added six excellent receptions on nine errorless chances.

The U.S. started Hodge and Richards Hildebrand at outside hitter, Gibbemeyer and Adams at middle blocker, Fawcett at opposite and Glass at setter. Banwarth is the designated Team USA libero for the tournament. After the first set, Hagglund started the rest of the way for Glass, Lichtman and Hill started in place of Richards Hildebrand and Hodge at outside hitter, Paolini stepped in for Gibbemeyer at middle blocker and Murphy spelled Fawcett the rest of the way.

The U.S. convert 48.4 percent of its attacks into kills as part of a .389 hitting efficiency (46-9-95). The Americans held Brazil to a 39.8 kill percent and .227 hitting efficiency (35-15-88. Team USA dominated the net with a 12-5 block advantage, in addition to serving strong with a 6-2 ace margin. The U.S. also held a 46-35 edge in kills as both teams held errors in check with 11 each.

“Today all the players had the chance to participate and it could be seen the team is very united,” said Richards Hildebrand, the U.S. captain. “Dominican Republic will be a tough rival, but we will go out to enjoy the game.”

In addition taking the title in 2012, the U.S. won the Pan American Cup in 2003 in the tournament’s second edition. Team USA won the Pan American Cup silver medal in 2004, along with bronze medals in 2010 and 2011.

By reaching today’s semifinals, Team USA had already qualified for the 2014 FIVB World Grand Prix as top four NORCECA finishing teams in the tournament gain a spot in the prestigious annual event.

Brazil’s Gabriela Guimaraes tallied a match-high 14 points as no other teammate scored more than eight points in the loss.

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.

The U.S. opened the first set with a 2-0 lead after a Brazil error and Fawcett ace. Hodge followed a Glass block with a kill to increase the early advantage to 4-1. Team USA extended the lead to 7-2 with an Adams kill and block after a Brazil error. Hodge notched back-to-back kills and Adams followed with her second block to extend the lead to 10-3. Brazil scored back-to-back points to cut the deficit to 12-7. The Americans answered with a Gibbemeyer kill, Fawcett ace and Richards Hildebrand kill after a Brazil error to grab a 16-7 advantage at the second technical timeout. The Americans increased the scoring run to four with a Brazil error out of the break for a 17-8 advantage. Murphy followed Brazil’s fifth error of the set with a kill to increase the gap to 19-8. The U.S. built the advantage to 22-9 with a Brazil error, Hodge kill and Gibbemeyer ace. Hodge put up a block and followed with an ace to secure the first set at 25-11. Hodge ended the set with six points as the Americans scored four blocks and four aces in the period.

The U.S. took a 4-1 lead with kills from Paolini, Murphy and Lichtman around a Brazil error. Brazil responded with two quick points to cut the gap to 4-3. The U.S. answered with a Paolini kill and Hill block at 6-3. Brazil checked with consecutive points to move back to within one at 6-5. Team USA regained a three-point cushion at 9-6 with an Adams kill and Murphy block. Brazil erased two points from deficit to close to 10-9. Team USA reached the second technical timeout leading 16-14 and held a 20-17 advantage following back-to-back Lichtman kills. However, Brazil answered with three straight points to knot the score at 20-all. Hill stopped the bleeding with a kill on each side of a 5-0 scoring run for the U.S. to end the set at 25-20. Paolini and Hill scored six points each and Lichtman added five points in the second set to lead the Americans.

While Brazil enjoyed an early 6-4 lead in the third set, it remained close as neither team held more than a two-point lead until the late stages. The U.S. came back to take a 14-12 advantage with a Murphy block after a Hill kill, only to have Brazil answer at 14-all. Brazil took the lead at 18-17 on an ace. However, the U.S. leveled the score at 18-all with a Lichtman kill and ace, then went into the lead at 19-18 on a Hagglund block. Team USA stretched its lead to 23-19 with a 4-0 run that included a block by Adams, ace by Paolini and kill by Murphy. Brazil scored two quick points to close to 23-21. The U.S. closed out the set at 25-22 with a Murphy kill. Adams scored five points with three blocks in the period.

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 def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-19, 25-18, 25-12 (at Callao – Pool A)
June 12: United States def. Argentina 25-17, 25-19, 25-22 (at Callao – Pool A)
June 12: Cuba def. Peru 19-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-22, 15-12 (at Iquitos – Pool B)
June 12: Canada def. Costa Rica 25-18, 25-23, 25-19 (at Iquitos – Pool B)
June 12: Dominican Republic def. Mexico 25-17, 25-13, 25-18 (at Huacho – Pool C)
June 12: Brazil def. Colombia 25-11, 25-23, 25-18(at Huacho – Pool C)

Classification Rounds
June 14: Peru def. Mexico 20-25, 26-28, 25-20, 25-17, 16-14 (at Callao – 7-10 Classification, Match 19)
June 14: Puerto Rico def. Costa Rica 25-5, 25-14, 25-12 (at Lima – 7-10 Classification, Match 20)
June 14: Brazil def. Canada 25-20, 23-25, 25-13, 20-25, 15-9 (at Callao – Quarterfinals, Match 21)
June 14: Argentina def. Cuba 26-24, 25-22, 25-23 (at Lima – Quarterfinals, Match 22)
June 15: Trinidad & Tobago def. Mexico 25-17, 25-22, 26-24 (at Callao – 9-12 Classification, Match 23)
June 15: Colombia def. Costa Rica 35-33, 15-25, 20-25, 25-22, 15-6 (at Lima – 9-12 Classification, Match 24)
June 15: Cuba def. Peru 18-25, 25-16, 25-15, 25-16 (at Callao – 5-8 Classification, Match 25)
June 15: Puerto Rico vs. Canada, 6 p.m. (at Callao – 5-8 Classification, Match 26)
June 15: United States def. Brazil 25-11, 25-20, 25-22 (at Lima – Semifinals, Match 27)
June 15: Dominican Republic def. Argentina 25-18, 25-18, 25-11 (at Lima – Semifinals, Match 28)
June 16: Mexico vs. Costa Rica, 10 a.m. (at Callao – 11th/12th Place, Match 29)
June 16: Trinidad & Tobago vs. Colombia, noon (at Callao – 9th/10th Place, Match 30)
June 16: Peru vs. Loser Match 26, 4 p.m. (at Callao – 7th/8th Place, Match 31)
June 16: Cuba vs. Winner Match 26, 3 p.m. (at Lima, 5th/6th Place, Match 32)
June 16: Brazil vs. Argentina, 1 p.m. (at Lima, 3rd/4th Place, Match 33)
June 16: United States vs. Dominican Republic, 5 p.m. (at Lima, 1st/2nd Place, Match 34)