U.S. Women Bringing Home Pan Am Gold

By B.J. Evans | July 25, 2015, 11 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 25, 2015) – The U.S. women’s national team competing in at the Pan American Games in Toronto swept Brazil, 25-22, 25-21, 28-26 on Saturday to win the gold medal.

The victory came on the same day that the U.S. Women’s National Team competing at the FIVB Grand Prix in Omaha, Neb., also clinched a gold medal by beating Brazil. The U.S. Pan American Games team finished the tournament 5-1, with its only loss coming to Brazil in pool play.

It is the second time that the U.S. women have won the Pan Am Games gold medal. The other gold came in 1967. It is the 12th Pan Am Games medal the U.S. women have won.

OFFICIAL STATISTICS | PAN AMERICAN GAMES WEB SITE | USAV PAN AM GAMES PAGE

Four U.S. players were honored with individual awards: Setter Carli Lloyd was named Most Valuable Player and Best Setter. Nicole Fawcett won Best Opposite and Krista Vansant earned First Best Outside Hitter. Middle blocker Rachael Adams was Second Best Blocker. 

Saturday’s gold medal match turned dramatic in the third set as the U.S. had to fight back from a 20-12 deficit, finally tying the score at 23-23. Brazil reached set point three times. At 26-25, U.S. setter Lloyd used her first kill of the match to catch Brazil off guard and tie the score. Brazil then had two straight hitting errors to give Team USA the victory.

“We were able to comeback from the loss to them (Brazil) in the preliminary round," U.S. Head Coach Dan Fisher said in a NORCECA press release. "My team responded and made the adjustments. It was really a big battle and great volleyball for the fans in Toronto. In the third set we needed to settle our passing and improved our reception. Also we changed our serving strategy a little bit."

The U.S. led in kills (54-38) while Brazil led in blocks (10-8) and aces (4-1). Brazil scored 17 points on U.S. errors while committing 15.

“We worked really hard in the gym every single day and worked hard not only in the technical stuff,” U.S. libero Natalie Hagglund said in a NORCECA press release. “We were together, to mix together and to get on mind together."

Fawcett led all scorers with 21 points on 19 kills, one block and one ace. Vansant added 11 points on 10 kills and one block. Outside hitter Kristin Hildebrand totaled 10 points on eight kills and two blocks.

U.S. Pan American Women’s Volleyball Team Roster
# - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
4 – Lauren Paolini (MB, 6-4, Ann Arbor, Mich., University of Texas)
7 – Cassidy Lichtman (OH, 6-1, Poway, Calif., Stanford University)
9 – Kristin Hildebrand (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford University)
10 – Natalie Hagglund (L, 5-9, Encinitas, Calif., University of Southern California)
14 – Nicole Fawcett (OPP, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State University)
13 – Cursty Jackson (MB, 6-2, Los Angeles, University of Arizona)
16 – Michelle Bartsch (OH, 6-3, Maryville, Ill., University of Illinois)
17 – Falyn Fonoimoana (OPP, 6-4, Hermosa Beach, Calif.)
20 – Jenna Hagglund (S, 5-10, West Chester, Ohio, University of Washington)
22 – Rachael Adams (MB, 6-2, Cincinnati, Ohio, University of Texas)
23 – Carli Lloyd (S, 5-11, Bonsall, Calif., University of California-Berkeley)
24 – Krista Vansant (OH, 6-2, Redlands, Calif., University of Washington)

Head Coach: Dan Fisher
Assistant Coaches: Heather Olmstead
Technical Coordinator: Jesse Tupac
Team Manager: John Xie
Athletic Trainer: Maria Boquiren

Pan American Games Schedule
Pool A: Argentina, Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic
Pool B: Brazil, Peru, Puerto Rico, United States

Pool Play for Team USA
July 16: USA def. Peru 25-15, 25-13, 25-14
July 18: USA def. Puerto Rico 25-17, 25-22, 25-14
July 20: Brazil def. USA 22-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-22, 15-11
July 22: USA def. Cuba 25-18, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18 (Quarterfinals) 
July 23: USA def. Dominican Republic 25-17, 22-25, 25-18, 25-22 (Semifinals)
July 25: USA def. Brazil, 25-22, 25-21, 28-26 (Final)