U.S. Women Top Colombia in Pan Am Cup

By Bill Kauffman | June 14, 2015, 6:29 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 14, 2015) – Krista Vansant (Redlands, Calif.) scored 18 points in leading the U.S. Women’s National Team to a 25-21, 25-9, 23-25, 25-16 victory over Colombia on Sunday afternoon on the second day of the XIV Women’s Pan American Cup in Lima, Peru.

Team USA, which is now 2-0 in Pool A, challenges Costa Rica in its next match on Monday at 1 p.m. PT. The Americans take on Mexico on June 16 at 3 p.m. PT before concluding the round-robin Pool A on June 17 versus Argentina at 5 p.m. PT. The Pool A winner advances directly to the semifinal round on June 20, while the second- and third-place winners move on to the cross-over quarterfinals on June 20.

Vansant, playing her first international tournament for the U.S. Women, totaled 13 kills on 24 swings, three blocks and two aces to pace the Americans. Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah), added 15 points via 12 kills on 21 attacks, two blocks and an ace. Both Vansant and Hildebrand started at outside hitter.

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“Colombia team is improving a lot and worked very well on defense, which contributed to an intense match," Hildebrand said. "We won it and feel happy because of that.”

Middle blocker Inky Ajanaku (Tulsa, Okla.), also playing in her first tournament for Team USA, came off the bench to provide 14 points on the strength of 11 kills via 13 attacks, two aces and a block. Middle blocker Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) compiled 11 points on nine kills on 12 attacks and two blocks. Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) collected 10 points as the starting opposite with six kills and four aces.

“Yesterday we saw Colombia playing Mexico and knew that the match was not going to be simple," said David Hunt, who is serving as the head coach for Team USA at the Pan Am Cup. "Today we were able to win despite some injuries in our team and we hope the girls can recover quickly.”

Michelle Bartsch (Maryville, Ill.) was a sub in all four sets and provided three kills and two blocks for five points. Setter Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif.) pocketed three blocks and a kill in the victory. Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) notched a kill and ace as a sub in all four sets. Cursty Jackson (Los Angeles), who started at middle blocker, tallied a kill for Team USA to round out the scoring.

Natalie Hagglund (Encinitas, Calif.) was credited with a team-leading 11 digs to go with a 43 positive reception percent on 21 chances as the team's libero.

The U.S. dominated Colombia at the net with a 13-6 block advantage to go with a 57-41 kill margin. Team USA converted 60 percent of its attacks into points with a .505 hitting efficiency (57-9-95). Meanwhile, the U.S. defense limited Colombia to a 39.4 kill percent and .240 hitting efficiency (41-16-104).

The Pan American Cup is a qualifier into the 2016 FIVB World Grand Prix.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster – Pan American Cup
# - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
2 – Inky Ajanaku (MB, 6-2, Tulsa, Okla., Stanford University)
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)
13 – Cursty Jackson (MB, 6-2, Los Angeles, University of Arizona)
16 – Michelle Bartsch (OH, 6-3, Maryville, Ill., University of Illinois)
17 – Alix Klineman (OPP, 6-5, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Stanford University)
19 – Hayley Hodson (OH, 6-2, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford University)
20 – Jenna Hagglund (S, 5-10, West Chester, Ohio, University of Washington)
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: David Hunt
Assistant Coaches: Nicole Lawlor, Jonathan Newman-Gonchar
Technical Coordinator: Carol Hamilton
Athletic Trainer: Jamie Rodgers
Team Manager: Marci Sanders

XIV Women’s Pan American Cup

U.S. Women's National Team In Pool A
June 13: USA def. Puerto Rico 25-22, 25-12, 25-18
June 14: USA def. Colombia 25-21, 25-9, 23-25, 25-16
June 15: USA vs. Costa Rica, 1 p.m. PT
June 16: USA vs. Mexico, 3 p.m. PT
June 17: USA vs. Argentina, 5 p.m. PT