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Team USA Routs Costa Rica in Pan Am Cup

By Bill Kauffman | June 15, 2015, 6:13 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 15, 2015)Michelle Bartsch (Maryville, Ill.) scored 16 points in leading the U.S. Women’s National Team to a 25-11, 25-9, 25-5 victory over Costa Rica on Monday afternoon on the third day of the XIV Women’s Pan American Cup in Lima, Peru.

Team USA, which is now 3-0 in Pool A, challenges Mexico on June 16 at 3 p.m. PT before concluding the round-robin group play 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.

Bartsch, playing in her first international tournament for Team USA, tallied 16 kills on 20 attacks with just one error in her first starting nod. Hayley Hodson (Newport Beach, Calif.), who will be an incoming freshman at Stanford University this fall, collected 13 points via 10 kills on 19 errorless attacks, two blocks and an ace.

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Cursty Jackson (Los Angeles) totaled nine points with five blocks and four kills on four attacks at middle blocker. Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) added eight points on six kills via nine errorless attacks, once block and one ace from the other middle blocker position. Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) collected eight points in her starting outside hitter role with five kills on 11 swings and three aces.

“Today the girls played well and consistent," said David Hunt, who is serving as head coach for the U.S. at the Pan Am Cup. "We gave opportunities to the rest of the team and they didn’t disappoint. I have a team committed to do a job and that is always a plus for the coach."

Jenna Hagglund (West Chester, Ohio) set Team USA to a .656 kill percent and .609 hitting efficiency (42-3-64) with 21 running sets on 59 total set attempts. She tacked on one kill and one ace for two individual points.

“I am very happy with our result today. My team did a great job and it was reflected on the scoreboard," said U.S. captain Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah). "Our next match is against Mexico and they have good defense so we have to check stats and see how we can overcome them.”

Bartsch added 10 digs in the victory, while Hodson chipped in nine digs. Natalie Hagglund (Encinitas, Calif.) pocketed four digs and three excellent receptions on five chances.

Team USA’s serve caused problems with Costa Rica as the Americans held an 11-1 ace advantage. The U.S. secured a 3-1 block advantage over Costa Rica. As a team, the U.S. had nine excellent receptions on 20 chances and out-dug Costa Rica 34-8. Team USA held Costa Rica to a 17.5 kill percent and negative .053 hitting efficiency (10-13-57).

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 def. Costa Rica 25-11, 25-9, 25-5
June 16: USA vs. Mexico, 3 p.m. PT
June 17: USA vs. Argentina, 5 p.m. PT

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Jenna Hagglund

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Natalie Hagglund

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Cursty Jackson

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Cassidy Lichtman

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Lauren Paolini