U.S. Women Blank Mexico in Pan Am Cup

By Bill Kauffman | June 16, 2015, 7:47 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 16, 2015) – The U.S. Women’s National Team used a balanced offense to sweep Mexico 25-13, 25-17, 25-17 on Tuesday evening and improve to 4-0 in the XIV Women’s Pan American Cup being held in Lima, Peru.

Team USA concludes Pool A on June 17 versus Argentina at 5 p.m. PT. Prior to its Tuesday match, Argentina held a 3-0 record. 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.

Opposite Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) was one of four Americans in double-figure scoring with a match-high 12 points on the strength of nine kills and three blocks. Outside hitter Krista Vansant (Redlands, Calif.) chipped in nine kills and two blocks for 11 points in the victory.

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"I thought Mexico did a good job tonight," U.S. captain Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah) said. "I think that Team USA did a good job executing our game plan on our side of the net. Now we are excited for our match tomorrow night against Argentina."

Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch (Maryville, Ill.) totaled 11 points with eight kills and three blocks, while middle blocker Cursty Jackson (Los Angeles) amassed eight kills, one block and one ace for 10 points. Middle blocker Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) produced nine kills in the victory. Setter Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif.) tallied one kill and one block for Team USA.

Lloyd, who was credited with 20 running sets, led Team USA to a 53.7 kill percent with a .488 hitting efficiency (44-4-82). Natalie Hagglund (Encinitas, Calif.) tallied a match-high 13 digs to go with nine excellent receptions on 11 total attempts. Paolini was credited with five digs from her middle blocker position. The U.S. out-blocked Mexico 10-1 and held a 44-23 advantage in kills. Mexico held a slim 2-1 margin in aces.

“Our team played well,” said David Hunt, who is serving as the head coach for the U.S. at the Pan Am Cup. “I thought Mexico is a good team, and we were able to respond to their energetic team. Our team played with some energy and played well. So it was good to get a good match.”

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 def. Mexico 25-13, 25-17, 25-17
June 17: USA vs. Argentina, 5 p.m. PT