U.S. Women Sweep Mexico at Pan Am Cup

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | July 08, 2019, 10:56 p.m. (ET)

Karsta Lowe blocking for the U.S. in its win over Mexico
Karsta Lowe blocking for the U.S. in its win over Mexico

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 8, 2019) – Opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California) notched 16 points in leading the U.S. Women’s National Team to a 25-11, 25-18, 25-19 victory over Mexico to improve to 3-0 in the Pan American Cup Pool B in Chiclayo, Peru.

Lowe tallied 10 kills on 20 attacks, a team-best four blocks and two aces for her 16 points. Outside hitter Kadie Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska) collected 10 kills on 18 swings, two blocks and an ace for 13 points. Middle Hannah Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota) contributed five kills on seven errorless attacks, three blocks and two aces for 10 points.

"I like the way we came out for this match,” said Rob Browning, who is serving as head coach of the U.S. squad at the Pan Am Cup. “Our team had an intensity that was palpable. They had their game faces on.”

Setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma) charted four aces, two blocks and two kills on three swings for eight points. Middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio) tacked on seven kills on 10 attacks in the victory. Outside hitter Madi Kingdon Rishel (Phoenix, Arizona) rounded out the scoring with five kills and an ace for six points.

“Today our match against Mexico, I think we came out strong. I think we started off serving pretty well. I think we can improve on back row a little bit more and holding a consistent serving throughout the game instead of going up and down. I think we can finish a little bit better as far as being clean, and build upon where we are.”

Related: Unofficial Stats

Libero Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California) handled 15 receptions with a team-best 67 percent positive reception. Kingdon Rishel was unofficially credited with eight digs and added 17 receptions with a 53 positive reception percent. Rolfzen turned in seven digs.

Hancock set Team USA to a 53 kill percent and a .425 hitting efficiency (39-8-73). The American defense held Mexico to a 28 kill percent and .074 hitting efficiency (23-17-81).

"Each match we have some goals that we went to reach and we track those throughout the match,” Browning said. “Today the team came up with some good goals and worked really hard to achieve them. Those goals are meant to stretch us and they did tonight. They pushed us out of our comfort zone a little bit and it was good for us. Because of that I think we are a little bit better now than we were when we started this match and that is a big goal for us during the tournament. We want to get a little bit better every day.”

The U.S. out-blocked Mexico 11-0 and held a 10-1 margin in aces.

“I think our blocking, our defense overall, but mostly our blocking was really good,” Jones Perry said. “We did a good job at spreading our offense and attacking space. One thing we can do better is serving.”

Team USA raced to a 5-0 lead in the opening set with Lowe scoring three of the points and the Americans never looked back as they reached a double-digit lead at 14-4. Hancock served three aces on a 6-0 run and scored six of her points in the opening set. The U.S. doubled up Mexico 10-5 in the second set, then traded points until scoring three straight to go up 20-13 and onto a 25-18 victory. After leading by a slim 11-10 margin in the third set, Team USA scored 10 unanswered points on Tapp’s serve that included three points from Kingdon Rishel.

Team USA concludes pool play on Wednesday against Puerto Rico (2-0) at 6 p.m. ET. The winner of Pool B advances directly to the semifinals on Saturday. The matches are scheduled to air on flovolleyball.tv.

“I think we need to be a little more attentive on our lineups on blocking and have quick hands over the net,” Hancock said on what it will take in facing Puerto Rico. “We need to clear up our communications in transition and our serve-pass game.”

U.S. Pan American Cup Women’s Volleyball Team Roster
# - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 - Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Oklahoma, Penn State University)
2 - Kathryn Plummer (OH, 6-6, Aliso Viejo, California, Stanford University)
4 - Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Cypress, California, University of Nebraska)
5 - Rachael Adams (M, 6-2, Cincinnati, Ohio, University of Texas)
9 - Madi Kingdon Rishel (OH, 6-1, Phoenix, Arizona, University of Arizona)
10 - Gabby Curry (L, 5-8, Buford, Georgia, University of Kentucky)
11 - Madison Lilley (S, 5-11, Overland Park, Kansas, University of Kentucky)
15 - Roni Jones-Perry (OH, 6-0, West Jordan, Utah, BYU)
16 - Danielle Cuttino (OPP, 6-4, Indianapolis, Indiana, Purdue University)
19 - Hannah Tapp (M, 6-3, Stewartville, Minnesota, University of Minnesota)
20 - Brionne Butler (M, 6-4, Kendleton, Texas, University of Texas)
22 - Kadie Rolfzen (OH, 6-3, Papillion, Nebraska, University of Nebraska)
24 - Jenna Rosenthal (M, 6-6, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Marquette University)
25 - Karsta Lowe (OPP, 6-4, Rancho Santa Fe, California, UCLA)

Head Coach: Rob Browning
Assistant Coaches: Laurie Corbelli, Tayyiba Haneef-Park
Technical Coordinator: Justin Chang
Team Manager: John Xie

Pan American Cup Pools
Pool A: Argentina, Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Peru
Pool B: Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, United States

Pan American Cup Schedule (Match Times Listed as Eastern Time)

Pool B (in Chiclayo, Peru)
July 6: USA def. Colombia 25-17, 25-18, 25-21
July 7: USA def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-14, 25-15, 25-13
July 8: USA def. Mexico 25-11, 25-18, 25-19
July 10: USA vs. Puerto Rico, 6 p.m.

Playoffs

Classification 7-10 (in Chiclayo, Peru)
July 12: 4B vs. 5A, 6 p.m.
July 12: 2B vs. 3A, 6 p.m.

Quarterfinals (in Trujillo, Peru)
July 12: 2B vs. 3A, 6 p.m.
July 12: 2A vs. 3B, 8 p.m.

Classification 9-10 (in Chiclayo, Peru)
July 13: Losers of Classification 7-10, 6 p.m.

Classification 7-8 (in Chiclayo, Peru)
July 13: Winners of Classification 7-10, 8 p.m.

Classification 5-6 (in Trujillo, Peru)
July 13: Losers of Quarterfinals, 4 p.m.

Semifinals (in Trujillo, Peru)
July 13: 1B vs. Quarterfinal Winner TBA, 6 p.m.
July 13: 1A vs. Quarterfinal Winner TBA, 8 p.m.

Bronze-Medal Match (in Trujillo, Peru)
July 14: Semifinal Losers, 2 p.m.

Gold-Medal Match (in Trujillo, Peru)
July 14: Semifinal Winners, 4 p.m.