Hill Leads U.S. Women Past Canada at NORCECA

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Oct. 12, 2019, 11:44 p.m. (ET)

Kim Hill attacks in Team USA's sweep over Canada in NORCECA Championship semifinals
Kim Hill attacks in Team USA's sweep over Canada in NORCECA Championship semifinals

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 12, 2019) – Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon) sparked the U.S. Women’s National Team past Canada 25-17, 25-16, 25-18 on Saturday as Team USA advanced into Sunday’s NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship gold-medal match in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The U.S., now 4-0 overall in the tournament, will have a rematch against Dominican Republic in the gold-medal match. The U.S. swept Dominican Republic on Thursday to conclude Pool B. Dominican Republic advance to the championship match by edging host Puerto Rico 19-25, 25-14, 26-24, 21-25, 15-8. The match will be streamed on FloVolleyball.tv.

Related: Unofficial Team Stats | Official NORCECA Stats | NORCECA Championship Website

Hill hammered 17 kills on 29 attacks with an ace for 18 points. Opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California) contributed 11 kills on 21 attacks, one block and one ace for 13 points. Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois) pocketed eight kills, one block and one ace for 10 points.

“Canada has been improving and they did a lot of good things,” Hill said. “We just focused on our side of the net and I think we did a good job doing so. This match was a little bit slower than the previous matches - it’s different with every opponent. Our game is always fast but the opponents differ and overall we handled it well. Canada challenged us in different ways, they have really good servers and they have some athletic girls with big arms that can swing tough, so we had to work on our block.”

Kim Hill scored 18 points in leading the U.S. Women past Canada 3-0 and into Sunday's NORCECA Championship gold-medal match against Dominican Republic. Recap | https://go.usav.org/101219WNT (NORCECA photos)

Posted by USA Volleyball on Saturday, October 12, 2019

Middle Hannah Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota) tacked on a team-high four blocks, three aces and two kills for nine points. Middle Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minnesota) tallied three kills on seven errorless attacks, two aces and a block for six points. Setter Jordyn Poulter (Aurora, Illinois) rounded out the scoring with two blocks and an ace for three points.

Bartsch-Hackley was 69 percent positive on 26 receptions to go with seven digs. Hill handled 14 receptions with a 43 positive percent and totaled six digs. Canada served away from U.S. libero Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California), who had six receptions and a team-high 11 digs. Poulter was unofficially credited with eight digs.

Poulter set the U.S. to a 45 kill percent and .297 hitting efficiency (41-14-91). The American defense held Canada to a 27 kill percent and .105 hitting efficiency (26-16-95).

Team USA’s serve netted a 9-2 ace advantage and the Americans held a 9-7 edge in blocks. The U.S. managed a 41-26 advantage in kills.

“We just focused on we had to do on our side and for tomorrow have to keep executed our job in each play,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “Canada gave everybody a chance to play and they played hard.”

The U.S. started Bartsch-Hackley and Hill at outside hitter, Dixon and Tapp at middle, Lowe at opposite, Poulter at setter and Wong-Orantes at libero.

The U.S. built an early 8-3 advantage in the opening set with Dixon scoring two aces and one of three American blocks. Canada pulled to within three at 12-9. Team USA expanded its 15-12 advantage to 17-12 with a Lowe kill and Poulter block. The Americans cruised the rest of the set for a 25-17 victory. Hill downed six kills in the set and Dixon added five points including two blocks and two aces.

Hill scored three straight points to put the U.S. up 3-0 to start the second set, but Canada charged back into a 3-all tie. Team USA scored consecutive points on each side of the technical timeout to go up 9-7, then expanded the lead to 13-9 on a 3-0 run. The Americans pressed on to a 25-16 victory.

The Americans rushed out to a 4-0 advantage in the third set. Canada pulled to within two at 6-4. Lowe served an ace out of the first technical timeout to increase the American lead to 9-5, but Canada responded with two straight to cut the gap to 9-7. Hill scored a kill and ace in a 4-0 scoring run to put the Americans in command at 18-11 and went on to win 25-18 on a Poulter block.

U.S. Women's National Team Roster for 2019 NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship
# - Player (Position, Height, College, Hometown)
2 – Jordyn Poulter (S, 6-2, Illinois, Aurora, Colorado)
4 – Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Nebraska, Cypress, California)
6 – Tori Dixon (M, 6-3, Minnesota, Burnsville, Minnesota)
7 – Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, Wisconsin, Aurora, Illinois)
10 – Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Nebraska, Hooper, Nebraska)
11 – Annie Drews (OPP, 6-4, Purdue, Elkhart, Indiana)
14 – Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (OH, 6-3, Illinois, Champaign, Illinois)
15 – Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, Pepperdine, Portland, Oregon)
17 – Megan Courtney (L, 6-1, Penn State, Dayton, Ohio)
19 – Hannah Tapp (M, 6-3, Minnesota, Stewartville, Minnesota)
22 – Haleigh Washington (M, 6-3, Penn State, Colorado Springs, Colorado)
23 – Kelsey Robinson (OH, 6-2, Nebraska, Manhattan Beach, California)
24 – Chiaka Ogbogu (M, 6-2, Texas, Coppell, Texas)
25 – Karsta Lowe (OPP, 6-4, UCLA, Rancho Santa Fe, California)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Luka Slabe, Tama Miyashiro, Erin Virtue
Technical Coordinator: Jeff Liu
Athletic Trainer: Kara Kessans
Team Leader: Jimmy Stitz

Team USA Schedule at NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship

Pool B
Oct. 8: USA def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-8, 25-7, 25-7
Oct. 9: USA def. Mexico 25-8, 25-15, 25-14
Oct. 10: USA def. Dominican Republic 27-25, 25-17, 25-14

Quarterfinals
Oct. 11: Canada (Pool 2A) def. Mexico (Pool 3B) 25-20, 29-31, 25-17, 25-20
Oct. 11: Dominican Republic (Pool 2B) def. Cuba (Pool 3A) 25-18, 25-11, 25-20

Semifinals
Oct. 12: USA (Pool 1B) def. Canada (2A) 25-17, 25-16, 25-18
Oct. 12: Dominican Republic (2B) def. Puerto Rico (1A) 19-25, 25-14, 26-24, 21-25, 15-8

Medal Round Matches
Oct. 13: Puerto Rico vs. Canada, 3 p.m. ET (Bronze Medal Match)
Oct. 13: USA vs Dominican Republic, 5:15 p.m. ET (Gold-Medal Match)