U.S. Women Take Silver at NORCECA

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Oct. 13, 2019, 9:03 p.m. (ET)

Michelle Bartsch-Hackley scored 27 points versus Dominican Republic
Michelle Bartsch-Hackley scored 27 points versus Dominican Republic

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 13, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Team won the NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship silver medal, falling in five after digging itself in a two-set deficit in the gold-medal match to Dominican Republic on Sunday in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The U.S., which finished the tournament with a 4-1 record, reached the podium for the fifth time in 2019. The Americans, which concluded their 2019 season with a 44-7 record in tournament play, won gold at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Pan American Cup and NORCECA Champions Cup. The U.S. qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games by winning its Tokyo Qualification Tournament pool on home soil. The Americans also claimed silver at the FIVB World Cup.

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

Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois) led the U.S. with a match-high 27 points via 26 kills on 58 swings and a block. Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California) came off the bench in the second set to provide 13 kills on 34 swings in the match. Opposite Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana) totaled 12 kills on 33 attacks after coming into the match late in the second set.

Middle Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colorado) turned in four kills on nine swings and four blocks for eight points as a late replacement in the second set. Middle Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minnesota) added four kills, two blocks and an ace for seven points. Opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California) charted six kills and an ace for seven points. Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon) produced four kills and setter Jordyn Poulter (Aurora, Colorado) served two aces with a block for three points. Middle Hannah Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota) rounded out the scoring with a kill and block for two points.

The U.S. Women take silver at the NORCECA Championship after their rally from a two-set deficit comes up short in the...

Posted by USA Volleyball on Sunday, October 13, 2019

Libero Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California) had 16 digs and a 94 positive reception percent on 17 errorless chances. Bartsch-Hackley handled 51 of the team’s 92 receptions with a 59 positive percent to go with 14 digs. Robinson had six digs and a 50 positive reception percent on 12 chances. Poulter added 10 digs and Drews had six digs.

Poulter set Team USA to a 39 kill percent and .276 hitting efficiency (70-20-181). Dominican Republic converted 39 percent of its attacks with a .275 hitting efficiency (62-18-160).

The U.S. held a slim 4-2 margin in aces as Dominican Republic edged the Americans 10-9 in blocks. Team USA had a 70-62 advantage in kills, but 14 service errors played and 20 attack errors hurt in the end.

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. Washington, Robinson and Drews all subbed into the match in the second set and started the final three sets.

Dominican Republic took a 13-10 advantage in the opening set with a 3-0 run and increased its margin to 22-17. Dominican Republic scored three of the final five points for a 25-19 victory.

Dominican Republic jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the second set. Lowe served an ace and slammed a kill as part of a 3-0 run to close the gap to 7-5. Dominican Republic returned to a four-point cushion at 14-10, then extended the margin to 17-12. Bartsch-Hackley and Washington downed to kills to slice the gap to 17-14. Dominican Republic scored three unanswered to go up 24-18 and went on to win 25-23 after Team USA saved five set points.

Robinson and Bartsch-Hackley nailed kills, Dixon downed an overpass and Dominican Republic committed an error to open the third set with a 4-0 advantage. Bartsch-Hackley slammed another overpass to extend the lead to 7-2. Washington roofed Dominican and Bartsch-Hackley provided a kill to raise the American lead to 10-3. Dominican Republic chipped off four points on the lead to close to 10-7. Team USA answered with three unanswered points to go up 14-8. Dominican Republic responded with three points to cut the gap to 16-13. A Drews kill, Dominican Republic error and Robinson kill pushed the American lead to 19-13. The U.S. went on a 4-1 to take a 23-14 lead and went on to win 25-15.

Team USA came back from a 5-3 deficit in the fourth set with three unanswered points to go up 7-6, but Dominican Republic responded with two points to go into the technical timeout up 8-7. The U.S. went in front 19-14 on three Robinson kills, Dixon kill and Bartsch-Hackley ace after a Dominican Republic service error. Dominican stopped the 6-0 American run with a 3-0 run of its own to close to 19-17. Drews hammered a kill and Bartsch-Hackley blocked Dominican Republic to extend the American lead to 21-17. The U.S. finished the set with a Drews kill and Washington block for a 25-20 victory.

Dominican Republic scored the first four points of the fifth set. Drews slammed a kill and Dixon served an ace to slice the gap to 5-3, but Dominican answered with consecutive points to go back up 7-3. Bartsch-Hackley downed a kill and Dominican Republic hit wide to slice the deficit to 7-5. Again, Dominican Republic responded with three points to go up 10-5. Drews hammered a kill and Dominican Republic hit wide to put U.S. within 10-7. Dominican raised its lead to 13-7 with three consecutive points. Dominican Republic finished the set at 15-9.

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: Canada def. Puerto Rico 26-24, 25-13, 25-20 (Bronze Medal Match)
Oct. 13: Dominican Republic def. USA 25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 20-25, 15-9 (Gold-Medal Match)