Bill Kauffman - USA Volleyball June 28, 2009
Photo by: USA Volleyball/Carlos Sanchez
MIAMI, Fla. (June 28, 2009) – The U.S. Women’s National Team, the 2008 Olympic Games silver medalist, notched a 25-19, 25-14, 25-11 victory over Mexico to improve to 3-0 in Pool A of the Eighth Women’s Pan American Cup at the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center.
The U.S., ranked second in the world by the FIVB, returns to action on Monday night at 8 p.m. ET versus Peru (2-1). Team USA is tied with Puerto Rico atop the Pan American Cup Pool A standings.
“Mexico is a good team and played hard tonight,” U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon said. “They present some challenges for us and made us adjust and we were able to accomplish that.”
Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) scored a match-high 20 points in the three-set victory with 16 kills on 28 attacks, three blocks and an ace. Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) chipped in 11 points with seven kills on 13 swings, three blocks and ace. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Iowa) matched her total of 11 points with 10 kills on 23 attacks and a block.
Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah) provided seven kills and team-high 10 excellent receptions. Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) added four aces as part of her seven points. Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) added three points to go with 16 assists and leading Team USA to a 43.8 kill percent. Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) led the defense with 10 digs to go with six excellent service receptions.
“Mexico dug a lot of balls and touched a lot of other balls off the block and made us adjust,” Scott-Arruda said. “It is good to know that we can play in a variety of ways and win.”
McCutcheon started Scott-Arruda and Harmotto at middle blocker, Richards and Larson at outside hitter, Metcalf at opposite and Spicer at setter. Davis served as the libero. Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) and Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) subbed into the match in all three sets.
Migdalel Ruiz and Martha Revuelta led Mexico with nine points apiece.
Team USA served eight aces to Mexico’s zero and held a 9-4 advantage in blocks. The Americans had 42 kills to the Mexicans’ 20.
In the first set, the U.S. jumped to a 7-2 lead, but Mexico rallied back to close to within one at 9-8. The Americans broke free from a slim 14-13 advantage with a 6-0 run on Spicer’s serve that included an ace. Mexico closed by to within four at 22-18, but consecutive Richards kills gave Team USA set points at 24-18.
Metcalf produced an ace to give the U.S. its third straight point at 10-5 in the second set. Team USA stretched 10 points at 21-11 on six unanswered points as Metcalf provided another two kills in the turn. The U.S. closed out the set with consecutive points on Mexico errors.
Mexico stayed close in the third set at 6-4, but the Americans poured on the pressure with