Stanford grad Foluke Akinradewo collected 11 points on eight kills and a team-high three blocks as the United States women's national volleyball team opened the Pan American Cup with a 25-20, 25-14, 25-14 victory Friday over Peru in Juarez, Mexico.
The Americans meet Puerto Rico on Saturday night at the Universidad Autonoma de Cuidad Juarez.
"It was no surprise that Peru gave us challenge, but we were more consistent," U.S. coach Hugh McCutcheon said.
Akinradewo, who holds the Pac-10 record for highest hitting percentage in a season, was successful 62 percent of the time on her attacks and did not commit an error.
Overall, the U.S. converted 50 percent of its attacks, recording a .409 hitting efficiency. Peru converted just 29 percent of its attacks and managed a .081 hitting efficiency.
"I'm proud of my team," U.S. team captain Jen Tamas said. "It was difficult to adjust to the air in the gym, but we just had to stick to the basics: serve and pass, and it all went well."
Earlier in the day, also in Pool B action, Puerto Rico topped Costa Rica, 25-10, 25-13, 25-21, and Brazil dominated Trinidad & Tobago 25-15, 25-12, 25-18.
The U.S. scored 10 of the final 11 points of the third set as Akinradewo provided two kills and a block.
The U.S. national team survived a scare from winless Puerto Rico during FIVB World League Friday and is one win from clinching a spot in the league's Final Round.
The Americans downed Puerto Rico, 25-27, 25-22, 25-12, 25-27, 15-11, in Long Beach and will meet the Puerto Ricans again Saturday with the Final Round berth at stake.
Reid Priddy led the U.S. (7-4) with 21 points on 19 kills and two blocks. Clay Stanley added 17 points, including 11 kills.
Stanford grad Kerri Walsh and teammate Misty May-Trainor failed to make it out of the quarterfinals of the FIVB Swatch ConocoPhillips Grand Slam Stavanger on Friday.
Walsh and May-Trainor reached the third round on Friday before falling to Netherland's Sanne Keizer and Marleen Van Iersel 18-21, 21-19, 15-11. The setback ends consecutive gold-medal match appearance for the American duo.
Despite a tough day at the beach on Thursday for the U.S. men with two teams going 1-1 and the other 0-2, all three teams bounced back Friday with wins to conclude pool play to reach the first round of Saturday's single elimination bracket.
Nick Lucena and Stanford grad Matthew Fuerbringer, seeded 17th in the tournament, completed play in Pool J with a 21-16, 13-21, 15-12 victory over Brazil's No. 16 seeded Rhooney de Oliveira Ferramenta and Pedro Solberg Salgado.
The American pair finished the pool with a 2-1 record and spot into the single elimination phase of the tournament. Lucena and Fuerbringer challenges No. 15 seeded Patrick Heuscher and Jefferson Bellaguarda of Switzerland.