Stanford grad Alix Klineman, one of seven players competing in their first international tournament on the senior level, recorded 14 kills and the United States women's national volleyball team downed host Mexico, 25-14, 25-16, 31-29, Monday night in Guadalajara.
Cardinal grad Cynthia Barboza added nine kills and a block as the Americans improved to 3-0 in pool play at the Pan American Games to advance directly into the semifinals, which begin Wednesday.
"We try to come out aggressively whenever we play," Klineman said. "It is ultimately on our side that determines how a game will go. That's what we try to focus on. It doesn't matter how we scout the other team. In the end, it's about how we play."
Stanford grad Cassidy Lichtman added three kills.
Team USA out-blocked Mexico 13-6 and held a 47-30 advantage in kills. Mexico managed a slim 19-18 margin in digs and totaled 29 excellent receptions on 71 attempts compared to the Americans' 10 excellent receptions on 55 attempts.
"We knew tonight's crowd would be way more intense than the past two days," Klineman said of the near-capacity crowd. "Our coaches told us to embrace it and use it."
UCLA coach Andy Banachowski is directing the U.S. team.
"The crowd was outstanding," Banachowski said. "You can't prepare for that. We just told our players to focus on what's between the lines because, I'll tell you what, that crowd was loud."
Samantha Bricio paced Mexico with eight points in a non-starting role, while Andrea Rangel added seven points.
"Every player for Mexico is strong," Barboza said. "That's true for us, too. You have to adjust to your opponent as the game goes on. The players on our side who finished the match did a great job."
The United States will play either Cuba or the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.
Stanford graduate Eugene Godsoe was out-touched by Brazil's Thiago Pereira and settled for second place in the 100 back to earn a silver medal at the Pan American Games on Monday.
Pereira came from behind to overtake his Brazilian teammate Guilherme Guido and Godsoe for the gold with a time of 54.56. Godsoe finished at 54.61 for the silver medal, followed by Guido's time of 54.81.
Godsoe had the top preliminary time of 55.04.