'Other' national volleyball team unbeaten in Pan Am Cup


A different version of the United States women's national volleyball team, this one made up of recent and current college players, has held up its end of the bargain.

The U.S. went undefeated in the Pan American Cup pool play after sweeping Olympic Games-bound Argentina 25-14, 25-13, 25-23 on Wednesday in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Carly Wopat
The Olympic team is involved in the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals in Thailand, though this group looks like it could hold its own on the international stage.

The U.S., with Stanford grads Carly Wopat and Brittany Howard, improved to 5-0 in pool play and advances directly to Saturday's semifinal round to play one of Friday's quarterfinal winners.

The Pan Am Cup concludes on Sunday with the medal rounds.

Outside hitter Madi Kingdon led all scorers with 14 points on the strength of 12 kills via 19 swings and two blocks. Middle Rhamat Alhassan added 11 points with six kills on 12 attacks, a team-high four blocks and an ace.

Setter Micha Hancock contributed nine points, including six aces as she upped her tournament total to 37 aces over 17 sets in the five victories.

Outside hitter Megan Courtney provided nine points with eight kills on 19 swings and a block. Opposite Alex Holston pocketed nine points as well with six kills on 16 attacks, two blocks and an ace.

Wopat turned in three kills on six errorless attacks and an ace for four points. Nikki Taylor, who was the double-sub opposite in the final two sets along with setter Lauren Carlini, completed the scoring with two kills.

Libero Justine Wong-Orantes was credited with a team-high 10 digs and added five excellent receptions on eight errorless chances. Courtney contributed seven excellent receptions on 17 chances.

The U.S. converted 48.1 percent of its attacks into points with a .354 hitting efficiency (38-10-79) as Hancock had 10 running sets on 56 set attempts. Team USA's defense limited Argentina to a 23.3 kill percent and .055 hitting efficiency (17-13-73).

Team USA held a 9-2 advantage in aces and an 11-5 margin in blocks. The American offense enjoyed a 38-17 edge in kills to offset their 26 errors in the match.

— USA volleyball

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