USA win Pool A with comeback victory


CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico, July 16, 2012 – USA came back from two sets down to defeat Dominican Republic 3-2 (24-26, 24-26, 25-15, 25-22, 15-12) and clinch a berth in the semifinals of the XI Women’s Pan American Cup as winners of Pool A.


USA and Cuba finished tied with 18 points and 4-1 win-loss record but USA team had a better points-ratio (1.227 to 1.119). Dominican Republic took third place with a 3-2 mark.


Nancy Metcalf and Kristin Richards led USA with 28 and 21 points respectively while Lauren Gibbemeyer added 15, including five blocks.


Bethania De la Cruz and Gina Mambru had 22 and 21 for Dominican Republic and Prisilla Rivera added 16. Lisvel Eve and Annerys Vargas finished with 13 and 11.


It was the second consecutive five-set loss for Dominican Republic after leading 2-0 as they were edged by Cuba the night before.


“Dominican Republic is one of the strongest teams in the world and we are happy to get the victory,” USA’s captain Stacy Sykora said. “But we had to put this one in the past because the tournament is still going and we need to see the future.”


“It was a very intense match and once again we lost the concentration after the second set”, Dominican Republic’s Rivera commented. “USA players kept their heads cold and we didn’t.”


“The result could have gone either way,” USA’s coach Reed Sunahara stated. “It was a very intense match and I am proud of my team for not giving up and coming back from 0-2.”


“I think the fans enjoyed the match,” Dominican Republic’s coach Marcos Kwiek said. “We won the first two sets but both were 26-24. It was the first game for Bethania and the tournament is still open. Our priority is to qualify to the Grand Prix and prepare the team for London.”