USA win the gold in dramatic fashion


CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico, July 20, 2012 – USA bounced back from a 0-2 deficit to win the gold medal of the XI Women’s Pan American Cup following a dramatic five-set victory (28-30, 18-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-11) over Brazil on Friday in front of a full house at Colegio de Bachilleres Gymnasium of Juarez.


It is the second title for USA team in the history of the competition with the previous one in 2003 at Saltillo, Mexico. For the three-time champions Brazil the silver medal was their third.


USA’s Kristin Richars enjoyed one spectacular night hammering a tournament-high 35 points while veterans Jennifer Joyner-Tamas and Nancy Metcalf contributed 14 and 11 points with Joyner-Tamas totaling 5 blocks.


Brazil’s Joyce Silva and Priscila Daroit finished with 25 and 23 points respectively and Gabriela Braga registered 18 points.


The defeated side won the blocking battle (17-11) and each side served four aces. The Americans led in attacks 71-65 and made 23 unforced errors to 25 by the Brazilians.


“I feel happy, it is a fun team,” USA coach Reed Sunahara said after the game. “They showed it during the whole tournament and never gave up. We lost against Cuba and came back against Dominican Republic two times. They kept playing and playing.”


“Congratulations to Team USA,” Brazil’s Claudio Pinheiro expressed. “They played a good match, made the correct changes with the players and showed more experience”.


“A victory is always great, and actually this is the first time in 12 years I have a victory against Brazil,” USA captain Stacy Sykora commented. “This was a very young Brazilian team but with great talent and a great future.”


Brazil’s Captain Natasha Farinea said: “It was a great match. After the first two sets, we thought we could win in three but had some mistakes. However I feel very happy with my team.”