USA will face Brazil for a semifinal berth in Pan Am Games


Lima, Peru, August 7, 2019. - United States will face Brazil for a semifinal berth in the Lima 2019 Pan American Games after their tie-break win 3-2 (25-19, 19-25, 21-25, 25-16, 15-9) to Puerto Rico in pool B at the Multisport Complex El Callao of Lima, Peru.


After recovering from a shocking second set (recovering from a 3-14 deficit) and falling behind 2-1, the U.S. went on to beat Puerto Rico in a long five setter to improve their record to 1-1. United States will face Brazil, who lost earlier to Argentina and has the same win-loss record, in a decisive pool B match that will offer a semifinal berth.


Puerto Rico’s 63-47 advantage in attacks fell short from handing out 35 point errors to United States, who committed only 18 and held a 16-7 margin blocks. Puerto Rico finished with a slim 7-6 margin aces as well.


Outside hitter Sarah Wilhite was United States’ leading attacker with 16 points, followed by middle blocker Hannah Tapp (5 stuff blocks) and Danielle Cuttino with 13 points each, and captain Kingdon Rishel scored 11 points. Outside hitter Stephanie Enright of Puerto Rico scored a match-high of 27 points, opposite player Paulina Prieto contributed with 20 points and Aury Cruz with 16 points.


On the last day of pool-play in group B, United States (1-1) plays against Brazil (1-1) to advance into semifinals and Argentina (2-0) already qualified to the next round faces Puerto Rico (0-2).




Sarah Wilhite, top scorer of United States: “Above all there were a lot of highs and lows. At moments, Puerto Rico played really strong and as did we, so it was back and forth, momentum was shifting a lot. At the end we were in momentum but overall Puerto Rico challenged us in a lot of ways”.


Robert Browning, Head coach of United States: “Another good match, Puerto Rico played fantastic. It was very similar to yesterday just with a different start and different finish; yesterday we finished poorly, played well in the middle and today we started and finished well. I was happy how our team hung in there.  We were really down in the second set, but our team regrouped and turned things around, to their credit, played really sharp and executed well in the fifth set”.


Stephanie Eright, top scorer of Puerto Rico: “Today our rhythm as a team was better, it’s frustrating to lose with only one set to win, and we put too much pressure on ourselves. Nothing went well for us in the fourth set and they did more”.


Jose Miles, Head coach of Puerto Rico: “It was a good game; the girls had a good disposition after yesterday’s awful performance. We were in total control in the second and third sets. United States made adjustments in the fourth and it took time for us to identify them. We are a bit sad for not winning”.