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United States stops Argentina at U20 Pan Am Cup


SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, May 9, 2017.- United States stopped Argentina 3-1(25-23, 25-19, 15-25, 25-21) in their first match at the Women’s U20 Pan American Cup contested at Gimnasio Nacional of San Jose, Costa Rica.


Actions were fast, in which unforced errors marked the difference. Both teams showed an organized performance with United States coming on top.


Argentina recovered from a 0-2 set deficit with great defense and blocking, stopping United States intentions to seal the match in straight sets. United States reaction came in mostly with strong serves to finish with a close fourth set, earning their first victory.


United States held advantage 51-41 in spikes, 9-7 in blocks and 7-2 in service points. United States scored on 38 opponent errors and limited theirs to 23.


Lanier Khalia led all scorers with 16 points, joined by Regan Pittman and Elizabeth Hall with 12 points each, and Brionne Butler with 10 points. Florenca Tosi of Argentina scored 14 points and Benisse Soria added 12 points.


Pool-play finishes on Wednesday with United States (1-0) facing defending champion Dominican Republic (0-1) in Pool A. Argentina ends the preliminary round with 1-1 record.


El miércoles culmina la ronda de grupos, con Estados Unidos (1-0) enfrentando al actual campeón República Dominicana (0-1) en el Grupo A. Argentina cierra la ronda con récord 1-1.


Khalia Lanier, United States’ captain: “I think everyone here is such a good team, so I’m not surprised that Argentina played so well. In our case we are so new in the National team and we’re still learning to play together, this a disadvantage while the rest of teams have chemistry. We have to work hard to find our momentum. Our key was leaning on one another”.


Azul Benitez, Argentina’s captain: “We were able to break them because they changed their ways; we were expecting a tough match. Obviously were not happy with the result but we’re getting into our best rhythm little by little, we played a good match but they were superior in serves. We knew how to play around their tall blocking”.


Jerritt Elliott, United States’ Head Coach: “Argentina played very consistent, they controlled the ball pretty well and they put a lot of pressure on us. We struggled a little bit; we scouted them and I was pleased with the adjustments we made to comeback. Even if the girls don’t know each other well, we can work on different systems and on fundamentals. Tomorrow we’ll face a very physical team, Dominican Republic has a bunch of great athletes and it will be a challenge”.


Guillermo Caceres, Argentina’s Head Coach: “Studying the numbers, they gave away a lot of points and that worked in our advantage. We couldn’t put pressure with our serves and United States has the ability to attack effectively when the ball is close to the net and this is really hard to defend. In spikes, their numbers were better than ours, we had too many errors in reception and serves, and this made a difference. Playing at this level makes our team grow but there aren’t many opportunities to do so”.