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USA win the gold in dramatic fashion

USA won their second gold medal in the history of the Women's Pan American on Friday

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, selected as MVP of the tournament, enjoyed one spectacular night hammering a tournament-high 35 points while veterans Jennifer Tamas and Nancy Metcalf contributed 14 and 11 points with 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”.

Earlier in the evening, Cuba out-dueled Dominican Republic in five thrilling sets (25-21, 28-26, 23-25, 18-25, 15-12) to claim the bronze medal.

It was Cuba’s second bronze and sixth overall (four gold medals) in the history of the competition while Dominican Republic was left out of the podium for the first time in eleven years.

Wilma Salas topped Cuba with 23 points while Rosanna Giel and Yoana Palacios each recorded 18 points. Yanelis Santos and Ana Cleger notched 14 and 10 respectively.

Bethania De la Cruz finished with 23 points for the defeated side. Annerys Vargas had 16, Sidarka Núñez added 14 and Candida Arias contributed 12, including a match-high 8 blocks.

In the first two matches:

Lucia Fresco charted 20 points and Emilce Sosa added 13, including 8 blocks, as Argentina beat Puerto Rico in straight sets (25-20, 25-20, 25-17) in the match for fifth place. Stephanie Enright and Daly Santana each had 10 points for Puerto Rico. Argentina held a 14-5 advantage in the blocks category.

Peru defeated Canada in straight-sets (25-19, 30-28, 25-21) in the match for seventh position. Carla Rueda was the winners’ best scorer with 16 points followed by Clarivet Yllescas with 12 and Mirtha Uribe with 10. Canada´s Sarah Pavan finished with a match-high 19 points and Shanice Marcelle had 13.

Final Positions:

1. United States *
2. Brazil *
3. Cuba *
4. Dominican Republic *
5. Argentina *
6. Puerto Rico *
7. Peru
8. Canada
9. Costa Rica
10. Trinidad & Tobago
11. Colombia
12. Mexico

* Qualified to 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix

Individual Awards

MVP  Kristin Richards USA
Best Scorer: Kristin Richards USA
Best Spiker: Yanelis Santos  CUB
Best Blocker: Natasha Farinea  BRA
Best Server: Yanelis Santos  CUB
Best Setter: Elena Keldibekova PER
Best Receiver: Brenda Castillo  DOM
Best Digger: Brenda Castillo  DOM
Best Libero: Brenda Castillo  DOM

Medal Winners Year-by-Year

Year Gold Silver Bronze
2002 CUB  DOM    CAN
2003 USA  DOM    CUB
2004 CUB  USA    DOM
2005 CUB  DOM    BRA
2006 BRA  CUB    DOM
2007 CUB  BRA    DOM
2008 DOM  BRA    ARG
2009 BRA  DOM    PUR
2010 DOM  PER    USA
2011 BRA  DOM    USA
2012 USA  BRA    CUB

Overall Standings

Country G   S  B  Total
CUB      4   1   2   7
BRA      3   3   1   7
DOM     2   5   3  10
USA      2   1   2  5
PER       0   1   0  1
ARG      0   0   1  1
CAN      0   0   1  1
PUR      0   0   1  1
TOTAL   11  1   11      33


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