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NEWS

USA seize Rio 2016 qualification

 
USA qualified to Rio 2016 after they defeated Dominican Republic in straight sets in the NORCECA Women's Olympic Qualification Tournament in Lincoln, Nebraska on Saturday
 
Lincoln, USA, January 9, 2016 – The United States seized the Rio 2016 Olympic Games berth after they defeated Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-18) on Saturday evening to conclude the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament in front of 10,213 fans at the Pinnacle Bank Arena.

In the earlier match, Puerto Rico claimed the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament bronze medal, when they defeated Canada 3-0 (32-30-, 25-17, 25-20) on the final day of competition

USA, which also clinched an Olympic Games spot on domestic soil back in 2000, finished the tournament 3-0, while Dominican Republic finished the tournament at 2-1. The Dominican Republic will channel its focus on Olympic qualification with a last opportunity in May at the World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Japan.

In the final, Foluke Akinradewo ignited the American offence with 12 points, while Nicole Fawcett added 10 points and Jordan Larson with nine points.

Brayelin Martinez led Dominican Republic with 15 points, while Prisilla Rivera and Gina Mambru added seven points each.

USA held a 45-37 advantage in kills and benefited from 26 Dominican Republic errors.

USA have now won six of its last seven tournaments including the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship, 2015 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix, Pan American Games, Pan American Cup and NORCECA Continental Championship. Team USA finished with the bronze at 2015 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup, the only tournament it failed to win. USA needed to finish first or second at the World Cup to earn an Olympic bid in the first qualifying tournament.

“What a fabulous atmosphere it was here, a huge crowd that was going crazy for USA,” USA coach Karch Kiraly said. “Three former Huskers playing big roles for USA. It is so nice to have a crowd. It is a huge advantage and we were fortunate to host this and book our ticket to Rio. We are really excited to do it in a venue like this and in a place that supports volleyball so fiercely.”

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico was led by Karina Ocasio’s 23 points, then Aurea Cruz added 12 points in the victory. Tabitha Love’s 14 points paced Canada, then Jaimie Thibeault added 10 points.

Puerto Rico’s serve kept Canada out-of-system much of the match with an 8-2 ace advantage. Both teams finished with seven blocks. Puerto Rico held a 41-35 advantage in kills.

Puerto Rico ended the tournament with a 1-2 record and in third place in the four-team Round Robin event. By finishing with the bronze, Puerto Rico remains alive in the Olympic qualification process and will play at the second World Olympic Qualification Tournament in May. 

The third-place team in the South American Olympic Qualifier and the second- and third-place teams from the African Olympic Qualification Tournament will join Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. Canada finished the tournament 0-3 and their dreams of competing in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games dashed.

“It was a tough match, our backs are against the wall,” Puerto Rico coach Juan Carlos Nunez. “This is one of the last chances for some of the players, their last cycle to qualify for the Olympics. They really want to play their best to be able to qualify for the Olympics in May. It is going to be tough having a team together - January to May the players go play internationally. Until they announce when and where the qualifier will be, we’ll get together for a week before we play again.”

USA’s Nicole Fawcette was tabbed as the Most Valuable Player and Best Opposite of the NORCECA Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament as Team USA won the gold medal and earned a bid to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Fawcett collected 38 points in the three matches and 10 sets played. She recorded 33 kills, three aces and two blocks in the tournament. Fawcett led all spikers with a 50 per cent average (33 out of 66) with just three errors.

Fawcett was joined by team-mates Alisha Glass as Best Setter, Jordan Larson as First Best Spiker, Tori Dixon at Second Best Middle Blocker and Kelsey Robinson at Best Receiver.

Dominican Republic’s Gina Mambru was selected Best Server and Brenda Castillo was Best Digger. Puerto Rico’s Karina Ocasio was Best Scorer, while team-mate Stephanie Enright was Second Best Spiker. Canada’s Lucille Charuk was First Best Middle Blocker and Janie Guimond was Best Libero.

NORCECA 2016 Women’s Olympic Qualifier in Nebraska, USA

Dominican Republic d Puerto Rico 3-1 (17-25, 25-13, 25-23, 25-23) on January 7
United States d Canada 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-15) on January 7

Dominican Republic d Canada 3-1 (25-27, 25-16, 26-24, 25-20) on January 8
United States d Puerto Rico 3-1 (25-14, 24-26, 25-12, 25-14) on January 8

Puerto Rico d Canada 3-0 (32-30, 25-17, 25-20) on January 9
United States d Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-18) on January 9

Top Scorer by Day
19- Karina Ocasio of Puerto Rico v Dominican Republic on January 7
23- Karina Ocasio of Puerto Rico v United States on January 8
23- Karina Ocasio of Puerto Rico v Canada on January 9

Top Scoring Performances
23- Karina Ocasio of Puerto Rico v United States on January 8
23- Karina Ocasio of Puerto Rico v Canada on January 9
21- Gina Mambru of Dominican Republic v Canada on January 8
19- Karina Ocasio of Puerto Rico v Dominican Republic on January 7

Top Blocking Performances
5- Karina Ocasio of Puerto Rico v Canada on January 9
4- Brayelin Martínez of Dominican Republic v Puerto Rico on January 7
4- Candida Arias of Dominican Republic v Canada on January 8

Top Serving Performances
4- Prisilla Rivera of Dominican Republic v Canada on January 8
3- Gina Mambru of Dominican Republic v Puerto Rico on January 7
3- Gina Mambru of Dominican Republic v Canada on January 8
3- Karina Ocasio of Puerto Rico v Canada on January 9

Top Team Blocking Performances
10- Dominican Republic v Puerto Rico on January 7
9- Puerto Rico v Dominican Republic on January 7
9- Dominican Republic v Canada on January 8
9- United States v Puerto Rico on January 8

Top Team Serving Performances
13- Dominican Republic v Canada on January 8

Highest Scoring Sets
27-25 Canada v Dominican Republic (1st Set) on January 8
26-24 Dominican Republic v Canada (3rd Set) on January 8
26-24 Puerto Rico v United States (2nd Set) on January 8

Highest Scoring Matches
188- Dominican Republic d Canada 3-1 (25-27, 25-16, 26-24, 25-20) on January 8
176- Dominican Republic d Puerto Rico 3-1 (17-25, 25-13, 25-23, 25-23) on January 7

Individual Awards
Best Scorer- Ocasio Karina (OP)- PUR
Best Opposite- Nicole Fawcett (OP)- USA
Best Spiker- Jordan Larson-Burbach (OH)- USA
Best Spiker- Stephanie Enright (OH)- PUR
Best Blocker- Lucille Charuk (MB)- CAN
Best Blocker- Tori Dixon (MB)- USA
Best Server- Gina Mambru Casilla- DOM
Best Digger- Brenda Castillo- DOM
Best Setter- Alisha Glass- USA
Best Receiver- Kelsey Robinson- USA
Best Libero- Janie Guimond- CAN
Most Valuable Player (MVP)- Nicole Fawcett- USA

Watch matches live on teamusa.org. Click here for the match schedule.





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