LA PAZ, Baja California Sur, June 9, 2022.- The United States advanced directly into semifinals winning pool B over Argentina in an exciting 3-1 (25-16, 25-21, 22-25, 27-25) at the Women’s U21 Pan American Cup at the Arena La Paz in Baja California Sur.
The Americans join Mexico in the semifinals as the top ranked pool winners, while Argentina will play the quarter finals after finishing second in pool B against Puerto Rico on Friday. The other pool winner was Cuba that will play in the quarter finals against Chile.
The tournament grants two berths to the 2023 FIVB World Championship for the two NORCECA top finishers.
The U.S. jumped to comfortable leads early in sets one and two, Argentina’s pressure for the service line in the third helped them to recover from a five-point deficit (13-18) only to put tension extending the actions to a fourth and final set, led by Argentina up to 18 all.
The United States held a 59-41 advantage in attacks and a comfortable 15-9 margin in blocks, while Argentina controlled serves 10-5. The U.S. handed out 27 points from unforced errors and Argentina 20.
Opposite hitter Merritt Beason of United States scored a tournament-high of 28 points, on 25 kills and three blocks. Also contributing to the U.S. victory were outside hitter Norah Sis with 15 points on 13 kills, one block and one ace and middle blocker Breanna Kelley with 12 points on 7 kills and 5 blocks.
Argentina’s leading scorers were opposite hitter Valentina Vaulet with 21 points on 16 kills and leading in aces 5 points, middle blocker Avril García who added 14 points on 9 kills, 3 blocks and two aces, and outside hitter Milena Margaria tallied 11 points on 10 kills and one block.
Daniel Fisher, Head Coach of United States: “We were playing very consistently, I liked how we performed both offensively and defensively. Congratulations to Argentina for changing the game with a very strong service game; that got the crowd going. I thought we settled back in the middle of the fourth set, by receiving the ball better and we got some nice contributions from Elia Rubin coming off the bench. We are excited for playoffs”.
Marcelo Silva, Head Coach of Argentina: “It was a beautiful match. They (United States) played well the first two sets; we were able to carry out what we needed in the next two. I believe some critical points weren’t called. I am glad because the team fought up to the end”.