USA five-set comeback win claims semifinal spot

HERMOSILLO, Mexico, August 26, 2022.- The United States beat Cuba 3-2 (27-29, 22-25, 25-22, 25-16, 19-17) in a comeback win to claim a semifinal spot at the 19th Women’s Pan American Cup at the Sonora Arena in Hermosillo.

The U.S. will play in semifinals to either Colombia or Dominican Republic depending on the result of the other semifinal between Mexico and Puerto Rico.

The United States and Cuba challenged each other the entire quarterfinal match, with the U.S. missing four-set points in the first set which only predicted the tough battle ahead.

The U.S. reached a comfortable seven-point lead (11-4) in the third set with Cuba catching up to even the score to seventeen points. The Americans won the fourth with a comfortable margin, and then captured a thrilling fifth set after Cuba let it slip away, losing two match-points and later the U.S. missing three.

The United States led 64-62 in attacks and scored from 36 Cuban errors against 24. Cuba did better in blocking points 16-13.

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USA Coaching Staff celebrate huge win over Cuba

Outside hitter Avery Skinner scored 18 points as the U.S. leading scorer, from 14 kills, two blocks and two aces. Middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan contributed with 16 points, including 6 stuff blocks; and opposite Stephanie Samedy tallied 14 points.

Cuban Greisy Fine was the top attacker of the match with 20 points on 16 kills, three blocks and one ace, joined by outside hitter Claudia Tarin collected 19 points and outside hitter Ailama Cese added 11 points. Middle blocker Dayana Martinez topped in blocks with 7 points.

Stephanie Samedy, opposite of United States: “We were able to compensate and adjust, Cuba was great, they came out swinging and played good defense as well; props to them. We put up a great fight and we will do the same in the semifinal”.