Vansant leads the way in Pan Am Games quarterfinals; Thompson helps serve to victory in World Grand Prix final round
- USA def. Japan 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-18) [World Grand Prix final round]
- USA def. Cuba 3-1 (25-18, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18) [Pan Am Games Quarterfinals]
|USA's Courtney Thompson (3) sets Foluke Akinradewo (16) during a 3-0 World Grand Prix Final Round win over Japan|
Two recent college grads—Washington’s Krista Vansant and UCLA’s Karsta Lowe—were each USA’s leading scorer in a pair of international matches in Toronto (Vansant) and Omaha (Lowe.)
Vansant led all scorers with 13 kills on 31 attacks, two blocks and one ace in a Pan Am Games quarterfinal win against Cuba 3-1 (25-18, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18). The Cubans featured a team with several talented teenagers, with one hitter just 15 years old. Washington alum Jenna Hagglund rotated in during all four sets. USA’s Kristin Hildebrand keyed several long service runs for the Americans.
|USA outside hitter Krista Vansant (24) celebrates a point with teammates during a 3-1 Pan Am Games quarterfinal win against Cuba|
In Omaha, both Courtney Thompson and fellow setter Molly Kreklow also had good nights at the service line, as USA overwhelmed Japan 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-18). Lowe was dominant on the right side, recording 14 kills and 3 blocks. Like Thompson and Kreklow, outside hitter Kim Hill also had a big night at the service line, earning a pair of aces and launching several effective scoring streaks.
The American offense was well-distributed across front line, with Kelsey Robinson landing 8 kills on 18 attacks, and both Hill and Foluke Akinradewo each contributing 6 kills. Akinradewo added 4 blocks.
Both teams of Americans will be in action at the very same time Thursday. USA faces Dominican Republic in the Pan Am Games semifinal round, while the other half of the split squad meets Italy in the Grand Prix finals round-robin. Both matches start at 6PM (Pacific)