Cuba defeated the U.S. women’s national volleyball team 27-25, 25-22, 20-25, 26-24 in a battle of undefeated teams in Pan American Cup Pool B action played Sunday night at Puerto Rico’s Roberto Clemente Coliseum. Cuba improves to 4-0 in Pool B, while the U.S. falls to 3-1.Robyn Ah Mow-Santos sets Heather Bown
The U.S. team closes out pool play action on July 3 versus Venezuela at 4 p.m. ET. Cuba concludes pool action versus Peru at 6 p.m. ET.
Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) and Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) garnered team-high 16 points in the loss. Katie Wilkins (Lakeside, Calif.) added 12 points, while Tayyiba Haneef (Laguna Hills, Calif.) tacked on 10 points.
Cuba was led by Yamia Ortiz’s match-high 20 points.
“I feel pretty good about the match, despite losing,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach ‘Jenny’ Lang Ping said. “The match was pretty close, especially in the first and fourth sets. We entered some young players into the match late, and both did well. We had lots of service errors, which is a concern of mine, especially at the critical times they occurred.”
Sam Tortorello (Shorewood, Ill.) and Jane Collymore (Englewood, Colo.) both entered the match late in the fourth set and contributed positively, according to Lang Ping. Tortorello was credited with a block in the match.
“We are passing and defending much better than last year,” Lang Ping said. “I can see we are improving from last year.”
In the most recent battle between the U.S. and Cuba, the Americans had captured a five-set victory (25-13, 22-25, 27-25, 20-25, 15-10) over the Cubans in the title match of the NORCECA Continental Championship title on Sept. 11, 2005. Earlier in that tournament, Cuba won a three-set match over the U.S. on Sept. 8.
The U.S. women’s team entered its match against Cuba having won all three matches of Pool B play without dropping a set. Pool B consists of the U.S., Argentina, Barbados, Cuba, Peru and Venezuela. Pool A is comprised of Brazil, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica.
The winner of each pool automatically advances to the semifinals and the teams placed in second and third in their respective pools will meet in crossed matches in the quarter finals round.