A balanced American offense saw 4 players score in double figures as they earned an opening win over Azerbaijan.
After leading Minnesota to a pair of victories to open Big Ten action, sophomore Stephany Samedy earned her first AVCA Player of the Week nod. It is ninth national player of the week award in Golden Gopher volleyball history and the first since Sarah Wilhite received recognition on Nov. 29, 2016.
Karsta Lowe, above, will return to Rio with Team USA in her first official matches since the 2016 Olympic Games.
The United States won its second straight Pan American Cup title, outdoing the Dominican Republic for the second year in a row, rallying for a five-set win. Canada rounded out the podium, taking bronze with a sweep of Brazil.
The United States and Dominican Republic will battle for the Pan American Cup title for the second straight year after each won semifinal matches on Friday.
Cuba carried the momentum from Monday’s five-set win over the United States to a sweep of Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Americans bounced back with a sweep of Group B leader Puerto Rico to claim the pool title with 11 points.
After stumbling in the opening set, the United States recovered to top Trinidad and Tobago in four sets to open Pool B action at the Pan American Cup. In the late game, Puerto Rico made quick work of Cuba in Set 1, before fighting to hold on for the sweep.
Justine Wong-Orantes, who recently finished a tour winning gold with the US at the Volleyball Nations League, will turn around quickly to join the Pan American Cup roster.
While Team USA had a very impressive 10-match win streak in the VNL, including wins over Final Six participants Brazil, China, and the Netherlands, it will face Turkey and Serbia next. Ironically, these are the only teams to defeat the Americans in the preliminary round
On Monday, Team USA released its initial 25-woman roster for the Pan American Cup, including three setters, four liberos, five opposites, six outside hitters and seven middle blockers.