Illinois Sports – Michelle Bartsch Leads Team USA to Pan American Cup Gold

U.S. National Team dropped just one set in seven matches in Lima, Peru

pan-am-logoLima, Peru – Former Illini All-American outside hitter Michelle Bartsch Hackley ’12 helped lead the U.S. Women’s National Team to the 2015 Pan American Cup title, as team USA swept through the international competition at a perfect 7-0 to claim its third crown in four years. Bartsch was influential in the team’s run through the tournament, held June 13-21 in Lima, Peru, including headlining the United States’ rout of Costa Rica in pool play.

The United States dropped just one set in the entire tournament, a 25-23 decision in set three against Columbia, as the Red, White and Blue swept through Pool A with wins over Puerto Rico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Argentina to advance to the semifinals. Bartsch saw action off the bench in the first two matches, but earned the start against Costa Rica and led the match with 16 points to top Costa Rica, 25-11, 25-9, 25-5. The former Illini standout was nearly flawless, tallying 16 kills on 20 attacks with just one error, running a .750 hitting percentage, while making it a double-double with 10 digs in the Team USA victory.

After her strong performance against Costa Rica, Bartsch returned to the starting lineup the following day against Mexico, totaling eight kills and three blocks in the sweep (25-13, 25-17, 25-17). Team USA swept Argentina the following night (25-18, 25-18, 25-11) to advance to the semifinals against Cuba.

Bartsch came in off the bench in set one of the semifinals, but earned her way back into the starting rotation for the final two sets, posting seven kills and a block to lead the United States to the Pan Am title match with a 3-0 sweep of Cuba (25-17, 25-20, 25-22).

On June 21, Team USA completed its perfect run, sweeping defending cup champion Dominican Republic, 25-20, 25-20, 25-15, to capture its third gold medal in four years. Bartsch posted four kills in the title match to help lead her country to victory over the defending champs. The win marked the fourth cup title for the United States since the event began in 2002, tying Cuba for the most Pan Am cups in tournament history.

“We knew that if we could put our plan in practice the victory was possible,” said David Hunt, who served as the head coach for Team USA at the Pan Am Cup. “I didn’t expect to do it in three sets since the Dominican Republic is such good team, but I was confident about the ability of my team, especially with the reception, a key against their strong services.”

“We are very happy with this victory as it is so important for our country,” said Team USA captain Kristin Hildebrand, a former Stanford Cardinal. “I feel very proud with the results of our work.”

Next up for Team USA is the FIVB World Grand Prix, which begins on July 3 in Ankara, Turkey. Bartsch is on the 25-player roster from which team selections will be made for each of the three preliminary rounds of the World Grand Prix, which will be followed by the finals on July 22-26 in Omaha, Nebraska.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster – Pan American Cup

# – Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)

2 – Inky Ajanaku (MB, 6-2, Tulsa, Okla., Stanford University)

4 – Lauren Paolini (MB, 6-4, Ann Arbor, Mich., University of Texas)

7 – Cassidy Lichtman (OH, 6-1, Poway, Calif., Stanford University)

9 – Kristin Hildebrand (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford University)

10 – Natalie Hagglund (L, 5-9, Encinitas, Calif., University of Southern California)

13 – Cursty Jackson (MB, 6-2, Los Angeles, University of Arizona)

16 – Michelle Bartsch (OH, 6-3, Maryville, Ill., University of Illinois)

17 – Alix Klineman (OPP, 6-5, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Stanford University)

19 – Hayley Hodson (OH, 6-2, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford University)

20 – Jenna Hagglund (S, 5-10, West Chester, Ohio, University of Washington)

23 – Carli Lloyd (S, 5-11, Bonsall, Calif., University of California-Berkeley)

24 – Krista Vansant (OH, 6-2, Redlands, Calif., University of Washington)

 

Head Coach: David Hunt

Assistant Coaches: Nicole Lawlor, Jonathan Newman-Gonchar

Technical Coordinator: Carol Hamilton

Athletic Trainer: Jamie Rodgers

Team Manager: Marci Sanders

 

XIV Women’s Pan American Cup

Team USA In Pool A

June 13: USA def. Puerto Rico 25-22, 25-12, 25-18 | Recap

June 14: USA def. Colombia 25-21, 25-9, 23-25, 25-16 | Recap

June 15: USA def. Costa Rica 25-11, 25-9, 25-5 | Recap

June 16: USA def. Mexico 25-13, 25-17, 25-17 | Recap

June 17: USA def. Argentina 25-18, 25-18, 25-11 | Recap

Quarterfinals

June 19: Argentina (Pool A2) def. Canada (Pool B3) 25-20, 25-20, 23-25, 25-21

June 19: Cuba (Pool B2) def. Puerto Rico (Pool A3) 25-19, 23-25, 29-27, 23-25, 16-14

Semifinals

June 20: USA (Pool A1) def. Cuba 25-17, 25-20, 25-22 | Recap

June 20: Dominican Republic (Pool B1) def. Argentina 25-23, 25-20, 23-25, 25-21

Medal Rounds

June 21: Argentina def. Cuba 25-23, 25-23, 25-20 (Bronze-Medal Match)

June 21: USA def. Dominican Republic 25-20, 25-20, 25-15 (Gold-Medal Match) | Recap

 

Year by Year Results

Year: Gold – Silver – Bronze

2002: CUB – DOM – CAN

2003: USA – DOM – CUB

2004: CUB – USA – DOM

2005: CUB – DOM – BRA

2006: BRA – CUB – DOM

2007: CUB – BRA – DOM

2008: DOM – BRA – ARG

2009: BRA – DOM – PUR

2010: DOM – PER – USA

2011: BRA – DOM – USA

2012: USA – BRA – CUB

2013: USA – DOM – ARG

2014: DOM – USA – PUR

2015: USA – DOM – ARG

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