Thursday, 23 May 2024

U20 Pan Am Cup: U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Claims Gold Without Losing a Match

U20 Pan Am Cup

The U.S. Women’s Junior National Team emerged victorious in the 2017 U20 Pan Am Cup, securing a spot in the upcoming FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship. In a thrilling match against Argentina, the Americans displayed their prowess, winning 27-25, 25-22, 25-22. Let’s delve into the details of this remarkable achievement.

A Triumph for USA and Argentina

Both the U.S. and Argentina secured their berths in the 2017 FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship as the top finishers from their respective confederations, NORCECA and South America. The U.S. team displayed their dominance throughout the tournament, finishing with a flawless 5-0 record. Argentina, while falling to the Americans twice, also showcased their skills en route to securing their spot in the World Championship event.

The U20 Pan Am Cup: A Prestigious Event

Now in its fourth edition, the Women’s U20 Pan Am Cup is a biennial tournament that gathers the most talented young athletes in the sport. The U.S. team did not compete in the previous three editions as they had already secured qualification for the age-group World Championship. Argentina’s silver medal in the 2015 edition was their only other podium finish in the event.

Expertise Prevails: Coach Jerritt Elliott’s Praise for Argentina

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U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Head Coach Jerritt Elliott acknowledged the strength of their opponents, expressing his admiration for the Argentinean team. He commended their discipline, coaching staff, and game plan, emphasizing their understanding of the American team’s tendencies. Despite some early errors, Elliott praised his team’s composure, highlighting their ability to stay focused and secure victories, rather than letting emotions dictate their performance.

Standout Performances: A Well-rounded Team Effort

The U.S. team showcased their depth and talent throughout the tournament, with several players making notable contributions. Outside hitter Khalia Lanier led the team in scoring with 16 points, including 11 kills, four blocks, and an ace. Middle blocker Regan Pittman recorded 12 points, while opposite Mackenzie May added nine kills, one block, and one ace. Thayer Hall, the tournament’s most valuable player, displayed her skills with six kills and a block. Setter MacKenzi Welsh and middle blockers Brionne Butler and Elle Sandbothe also made significant contributions.

Dominance in Numbers: Stats that Speak Volumes

The U.S. team’s performance was exceptional in various statistical categories. MacKenzi Welsh’s precise setting led to a 36.3% kill percentage and a .212 hitting efficiency for the team. The American defense restricted Argentina to a 35.2% kill percentage and a .167 hitting efficiency. A strong blocking game, with a 13-6 advantage for the U.S., compensated for some errors made throughout the match.

The Road to Victory: A Set-by-Set Recap

In the first set, the U.S. broke a 7-all tie and captured it 27-25. Despite committing 12 errors, they held a 6-2 blocking advantage. In the second set, the Americans rallied from a 12-9 deficit to win 25-22. The U.S. team started the third set strongly, scoring five unanswered points and eventually securing the set and the match with a score of 25-22.

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U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Roster

The U.S. Women’s Junior National Team boasted a talented roster for the 2017 U20 Women’s Pan American Cup. Here are the names, positions, club/college affiliation, height, hometown, and region of the players:

  • Brionne Butler (M, University of Texas, 6-4, Kendleton, Texas, Lone Star)
  • Tiffany Clark (L, TBA, 5-11, Naperville, Illinois, Great Lakes)
  • Thayer Hall (OH, Upward Stars, 6-3, Moore, South Carolina, Palmetto)
  • Paige Hammons (OH, University of Florida, 6-2, Louisville, Kentucky, Pioneer)
  • Khalia Lanier (OH, University of Southern California, 6-2, Scottsdale, Arizona, Arizona)
  • Madison Lilley (S, University of Kentucky, 6-0, Overland Park, Kansas, Heart of America)
  • Mackenzie May (OH, UCLA, 6-3, Dubuque, Iowa, Iowa)
  • Regan Pittman (M, University of Minnesota, 6-5, Spring Hill, Kansas, Heart of America)
  • Holly Carlton (OPP, University of North Carolina, 6-7, Sterling, Virginia, Chesapeake)
  • Elle Sandbothe (M, Kansas State University, 6-0, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Heart of America)
  • Mikayla Shields (OPP, University of South Carolina, 6-0, Orlando, Florida, Florida)
  • MacKenzi Welsh (S, University of Michigan, 6-1, Bolingbrook, Illinois, Great Lakes)

The team was led by Head Coach Jerritt Elliott, with Assistant Coach Paula Weishoff and Assistant Coach/Statistician Kevin Inlow. Tom Pingel served as the Team Leader.


Q: What is the Women’s U20 Pan Am Cup?
A: The Women’s U20 Pan Am Cup is a biennial tournament that brings together the top U20 women’s volleyball teams from the Americas.

Q: When is the 2017 FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship?
A: The 2017 FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship will take place from July 14 to 23 in Mexico.

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The U.S. Women’s Junior National Team’s victory in the U20 Pan Am Cup is a testament to their skills, teamwork, and dedication. With an undefeated record, they have proven themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship. Stay tuned for more updates on their journey to success.