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Fawcett sparks U.S. team to second-straight Pan American title



Benjamin Logan product Nicole Fawcett gave a stellar performance in sparking the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team to a 25-12, 25-20, 25-18 victory over the Dominican Republic Sunday evening in Lima, Peru, to capture the Pan American Cup gold medal for the second consecutive year.

Fawcett was named the tournament’s most valuable player and also earned the best server honor. She scored a match-high 15 points with six kills on 15 errorless attacks, six blocks and three aces.

“We are working hard to improve our serving and we made significant progress as the tournament went on,” said head coach Karch Kiraly in a press release. “Nicole Fawcett wowed everyone with her jump serve. There cannot be many others in the world serving as consistently hard and in as she did this past week. Others are developing tough serves of their own and contributing to our success in that way.”

After Dominican Republic opened the first set with a 4-2 lead, it was all U.S. in the frame as the Americans went on a 9-1 scoring run and later used a 6-0 run en route to a 25-12 victory.

After trailing 20-19 in the second set, the United States scored the final six points for a 25-20 victory with Fawcett serving out the set with consecutive aces.

Team USA charged out to a 7-2 lead in the third set, only to have Dominican Republic climb back to within one at 12-11. However, the U.S. regrouped to string together a 9-3 scoring run to take a commanding 21-14 advantage in closing the set at 25-18.

Team USA, ranked No. 1 in the world by the FIVB, finished the tournament with a 5-0 record in its season-opening event under new head coach Karch Kiraly. The Americans have now won the Pan American Cup three times, including 2003 and 2012. Seven U.S. players competed in both the 2012 and 2013 gold-medal campaigns. Team USA is only the second country to successfully defend its title in the history of the intercontinental event, joining Cuba who won consecutive titles in 2004 and 2005.

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