Khalia Lanier Wins Gold at U20 Pan-American Cup with Team USA|
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May 13, 2017
LOS ANGELES -- USC women's volleyball sophomore outside hitter Khalia Lanier (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and the U.S. Women's Junior National Team won gold medals at the 2017 Women's Junior Pan-American Volleyball Cup with a 3-0 sweep (27-25, 25-22, 25-22) of Argentina in the title match, in San Jose, Costa Rica, on Saturday, May 13.
Lanier led the Americans with 16 points in the gold-medal match as she notched 11 kills (6e, 31att, .161) with four blocks and a service ace. She earned seven of her points in a pivotal stretch of the third and clinching set.
As the top NORCECA finisher, the win cemented the U.S. Women's Junior National Team's spot in the 2017 FIVB Women's U20 World Championship. The Americans went undefeated with a 5-0 record in the tournament. The silver medalist Argentinians suffered just two losses, each at the hands of Team USA. Both teams will play in the World Championship, July 14-23, in Mexico.
This was the fourth time the Women's U20 PanAm Cup--a biennial event--was contested. It was the first time the U.S. competed in the event and was the first medal finish for the Americans. Team USA played out of Pool A, which had the Americans, Argentina, and Dominican Republic. Two other three-team pools contained Uruguay, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico in Pool B; and Cuba, Chile, and Peru in Pool C for a total of nine countries.
The U.S. won its pool with a pair of four-set victories. The Americans opened the tournament on Tuesday (May 9) with a 25-23, 25-19, 15-25, 25-21 win over Argentina. Lanier led the team with 16 points, which she collected on 13 kills (5e, 40att, .200), two service aces, and a block. On Wednesday (May 10), Team USA completed its 2-0 run through Pool A to cruise into the quarterfinal round by defeating Dominican Republic, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 25-21. Lanier had eight points with six kills (7e, 25att) and two blocks.
Team USA drew a matchup with Uruguay in the quarterfinals (May 11) and came away with a 25-10, 25-19, 25-17 win. Lanier played only the bookend sets of the sweep and contributed seven points on five kills without an error (11att, .455) to go with a block and a service ace. It took four sets, but the U.S. got past its semifinal test with a 25-17, 25-23, 30-32, 25-20 win over Cuba on Friday (May 12). In that match, Lanier posted 13 points as she collected nine kills (3e, .240) on 25 swings to go with three service aces and a block.
Upon her return to California, Lanier will prepare to join the Women of Troy for a 13-day tour of several countries in Europe where USC will face national teams and clubs for exhibition matches, May 18-31.
The Women of Troy earned a program-record 26th consecutive berth into the NCAA tournament (34th overall appearance) and finished 2016 with an 18-14 overall record. USC was 10-10 in Pac-12 matches and finished in a tie for seventh place. The Trojans won three of their four pre-conference tournaments and became the 17th NCAA Division I program to cross the 1,000 all-time victories threshold with a win over Arizona State on Oct. 5. Head coach Mick Haley earned his 400th win as the Trojans' head coach.
For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule and results, please visit USCTrojans.com. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow @USCWomensVolley on Periscope, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram.