Aug. 6 - USA vs. Puerto Rico, 4:05 p.m. EST
Result: USA 3, Puerto Rico 0
By Jim Stone
To give you a coach’s perspective on what the U.S. women’s national team will be facing in Rio, Art of Coaching’s Jim Stone has compiled a comprehensive scouting report for each of the USA’s Olympic pool opponents. Included are diagrams that show what plays the teams like to run in each rotation.
Here’s Jim’s take on Puerto Rico, the U.S.’s first Olympic opponent:
11 - Karina Ocasio – opposite (height: 6-4; age: 31)
9 - Aurea Cruz – left-side hitter (5-11; 34)
7 - Stephanie Enright – left-side hitter (5-10; 25)
18 - Daly Santana – left-side hitter (5-10; 21)
3 - Vilmarie Mojica – setter (5-11, 30)
20 - Lynda Morales – middle blocker (6-2; 28)
10 - Diana Reyes – middle blocker (6-3; 23)
1 - Debora Seilhamer – libero (5-5; 30)
2 - Shara Venegas – libero (5-8; 23)
- Not as tall as most top teams but possess good defenders, servers and passers.
- Very competitive and aggressive. Will play with tremendous energy and motivation.
- Will have issues matching up at the net with some of the taller, more physical teams.
- Puerto Rico runs a 5-1 offense. Mojica (#3) is the starting setter. She rarely attacks.
- Most of their offense is to the antennae, front or back. Will run outside hitters Cruz (#9) and Enright (#7) in the middle occasionally in combination with the middle attack.
- Opposite Karina Ocasio (#11) carries a large load both attacking and blocking.
- Both left-side attackers are adept at tooling the outside hand of the block and will go high hands hoping for a deep deflection off the court.
- Cruz (#9) has a good jump float, and Enright (#7) has a good jump spin.
- Perimeter defense.
- Defenders move well in the back row. Cruz (#9) and Enright (#7) both cover a lot of court in center back.
- Mojica (#3) is a blocking liability in the front row.
- Lateral movement of both middles is a little slow.
- No player from Puerto Rico would start for the U.S.
- USA will dominate the net both offensively and defensively. Puerto Rico’s smaller left-sides will have trouble with the the U.S. block.
- Puerto Rico’s block will have issues with the USA’s taller attackers. Also, the tempo of the U.S. outside attack will be a problem for Puerto Rico’s middle blockers.
- Both teams serve and pass well. The match will be decided at the net.
- Count on Puerto Rico playing well at the start due to emotional energy. However, it will be challenging for them to maintain that emotion long enough to win the match, so look for a 3-0 USA victory.
1 Alisha Glass – setter (height: 6-0; age 28) – Leland, Michigan; Penn State
2 Kayla Banwarth – libero (5-10; 27) - Dubuque, Iowa; University of Nebraska
3 Courtney Thompson – setter (5-8; 31) – Kent, Washington; University of Washington
5 Rachael Adams – middle blocker (6-2; 26) - Cincinnati, Ohio; University of Texas
6 Carli Lloyd – setter (5-11; 27) – Bonsall, California; University of California-Berkeley
10 Jordan Larson – outside hitter (6-2; 29); Hooper, Nebraska; University of Nebraska
12 Kelly Murphy – opposite (6-2; 26) Wilmington, Illinois; University of Florida
13 Christa Dietzen – middle blocker (6-2; 29) Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania; Penn State
15 Kim Hill – outside hitter (6-4; 26) Portland, Oregon; Pepperdine
16 Foluke Akinradewo – middle blocker (6-3; 29) Plantation, Florida; Stanford
23 Kelsey Robinson – outside hitter (6-2; 24) Bartlett, Illinois; University of Nebraska
25 Karsta Lowe – opposite (6-4; 23) Rancho Santa Fe, California; UCLA