Two more former Huskers are taking home gold medals as USA won the Pan-American Cup over the weekend. It’s the third straight Pan-Am title for the United States and Kadie Rolfzen and Justine Wong-Orantes took home some individual hardware to go with their gold medals as well.
USA swept Dominican Republic 25-16, 25-21, 29-27 Sunday in Trujillo, Peru, marking their fifth sweep in six matches in the tournament.
The United States beat Colombia 25-17, 25-14, 25-15 on Saturday in the semifinals to earn a spot in the gold medal match. USA swept through the competition in Pool B, beating Colombia, Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico and Puerto Rico while dropping just one set.
Wong-Orantes was named Best Libero and Best Receiver in the tournament. She played in five of the six matches and recorded double-digit digs in at least four of them. She handled 27 receptions with a 59 positive reception percent in the title match. Wong-Orontes posted a tournament-high 20 digs in USA’s four-set win over Puerto Rico.
Rolfzen was named Best Attacker of the tournament. She recorded two kills, an ace and a block in the title match. In 16 sets in the tournament, Rolfzen recorded 42 kills, seven blocks and four aces according to USA’s stats. She played in five of the six matches and had three outings with double-digit kills with a high of 13 against Puerto Rico.
Former Penn State setter Micha Hancock was named MVP of the tournament as well as the Best Setter while former Minnesota middle blocker Hannah Tapp was named Best Blocker.
On July 8, the United States won the FIVB Volleyball Nations League for the second year in a row. Former Huskers Jordan Larson, Kelsey Robinson and Mikaela Foecke all played big roles on that team. Wong-Orantes and Rolfzen were two of the final five cuts when Coach Karch Kiraly selected the 25-player pool for the VNL roster, but were then selected to represent the United States in the Pan-American Cup.
“This has been a hell of a week for Nebraska volleyball … Sarah Pavan became a world champion beach player, the first time ever for Canada. Jordan [Larson], Kelsey [Robinson] and Mikaela [Foecke] won the Nations League and a million dollars,” Coach John Cook said on Sports Nightly last week. “Right now, Kadie and Justine are on our Pan American team and they just both had huge nights last night … It’s been a really nice few days for Nebraska volleyball and it validates what we’re doing here, how hard we work, what we’re instilling in these people and how we’re preparing them to have a career after Nebraska if that’s what they choose to do.”
Jacob Padilla has been writing for Hail Varsity since 2015. He covers football, volleyball men’s basketball and prep sports. He also co-hosts the Nebraska Preps Postgame and Nebraska Shootaround podcasts for the Hurrdat Media and Hail Varsity podcast networks. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.