U.S. Girls’ Youth Team Finishes Third in Croatia

Dec. 30, 2008, 10:48 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bill.kauffman@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 29, 2008) - A U.S. Girls' Youth Team, in cooperation with Bring It Promotions, defeated host country Croatia in straight sets on Dec. 29 to finish third at the MEZVA tournament at Pula, Croatia.

Match and tournament stats will be available on the Bring It Promotions Web site on Dec. 30.

Team USA opened the tournament with a 25-23, 25-22, 25-17 victory over Israel, followed by a 25-21, 25-18, 28-26 victory over Croatia. The U.S. finished group A with a 2-0 record and 6-0 set score record.

The Americans dropped a five-set match (25-21, 20-25, 26-24, 17-25, 15-12) to Slovakia in the semifinals on Dec. 28.

The U.S. Girls' Youth Team will now travel to Maribor, Slovenia, for additional training team and a friendly exhibition against the Slovenian team that captured the MEZVA Tournament with a sweep over Slovakia on Dec. 29. Afterwards, the U.S. squad will be based in Rome, Italy, and face the Italian Youth Team at least twice between Jan. 2 and Jan. 5 before returning to the United States on Jan. 6.

For additional information on the two victories, including player journals, visit the Bring It Promotions Web site.

Although not the official U.S. Girls' Youth National Team, the 12-player roster playing in Croatia includes eight players who competed for the 2008 U.S. Girls' Youth National Team which captured the NORCECA Girls' Youth Championship in Puerto Rico to qualify for the 2009 FIVB Girls' Youth World Championship. All 12 players on the roster were born in either 1992 or 1993.

U.S. Girls' Youth Team Roster for the MEZVA Tournament.

# - Name (Hometown, Position, Club, Region)
2 - Stephanie Holthus (Elgin, Ill., Libero/Outside Hitter, Fusion, Great Lakes)
3 - Jennifer Bonilla (Reseda, Calif., Libero, SCVC, SCVA)
4 - Erica Denney (Centennial, Colo., Middle Blocker, Front Range, Rocky Mountain)
5 - Tori Dixon (Savage, Minn., Middle Blocker, Northern Lights, North Country)
6 - Anna Dorn (Munster, Ind., Middle Blocker, Dunes, Hoosier)
7 - Adrienne Gehan (Dallas, Texas, Outside Hitter, Skyline Juniors, North Texas)
13 - Molly Kreklow (Hamlake, Minn., Setter, Mizuno Northern Lights, North Country)
14 - Jane Croson (Lakewood, Calif., Outside Hitter, Cal Juniors, SCVA)
15 - Amy Scullion (Salem, Ohio, Outside Hitter, Tri-County, Ohio Valley)
16 - Carly Thomas (Swansea, Ill., Setter, Southwest Illinois VBC, Gateway)
17 - Jazmine Orozco (Lakewood, Calif., Outside Hitter, SCVC, SCVA)
18 - Ashley Wittman (Shakopee, Minn., Outside Hitter, Mizuno Northern Lights, North Country)

Head Coach: Jim Stone (Columbus, Ohio, retired Ohio State Women's Head Coach)
Assistant Coach: Melissa Wolter (Pensacola, Fla., University of West Florida Head Coach)
Stats: Herb Summers (Burbank, Calif.)