U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team Blanks Dominican Republic at NORCECA Championship

July 05, 2008, 11:42 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 5, 2008) – The U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team swept Dominican Republic 25-22, 25-17, 25-15 to open pool play Saturday in the NORCECA Girls’ Youth Continental Championship held in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.

Team USA faces Trinidad & Tobago on July 6 at 4 p.m. and the U.S. Virgin Islands on July 7 at 6 p.m. in Pool B play.

The NORCECA Girls’ Youth Continental Championship serves as a qualifier into the 2009 FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship to be held Aug. 5-16 in India. The top three finishers at the NORCECA event qualify for the World Championship.

Jazmine Orozco (Lakewood, Calif.) sparked the U.S. with 17 points, all on 17 kills without an attack error. Carly Wopat (Goleta, Calif.) added seven kills without an attack error, four blocks and an ace for 12 points. Amy Scullion (Salem, Ohio) contributed eight points with seven kills and a block to go with nine digs.

Lydia Bai (Tustin, Calif.) charted three kills, a block and an ace for five points along with six digs. Madelyn Hutson (Brentwood, Tenn.) added three kills and a block for four points. Carly Thomas (Swansea, Ill.) set eight assists to go with six digs, two kills and a block. Tori Dixon (Savage, Minn.) tacked on three kills in the victory. Jennifer Bonilla (Reseda, Calif.) provided 17 digs as the libero. Kelly Reeves (San Diego, Calif.) rounded out the scoring with a kill.

“Our team was unable to train together in recent days,” U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team Captain Ashley Wittman (Shakopee, Minn.) said. “There were moments we were tired by the long journey to reach Puerto Rico, but we are very happy with the victory.”

Five of the 12 American players traveled to Puerto Rico today as they were finishing up competition at the USA Junior Olympic Girls’ Volleyball Championship in Dallas.

Starters for USA were Bai at opposite, Hutson and Wopat at middle blocker, Orozco and Scullion at outside hitter, Thomas at setter. Bonilla is the team’s designated libero for the tournament. Reeves, Wittman and Dixon all subbed into the match in the second set, while Dixon started the third set in place of Hutson. Wittman also subbed into the third set.

Team USA opened the first set with a 5-0 lead en route to a 25-22 victory. The U.S. led 16-12 at the second technical timeout of the second set, then used a 5-1 run at the end for a 25-17 victory. The Americans led 8-3 at the first technical timeout of the third set and never allowed Dominican Republic closer than three points in the 25-15 victory.

Team USA held a sizeable 43-22 advantage in kills over the Dominican Republic, which had 13 attack errors to the Americans’ six. Dominican Republic won the service battle with a 6-2 advantage in aces and only eight service errors to the United States’ 14. Team USA held a 48-32 advantage in digs for the match.

Marianne Fersola paced the Dominican Republic with nine points via five aces, two kills and two blocks. Alicia Moreno added seven kills in the loss.

In other matches today, Trinidad & Tobago defeated U.S. Virgin Islands 21-25, 25-17, 25-13, 25-9 and Puerto Rico hosts Costa Rica at 8 p.m.

2008 U.S. Girls' Youth National Team
# - Name (Pos., Ht, Hometown, Grad Year, Club, Region)
2 - Lydia Bai (Outside Hitter, 6-2, Tustin, Calif., 2010, TCA, Southern California)
3 - Jennifer Bonilla (Libero, 5-9, Reseda, Calif., 2010, SCVC, Southern California)
4 - Erica Denney (Middle Blocker, 6-5, Centennial, Colo., 2010, Front Range, Rocky Mountain)
5 - Tori Dixon (Middle Blocker, 6-3, Savage, Minn., 2010 Mizuno Northern Lights, North Country)
9 - Madelyn Hutson (Middle Blocker, 6-5, Brentwood, Tenn., 2011, Impact VB Club, Southern)
10 - Molly Kreklow (Setter, 6-0, Hamlake, Minn., 2010, Mizuno Northern Lights, North Country)
12 - Jazmine Orozco (Outside Hitter, 6-0, Lakewood, Calif., 2010, SCVC, Southern California)
14 - Kelly Reeves (Outside Hitter, Libero, 6-0, San Diego, Calif., 2010, Wave, Southern California)
15 - Amy Scullion (Outside Hitter, 6-0, Salem, Ohio, 2010, Tri-County, Ohio Valley)
16 - Carly Thomas (Setter, 5-11, Swansea, Ill., 2010, Southwest Illinois VBC, Gateway)
18 - Ashley Wittman (Outside Hitter, 6-1, Shakopee, Minn., 2010, Mizuno Northern Lights, North Country)
19 - Carly Wopat (Middle Blocker, 6-2, Goleta, Calif., 2010, Santa Barbara V-Ball Club, Southern California)
*Kristina Graven (Outside Hitter/Libero, 6-0, San Jose, Calif., 2010, Vision Volleyball Club, Northern California)

Head Coach: Jim Stone (Columbus, Ohio, retired Ohio State University women’s head coach)
Assistant Coach: Melissa Wolter (Pensacola, Fla., University of West Florida head women’s coach)
Assistant Coach: Neil Mason (Newport Coast, Calif., TCA director and head coach)

2008 NORCECA Girls’ Youth Continental Championship Schedule
July 5-10 at Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

Pool A
Puerto Rico 1-0
Mexico 0-0
Costa Rica 0-1

Pool B
USA 1-0
Trinidad & Tobago 1-0
U.S. Virgin Islands 0-1
Dominican Republic 0-1

Pool Matches
July 5: Trinidad & Tobago def. U.S. Virgin Islands, 21-25, 25-17, 25-13, 25-9
July 5: United States def. Dominican Republic, 25-22, 25-17, 25-15
July 5: Puerto Rico vs. Costa Rica, 25-20, 25-7, 25-22
July 6: United States vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 4 p.m.
July 6: Dominican Republic vs. U.S. Virgin Islands, 6 p.m.
July 6: Costa Rica vs. Mexico, 8 p.m.
July 7: Dominican Republic vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 4 p.m.
July 7: United States vs. U.S. Virgin Islands, 6 p.m.
July 7: Puerto Rico vs. Mexico, 8 p.m.

July 8: 3A vs. 2B, 6 p.m. (Quarterfinals)
July 8: 2A vs. 3B, 8 p.m. (Quarterfinals)

July 9: TBA, 4 p.m. (Classification for 5th Place)
July 9: 1B vs. Quarterfinal Winner, 6 p.m. (Semifinal)
July 9: 1A vs. Quarterfinal Winner, 8 p.m. (Semifinal)

July 10: TBA vs. 4B, 2 p.m. (Classification 6-7)
July 10: Semifinal Losers (Bronze Medal Match)
July 10: Semifinal Winners (Gold Medal Match)