U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team Dominates U.S. Virgin Islands

July 07, 2008, 9:49 p.m. (ET)

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

Players and Team Leader Blog

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 7, 2008) – The U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team swept U.S. Virgin Islands 25-7, 25-7, 25-7 with 17 aces on Monday evening to win Pool B with a 3-0 record at the NORCECA Girls’ Youth Continental Championship held in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.

By winning Pool B, Team USA receives a quarterfinal bye and advances directly to the semifinals to begin on July 9. 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.

The U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team had 10 players score at least two points in the match with only libero Jennifer Bonilla (Reseda, Calif.) and Amy Scullion (Salem, Ohio) not scoring. Scullion did not play in the match.

Jazmine Orozco (Lakewood, Calif.) led the American squad with 11 points in two sets of action as she compiled seven kills on 14 swings, one block and three aces. Captain Ashley Wittman (Shakopee, Minn.) added nine points in two sets with four kills on nine attacks, one block and four aces on 20 serves. She added a team-high nine digs in the victory. Carly Wopat (Goleta, Calif.) contributed six kills on 10 attacks and three aces on six serves in two sets of action.

“I’m really proud of the fact that we were able to stay focused throughout the entire match,” Orozco said. “We’ve come a long way in such a short amount of time, and desire to win helps us to create energy and play as a team.”

Madelyn Hutson (Brentwood, Tenn.) scored five points in just one set, all five points coming on five errorless attacks. Kelly Reeves (San Diego, Calif.) charted four kills on six attacks and an ace for five points. Erica Denney (Centennial, Colo.) tallied five points with four kills on seven attacks to go with an ace. Tori Dixon (Savage, Minn.) tacked on four kills on six attacks, while Carly Thomas (Swansea, Ill.) recorded three aces and a kill from her setter position. Lydia Bai (Tustin, Calif.) added three kills on five swings, and Molly Kreklow (Hamlake, Minn.) rounded out the scoring with two aces.

“We played with great energy and accomplished our goals we set in practice earlier today,” Reeves said. “And we have continued to build more chemistry as a team.”

Bonilla tallied eight digs on nine attempts while providing 10 excellent service receptions on 12 errorless attempts. Thomas provided 13 assists in the match, while Kreklow added four assists.

“We worked hard both in practice this morning and in our game tonight to continually improve our overall team game,” Kreklow said. “We are getting closer and closer to our team’s goal for the tournament. Puerto Rico is awesome!”

“It is nice to see the girls play hard regardless of who our opponent is,” U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team Assistant Coach Neil Mason said. “In our locker room prior to the match, we discussed the fact that the best way to honor this team was to play hard, with our best efforts from the very first whistle. I am proud of the way this team has come together and I look forward to our next match on Wednesday.”

U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team Head Coach Jim Stone started the match with Thomas as setter, Denney and Dixon in the middle, Wittman and Orozco at outside hitter, Wopat at opposite. Bonilla is the designated libero for the tournament. Kreklow came off the bench in the first set, then started the second set at setter. Reeves started the second and third sets outside hitter. Thomas and Wittman returned to start in the third set, while Hutson started the third set at middle blocker and Bai at opposite.

Team USA converted 59.4 percent of its attacks into kills with only nine errors while the U.S. Virgin Islands was limited to four kills on 51 swings for a 7.84 kill percent. The U.S. held a commanding 17-1 ace advantage. The Americans also tallied a 37-9 dig margin and 2-1 block edge on defense.

No player on the U.S. Virgin Islands scored more than two points. Lanese Bough and Rhea Simon each totaled a pair of points, while Shikaya McCarthy and Hanifah Hendricks each had one point. U.S. Virgin Islands scored 15 of its 21 points off Team USA errors.

In other matches later today, Dominican Republic dominated Trinidad & Tobago 25-3, 25-6, 25-7 to earn Pool B’s second place and spot in the quarterfinals. Later today, Puerto Rico hosts Mexico at 8 p.m. and the winner will earn Pool A’s top spot and bye into the semifinals. The loser will face Pool B third-place Trinidad & Tobago in the quarterfinals on July 8.

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 1-0
Costa Rica 0-2

Pool B
USA 3-0
Dominican Republic 2-1
Trinidad & Tobago 1-2
U.S. Virgin Islands 0-3

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 def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-8, 25-11, 25-8
July 6: Dominican Republic def. U.S. Virgin Islands, 25-6, 25-3, 25-9
July 6: Mexico def. Costa Mesa, 25-12, 25-9, 25-15
July 7: Dominican Republic def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-3, 25-6, 25-7
July 7: United States def. U.S. Virgin Islands, 25-7, 25-7, 25-7
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)