U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Ticketed To NORCECA Gold Medal Match

July 26, 2008, 7:24 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 26, 2008) – Darcy Dorton (Muncie, Ind.) scored 17 points to lead the 2008 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team to a 23-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-19 victory over Cuba during the semifinal round at the NORCECA Women’s Junior Continental Championship at Saltillo, Mexico.

The U.S. victory not only secures a spot in the gold-medal match on July 27, but also a spot in the 2009 FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship. According to the NORCECA tournament regulations handout, the top three finishers in the NORCECA event earn spots into the 2009 FIVB World Championship.

Team USA will face the Dominican Republic for the NORCECA gold medal. Dominican Republic defeated Puerto Rico 25-15, 25-18, 15-25, 25-16 in the other semifinal. Dominican Republic is the only team to defeat the U.S. in the tournament, that being the opening match of pool play. Cuba, which won Pool B with an undefeated record, falls into the bronze-medal match and will play Puerto Rico.

Dorton notched 13 kills on 23 attacks to go with three blocks and an ace to lead Team USA. She added a team-high six digs and compiled 18 excellent serve receptions on 25 attempts. Michelle Bartsch (Maryville, Ill.) and Hayley Spelman added 10 points apiece in the victory. Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif.) contributed nine points all on kills, in addition to 12 excellent serve receptions and three digs.

Cat Highmark (Huntington Beach, Calif.) chipped in four blocks, three aces and a kill for eight points to go with six assists. Sha’Dare McNeal (Fallbrook, Calif.) tacked on six points with a match-high four aces. Gina Mancuso (Bellevue, Neb.) added two points, while Anne Luhrsen (Wheaton, Ill.) rounding out the scoring with a single point.

The U.S. started Highmark at setter, Bartsch and Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) at middle blocker, Dorton and Frederick at outside hitter and Spelman at opposite. Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) is the designated libero for the tournament. McNeal started the final three sets at middle blocker in place of Slay, while Mancuso was subbed into the match in all but the second set. Luhrsen was a reserve off the bench in the fourth set.

The U.S. service game played havoc with Cuba as the Americans held a 12-2 ace advantage. Further, Team USA recorded a 65.2 excellent service reception percent (45 of 69) to the Cubans’ 56.7 percent. Cuba held a 50-42 advantage in kills and 12-9 margin in blocks, but it committed 35 errors in the four-set match in comparison to Team USA’s 18 miscues.

Egli Sabin Terry led Cuba with 13 points, while Dayesi Masso Casalis and Gyselle de la Silva Franco each totaled 12 points.

Earlier today, Canada defeated Trinidad & Tobago 25-16, 25-13, 25-11 in a classification round match for fifth through eighth place. Canada will face the winner of the Mexico-Costa Rica match played later today for fifth place on July 27.

For more information on the NORCECA Women’s Junior Continental Championship, click here. For the NORCECA event site, click here.

2008 U.S. Women's Junior National Team
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Grad Year, Hometown, Club, Region)
2 - Michelle Bartsch (MB/OPP, 6-4, 2008, Maryville, Ill., Southwest Illinois VB, Gateway)
5 - ShaDare McNeal (MB, 6-0, 2009, Fallbrook, Calif., Epic, Southern Cal)
6 - Kristin Carpenter (L, 5-7, 2009, Mechanicsville, Va., Richmond Volleyball Club, Old Dominion)
7 - Darcy Dorton (OH, 6-2, 2009, Muncie, Ind., Asics Munciana, Hoosier)
11 - Hayley Spelman (OPP, 6-6, 2009, Las Vegas, Nev., Nevada Juniors, Southern Cal)
12 - Lilla Frederick (OH, 5-10, 2008, Huntington Beach, Calif., TCA, Southern Cal)
13 - Cat Highmark (S, 5-10, 2008, Huntington Beach, Calif., Cal Juniors, Southern Cal)
14 - Annie Luhrsen (S, 6-0, 2008, Wheaton, Ill., SPVB, Great Lakes)
16 - Gina Mancuso (OH, 6-1, 2009, Bellevue, Neb., Nebraska Volleyball Academy, Great Plains)
17 - Hannah Werth (OH/OPP, 6-0, 2009, Springfield, Ill., Illini Elite, Great Lakes)
18 - Katie Slay (MB, 6-6, 2010, Raleigh, N.C., Triangle Volleyball Club, Carolina)
19 - Bailey Webster (OPP, 6-3, 2009, Baltimore, Md., TCA-Baltimore, Chesapeake)

Head Coach: Paula Weishoff-Hanold
Assistant Coach: Kim Jagd
Assistant Coach: John Corbelli

2008 NORCECA Women’s Junior Continental Championship

Pool A: Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, USA
Pool B: Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago

Pool A
Dominican Republic 3-0
USA 2-1
Canada 1-2
Costa Rica 0-3

Pool B
Cuba 3-0
Puerto Rico 2-1
Mexico 1-2
Trinidad & Tobago 0-3

Pool Play Matches
July 22: Canada vs. Costa Rica, 25-15, 21-25, 22-25, 25-19, 15-10
July 22: Cuba def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-11, 25-12, 25-7
July 22: Dominican Republic def. USA, 25-23, 24-26, 25-20, 25-17
July 22: Puerto Rico def. Mexico, 20-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-21
July 23: USA def. Costa Rica, 25-12, 25-14, 25-11
July 23: Puerto Rico def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-11, 25-13, 25-15
July 23: Dominican Republic def. Canada, 27-29, 25-16, 25-15, 25-17
July 23: Cuba def. Mexico, 15-25, 25-11, 25-22, 25-15
July 24: Dominican Republic def. Costa Rica, 25-9, 25-20, 25-14
July 24: Cuba def. Puerto Rico, 23-25, 27-29, 25-14, 25-16, 15-10
July 24: USA def. Canada, 25-22, 25-13, 18-25, 25-21
July 24: Mexico def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-14, 25-11, 25-13

July 25: Puerto Rico (2B) def. Canada (3A), 25-22, 25-19, 25-7
July 25: USA (2A) def. Mexico (3B), 25-18, 25-17, 25-21

Classification 5-8
July 26: Canada def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-16, 25-13, 25-11
July 26: Mexico vs. Costa Rica

July 26: USA (2A) def. Cuba (1B), 23-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-19
July 26: Dominican Republic (1A) def. Puerto Rico (2B), 25-15, 25-18, 15-25, 25-16

Final Classification Round
July 27: Trinidad & Tobago (4B) vs. Mexico (3B)/Costa Rica (4A), 1 p.m. (7th-place match)
July 27: Canada (3A) vs. Mexico (3B)/Costa Rica (4A), 3 p.m. (5th-place match)
July 27: Cuba (1B) vs. Puerto Rico (2B), 5 p.m. (Bronze Medal Match)
July 27: USA (2A) vs. Dominican Republic (1A), 7 p.m. (Gold Medal Match)