U.S. Girls’ Youth Team Blanks Slovenia

Jan. 02, 2009, 3:26 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 2, 2009) - A U.S. Girls' Youth Team, in cooperation with Bring It Promotions, earned a 25-19, 25-23, 25-23 victory over the Slovenia Girls' Youth National Team on Jan. 2 in an exhibition match at Slovenia. Team USA added a 25-17 victory in a friendly fourth set.

Erica Denney (Centennial, Colo.) led the way with eight kills and four blocks, while Tori Dixon (Savage, Minn.) added seven kills and four blocks. Ashley Wittman (Shakopee, Minn.) paced the offense with 12 kills to go with two blocks. Jazmine Orozco (Lakewood, Calif.) chipped in six kills, three aces and a block, while Jane Croson (Lakewood, Calif.) added seven kills and a block. Anna Dorn (Munster, Ind.) charted two blocks in the third set.

Additional statistics, photos and journal entries on the match will be posted later on the Bring It Promotions Web site.

"It was a much, much better team performance today," U.S. Girls' Youth Team Head Coach Jim Stone said. "We had fewer self-imposed errors and we saw big improvements in blocking and passing."

U.S. Girls' Youth Team Assistant Coach Melissa Wolter echoed Stone's comments.

"This was a great win for us," Wolter said. "Having the opportunity to play the team that just won the MEVZA Tournament championship and get a victory is fantastic for this young group."

After the match, the team traveled to Rome, where it will train until Jan. 5. The U.S. squad will have at least two exhibition matches against the Italian Girls' Youth National Team while in Rome.

Earlier on the trip, the U.S. squad won the bronze medal at the MEVZA Tournament at Pula, Croatia. The Americans won their pool play matches against Israel and host Croatia. However, it lost a five-set match to Slovenia in the semifinals before defeating Croatia in three sets in the third-place match.

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 European Trip, 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 European Training Trip.

# - 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.)