U.S. Girls' Youth Team Falls to Mexico in Five

July 03, 2009, 8:47 a.m. (ET)

Maura Gladys
Intern, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6886
E-Mail: maura.gladys@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 3, 2009) - The U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team was stunned by Mexico 3-2 (25-22, 20-25, 15-25, 26-24, 9-15) on July 2, the opening day of pool play at the 2009 FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship in Nakhonratchasima, Thailand.

The match, which was a rematch of the 2008 NORCECA Gold Medal final, was attended by 950 people and lasted for a grueling two hours and eight minutes.

“We had an uneven performance,” said U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team head coach Jim Stone. “We attacked well, but in some critical situations we had too many mistakes.”

The United States took a dominant first-set lead and hung on to win 25-22. They dropped the second and third sets 20-25 and 15-25 thanks in part to Mexico’s strong defense. Team USA rallied to pull out an exciting 26-24 victory in the fourth set, but wasn’t able to finish off the final set, losing 9-15.

Team captain Carly Wopat (Goleta, Calif.) led the United States with 16 points, including eight spikes, six blocks, four aces and two digs. Haley Eckerman (Waterloo, Iowa) followed with 14 spikes, one dig, one block and two aces for a total of 15 points.  Andrea McHugh (Yorba Linda, Calif.) had five points, including four spikes, one block, and three digs while Katherin Bell (Mesquite, Texas) added 15 points including 11 spikes and three blocks.

Samantha Wopat (Goleta, Calif.) contributed four kills, two aces and one dig which was good for six points and Carly Thomas (Swansea, Ill.) pitched in with four spikes, one block, two digs and 21 sets. Katie Messing (The Woodlands, Tex.) and Hannah Allison (Siloam Springs, Ark.) rounded out the scoring with one kill each, while Messing contributed one ace and Allison added in one block.

“Our teamwork is fine,” said team captain Carly Wopat. “But in some moments, we could not play well. We will learn more from the next matches.”

Cecilia Ross led Mexico with 12 spikes, seven aces and two digs. Andrea Rangel added 14 spikes and three blocks.
The U.S. will attempt to bounce back against Belgium on Saturday, July 4th. In their first pool play match, Belgium defeated Japan 3-1 in a gritty, come-from-behind win.