U.S. Girls' Youth at World Championship - Match vs. Mexico

July 03, 2009, 9:11 a.m. (ET)

Competition Day 1

We are scheduled to play at 12:30. Breakfast at 9 am, team meeting immediately following. Bus leaves at 11 am. Up to this point the team has worked on getting acclimated and ready to compete. We have scrimmaged Slovakia, Germany and Peru thus far. Today‘s match will be critical for our advancement out of pool. Mexico is likely the easiest match we will have in our pool as both Belgium and Japan won their respective qualifying tournaments to get here.

Opening ceremony was quick and easy as there was a dinner and team presentation last night at the hotel. All of our accommodations have been exceptional. Thailand is very accommodating as is the Organizing committee.

Starting middles for USA Katherine Bell, Carly Wopat, Outsides Haley Eckerman, Andrea McHugh, Right side Sam Wopat, Setting Carly Thomas and Jen Bonilla as Libero. It looks like about 4 different secondary schools are here with at least 300 students in attendance.

SET 1

USA starts strong with and early 5-2 lead. The team is full of energy as is the crowd. MEX ties the score at 6-6. Side out back and forth from both team and Eckerman tools the block for the 8-7 technical timeout.

Still strong after the timeout, the bench gets the crowd chanting USA and we move to 10-8. Both teams are close to even on errors. But USA’s block is challenging MEX. Thomas with her second kill takes USA to a 13-10 lead forces a TO from MEX. McHugh with a stuff block USA Leads 14-11. Service error and communication error brings MEX even at 14-14. Stone take his first TO. The players are a showing some of their anxiety with some unforced errors. USA is handling MEX varied offense well. USA leads 16-15 for the second Technical TO.

Two strong attacks from USA we lead 18-15. USA maintains a strong block advancing to 20-15 forcing another TO by MEX. USA continue advance. MEX rallies with some flawless pressure and close the gap trailing only 20-23 as Stone takes his second TO.

McHugh delivers taking USA to 24-21. Tooling USA’s block MEX wins the side out 21-24. Received by Bonilla, set outside to McHugh and she closes Set 1, 25-22. USA Blocking was the difference for set 1.

SET 2

No Changes to the line-up for Set 2. Set 2 starts with impeccable defense from MEX keeping the ball in play with a kill and an Ace MEX leads 2-0. USA with valiant defense and a big C. Wopat block give USA point 1. A kill by S. Wopat and a hitting error from MEX ties USA 4-4. Eckerman with a kill followed by an error gives MEX 5-4. USA struggles to hit in as S. Wopat hits long giving MEX the lead 8-7 for the first TTO.

MEX keeps the momentum after the TTO raising their lead to 12-8. Stone takes his first TO. C. Wopat answers after the TO with a big kill on the outside. Errors by both team MEX has possession and the lead 13-10. C/ Wopat with another big kill and a service ace forces MEX first TO. USA 12-13. USA with big attacks from Eckerman and Bell take USA to their first lead of the match 16-15 and into the second TTO.

Thomas to serve and digs big but a hitting error by Bell gives MEX the ball. Katie Messing into the match for McHugh. USA ties but can’t gain a lead. MEX up 19-18. USA struggles to pass MEX leads 21-18. McHugh back in for Messing and Stone takes his second TO.

Mexico attack while USA tips MEX leads 23-18. MEX with a kill for 24-18, Hanna Allison goes in for Eckerman. USA fights to win the ball for 19-24. MEX closed the match finding a hole on the floor of USA 25-20. MEX made fewer errors than Set I while USA increased their errors. With Sets tied USA has a lot of work against an emotionally charged MEX.

SET 3

Same starting line-up for Set 3. The crowd chants USA as we begin but the first ball falls for MEX. Error by USA MEX leads 2-0. S. Wopat and Bell get a stuff block for USA’s first point. MEX refuses to let a ball hit the floor and keep the lead. High of the hand of USA followed with a service ace MEX leads 5-2. USA struggles with hitting and passing. MEX with a four point lead Stone takes his first TO trailing 2-7.

Handling error by Thomas brings about the first TTO with USA trailing by 6. MEX leads 8-2.

Messing into the match for McHugh. MEX handles USA attack and drives the lead to 10-2. USA gets two from MEX on errors USA 4-10. Allison subbed for Thomas. Messing with a kill to take USA to 6-11. Allison gets a big block and USA is back within four. Ace by Messing forces MEX to take a TO. USA trails 8-11.

Mexico comes out of the TO with a kill. McHugh back in for Messing. Hitting errors by Eckerman MEX leads 16-8 at the second TTO.

USA continues to struggle with controlling the ball MEX moved ahead 17-8. Thomas back in for Allison and a kill by C. Wopat and Thomas gives USA 10-17. Thomas to serve 11-18. Bonilla touches an out of bounds ball for MEX 19-11. Eckerman with a tip kill followed by a service error lets MEX hold an eight point lead. 20-12. Two consecutive service errors and hitting error gives MEX with a dominant lead 23-13. USA Struggle to be in system by McHugh finds a kill on the outside. S. Wopat serving to 15-23 a lost joust and tip error gives MEX set 2 25-17. USA’s block was absent during set 2 and 3, as MEX worked the many attacking options they are known for. Unforced errors gave MEX and easy set win over USA.

SET 4

USA maintains the starting lineup of Bell, C. Wopat, Eckerman, McHugh, S. Wopat, Thomas and Bonilla. USA draws first blood with a kill by Eckerman. Both Bonilla and Thomas with big digs gives Eckerman the chance for kill two. Tip by MEX for possession and a quick side out by Bell on the slide. USA leads 3-1. Handling call against MEX and an ace by Eckerman USA leads 5-1. MEX takes a fiery TO.

MEX get a kill and a service ace for 3-5. USA really struggle controlling the ball but keeps it in play for MEX to error. Exchange of kills by both USA leads 7-4. Hitting error by MEX we go into the first TTO leading 8-5.

McHugh to serve and C. Wopat finds the stuff block we have been missing, USA up 9-5. Better control and offense by USA we kill to lead 11-6 forcing the second TO by MEX.

MEX goes high off the hands for a kill. Bell and Eckerman hit long and MEX closes in trailing only 9-11. Kill and service ace by MEX they close the gap to one. Another hitting error by USA and we are tied at 12-12. Stone takes his first TO.

Bell with a kill out of the TO. Allison subbed for Eckerman. MEX ties the score 13-13. McHugh blocked and MEX takes their first lead 14-13. Bell with a kill tied 14 each. Kill by MEX followed with a service error tied 15-15. Allison with a kill and USA leads at the second TTO 16-15.

Messing in for McHugh after the TTO. MEX middle is shutting down the outside attack of USA as Messing gets blocked. Messing with a kill and C. Wopat with a block USA moves ahead 18-16. MEX subs after a kill by C. Wopat. MEX answers with a slide kill and McHugh is back in the match. Bell with a kill, USA leads 21-17. C. Wopat serves short, Bell hits long and MEX is within two. Another hitting error and Stone take his second TO USA leading 21-20.

Eckerman back in for Allison and gets a kill. USA 22-20. Kills exchanged by USA and MEX USA leads 23021. Eckerman’s tough serve and a hitting error gives USA their first set point. MEX kills from the right. 22-24. Bell hits long MEX 23-24. MEX ties with a four contact call on USA. MEX hitting error and USA has set point two. Another error by MEX USA wins 26-24. Both teams were streaky with emotion and point runs but USA held the lead to go into a deciding set.

SET 5

No lineup changes for Set 5. McHugh to serve. After three attacks C. Wopat stuffs MEX. MEX answer with two kills and forces an error on USA taking the lead 3-1. Eckerman must take three swings to find a kill against MEX great defense. Net violation for USA and Stone takes a TO, MEX leading 4-2. USA tips and MEX hits. MEX leads 5-2. MEX gives USA the ball with a service error and Eckerman’s line shot helps USA closes the Gap. Bell with a kill USA ties the score at 5. Thomas with a big dig allowing Eckerman to kill USA takes their first lead. MEX answer high off the hands to tie but serves short. Eckerman serves short both teams tied at 7. Hitting error from MEX we switch side 8-7.

Messing in to serve for Bell. MEX with the kill. USA tips and MEX answers with a kill. Service ace by MEX to lead 10-8. Stone takes his second TO. USA let a ball fall followed by a MEX block stretching their lead to 4. MEX error and S. Wopat will serve trailing 9-12. MEX with a momentous kill at 13-9. A hitting error by McHugh gives MEX their first match point. Thomas’s dump is handled by MEX giving them a swing for a kill to win the match 15-9. USA was out attacked and out dug by MEX concluding Day 1 with a five set loss for USA. Congratulations to Mexico for their first match victory at the World Championship.

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