U.S. Girls' Youth National Team Cruises Past Tunisia

July 09, 2009, 1:37 a.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 9, 2009) -The United States Girls’ Youth National Team picked up its second straight win at the 2009 FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship in Nakhonratchasima, Thailand, a 3-0 (25-9, 25-19, 25-15) victory over Tunisia on July 9.

The United States, buoyed by momentum from their hard-fought five-set victory against Slovakia the day before, played nearly flawless volleyball. It committed only 11 errors, and out-blocked winless Tunisia 13-3.

“I think we played well today, but not our best,” U.S. captain Carly Wopat (Goleta, Calif.) said. “We will keep our good form for our next matches.”

The U.S. jumped out to an early 10-3 lead and stretched it to 18-8 thanks to fierce hitting by Katherine Bell (Mesquite, Tex.) and tough blocking by Carly Thomas (Swansea, Ill.) and Haley Eckerman (Waterloo, Iowa). It had little trouble the rest of the way, closing out the set 25-9. Tunisia raced to a 4-0 lead in the second set. The NORCECA champions struck back easily, catching Tunisia at 7-7 and pulling away 17-11. THe U.S. kept the African champions at a safe distance the rest of the set, winning by a comfortable 25-19. The United States was too strong for Tunisia in the third set, as it opened up a 6-1 lead. Tunisia attempted a comeback but it was unsuccessful and the United States won the set 25-15.

Carly Wopat led all players in scoring with 15 points including eight kills and seven blocks. Bell followed closely behind with 14 points, including ten kills, three blocks and one ace. Eckerman added nine kills and one block for ten points. Hannah Allison (Siloam Springs, Ark.) contributed with eight points including four kills, one block and three aces. Andrea McHugh (Yorba Linda, Calif.) added five kills and one ace for six points. Samantha Wopat (Goleta, Calif.) finished with three kills and one block for four points, and Thomas added two kills. Libero Jennifer Bonilla (Reseda, Calif.) pitched in with five digs and twelve receptions.

Marwa Abeidi led the African champions with 12 points including seven kills and five aces. Rahma Snoussi added three kills and two blocks for five points.

“We tried to do our best,” Tunisia head coach Ben Kaid Slim said. “The level between Tunisia and the USA is not the same. We just want our girls to gain more experiences and improve our standard.”

The win gives the United States a 2-4 overall record and a 2-1 record in Pool G, which is good enough for second place in the pool, behind Germany. They are slated to face NORCECA rival and Pool H winner Mexico, whom the United States' lost a five-set thriller to earlier in the tournament.

To view the Girls' Youth National Team press kit, click here.

2009 U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Hometown, High School, Grad, Volleyball Club / Region)
1 - Hannah Allison (S, 5-11, Siloam Springs, Ark., Siloam Springs, 2010, Ozark Volleyball Academy / Delta)
2 - Katherine Bell (MB, 6-1, Mesquite, Texas, North Mesquite, 2011, Texas Assault / North Texas)
- Jennifer Bonilla (L, 5-9, Reseda, Calif., Marymount, 2010, Sports Shack / Southern California)
4 - Erica Denney (MB, 6-5, Centennial, Colo., Grandview, 2010, Front Range / Rocky Mountain)
5 - Haley Eckerman (OH, 6-3, Waterloo, Iowa, Waterloo East, 2011, Iowa Elite / Iowa)
6 - Anna Dorn* (MB, 6-4, Munster, Ind., Munster, 2010, Dunes / Hoosier)
8 - Andrea McHugh (OH, 5-10, Yorba Linda, Calif., El Dorado, 2010, Impact VBC / Southern California)
9 - Madelyn Hutson (MB, 6-6, Brentwood, Tenn., Ravenwood, 2011, Impact / Southern)
10 - Katie Messing (OH, 6-4, The Woodlands, Texas, The Woodlands High School, 2011, Asics Willowbrook / Lone Star Region)
13 - Olivia Okoro (MB, 6-0, Carrollton, Texas, Hebron, 2011, Dallas Skyline Juniors / North Texas)
16 - Carly Thomas (S, 5-11, Swansea, Ill., Althoff Catholic, 2010, Southwest Illinois VBC / Gateway)
18 - Samantha Wopat (OH, 6-1, Goleta, Calif., Dos Pueblos, 2010, Santa Barbara VBC / Southern California)
19 - Carly Wopat (OH, 6-2, Goleta, Calif., Dos Pueblos, 2010, Santa Barbara VBC / Southern California)

NOTE *: Katie Messing has replaced an injured Anna Dorn on the 12-player U.S. Girls' Youth National Team

Head Coach: Jim Stone
Assistant Coach: Melissa Wolter
Assistant Coach: Chuck Erbe
Team Leader/Manager: Heath Hoke
Doctor: Jodi Pelegrin
Team Statistics: Herb "Spike" Summers

Pool G
United States 2-1
Germany 2-0
Slovakia 1-1
Tunisia 0-3