U.S. Women's Junior Team Edges Poland at Worlds

July 21, 2009, 8:04 p.m. (ET)

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


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 21, 2009) – The U.S. Women’s Junior National Team defeated Poland 21-25, 25-11, 24-26, 25-19, 15-11 on Tuesday afternoon to win its first match of the 2009 FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship (Under-20) during Pool H second-round competition at Tijuana, Mexico.

Team USA concludes Pool H’s round robin competition on Wednesday against Venezuela at 8 p.m. Pacific Time. A U.S. victory over Venezuela could enable the Americans to still be in the hunt to finish as high as ninth place in the tournament. Both Poland and USA are now 1-1 in the pool, while Czech Republic (1-0) plays Venezuela (0-1) tonight.

Poland rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the first set and used a 3-0 run to break from an 11-all tie to win the opener 25-21. Team USA used a 6-0 run in the second set to establish a 12-5 lead, then scored 10 unanswered points to extend the margin to 23-9 en route to the 25-11 victory. Poland led the see-saw third set 24-21 before pulling out the 26-24 victory in which it had seven blocks despite 11 team errors of its own in the frame.

USA went up 8-4 in the fourth set, then held off every Poland challenge to win 25-19 and sending the match into a tiebreaker. Team USA used three blocks and outscored Poland 8-3 at the end of the fifth set to win 15-11.

“We came into the match knowing Poland is a good team,” U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Head Coach Paula Weishoff said. “We tried to eliminate the errors and today we were able to do that at times. We want to play for the 9-to-12 positions, but right now we only can concentrate on tomorrow’s match against Venezuela.”

USA middle blockers Alexis Olgard (Spokane, Wash.) and Amanda Dowdy (Lexington, Texas) combined for 31 points in the victory. Olgard led the U.S. with a match-high 16 points with 10 kills and six blocks. Dowdy (Lexington, Texas) added 15 points with 12 kills on 18 attacks and three aces. Morgan Broekhuis (Colorado Springs, Colo.) contributed 12 points with eight kills, three blocks and an ace. Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind.) charted 10 kills, one block and one ace for 12 points. Sara Shaw (Austin, Texas) tacked on six points, while Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif.) came off the bench to score crucial points in the fourth set. Kendall Bateman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) tallied two points, while Hayley Spelman (Las Vegas, Nev.) rounded out the scoring with a single point.

Bateman put up all 22 Team USA assists during the match. Shaw paced the U.S. back-row defense with seven digs and a team-leading 19 excellent receptions on 34 attempts. Kelsey Black (Amarillo) added six digs and 13 excellent receptions on 24 attempts. Broekhuis contributed six digs, while Hunt provided 14 excellent receptions on 24 attempts.

The U.S. held a 50-45 advantage in kills and benefited from 42 Poland errors in the match. One day after having 51 errors in a five-set loss to Czech Republic, the U.S. cut its errors nearly in half to 26 for the entire match. Poland held slim advantages over the Americans in blocks (15-13) and aces (6-5). Team USA held Poland to a .142 hitting efficiency and 30.4 percent on kill conversions. The Americans converted 34.5 percent of its attacks into kills as part of a .189 hitting efficiency.

“We are stepping in the right direction and getting better every day,” said Bateman, the USA captain. “I am very proud of our players because we were able to come back to win.”

The U.S. started captain Bateman at setter, Broekhuis at opposite, Dowdy and Olgard at middle blocker and Shaw and Hunt at outside hitter. Kelsey Black (Amarillo, Texas) was the designated libero for the match. Karissa Cook (Santa Cruz, Calif.) and Frederick were subs in the fourth and fifth sets as part of double switches, while Spelman came off the bench in the third set.

“We saw the matches of USA and we were surprised that they could keep the level of consistency the whole match,” Poland Head Coach Zbignie Krzyzanowski said. “Some of our players didn’t seem concentrated today, but maybe the reason was the good game of USA.”

Poland was led by Tamara Kaliszuk’s 15 points, while Maja Tokarska turned in 14 points that included a team-high six blocks.

The U.S., which was 0-3 in the tournament’s opening round Pool D, qualified for the FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship by winning the 2008 NORCECA Women’s Junior Continental Championship in Mexico.

Dowdy collected a kill after a Polish error to give the U.S. an early 3-1 lead in the opening set. Team USA increased the margin to 5-1 with a second Dowdy kill and a Broekhuis ace. Poland scored six of the next seven points to secure its first lead at 7-6. Poland pushed its lead to two points at 11-9, but it committed consecutive errors to knot the set back at 11-all. Poland bounced back from the two miscues by scoring the next three points to grab a 14-11 advantage. Olgard and Broekhuis connected for consecutive kills to slice away at the deficit to 17-16, then Poland committed an error to tie the set at 17-all. Poland answered with consecutive points to take the lead back at 19-17 and extended the cushion to 21-18. Poland pushed its advantage to four points at 23-19. Dowdy and Hunt tallied back-to-back kills to inch USA within two at 23-21, but Poland scored the final two points of the set for a 25-21 victory. Olgard led the U.S. with five points and both teams committed seven errors apiece. Poland benefited from three blocks and two aces in the first set.

Team USA used three early Poland errors to take a 3-1 advantage in the second set, but Poland immediately came back to tie the set at 3-all. Bateman gained a kill and was followed by a Hunt ace to lift the U.S. back in front 6-4. Dowdy and Broekhuis turned in kills to give the Americans an 8-5 lead at the first technical timeout, then Poland committed an error out of the break and Olgard followed with a block to increase the U.S. lead to five points at 10-5. Dowdy added an ace followed by another Olgard block to push the gap to seven points, 12-5. Poland turned in three consecutive points to close to four, 13-9. Olgard and Broekhuis turned in back-to-back kills and Poland committed an error at the second technical timeout to regain a seven-point edge for the U.S. at 16-9. Olgard added a block and kill out of the break around a Poland error to push the U.S. lead to double digits at 19-9 on a 6-0 run. Broekhuis, Hunt and Olgard added a point apiece around Poland’s ninth error of the set to extend the advantage to 23-9 as part of the 10 unanswered points. Broekhuis finished the set with a kill at 25-11. Olgard scored six points in the second set, including all four of the team’s blocks. Team USA limited its errors in the set to three.

Team USA gained the first two-point cushion of the third set at 6-4 after three straight Polish errors. Shaw added a fourth straight point with a block at 7-4. Shaw tallied a kill followed by a Hunt block to yield a 10-6 margin for the U.S. However, Poland erased the four-point cushion and took an 11-10 lead with five unanswered points. Poland committed two errors after a Dowdy kill giving the U.S. a 14-12 lead with three straight points. Poland came back to tie the set at 14-all with consecutive points. Dowdy slammed a kill and ace lifting the U.S. back in front by two, 17-15. However, Poland bolted into the lead at 19-17 on four straight points and extended the gap to three points at 21-18. Spelman came off the bench to provide a kill followed by a Poland error to cut the deficit to one, 21-20. Poland reached set point at 24-21 on consecutive points. Hunt scored back-to-back kills to save two set points and Broekhuis tied the set at 24-all with another kill. However, Poland scored the final two points of the set to win 26-24. Dowdy scored five points in the third set to lead the U.S.

The U.S. picked up a two-point cushion early in the fourth set at 5-3 after two straight Poland errors. Dowdy scored a kill and went back to serve an ace at 7-4. Olgard added a fourth straight point on a block to yield an 8-4 advantage at the first technical timeout. However, Poland erupted for three straight points out of the break to slice the deficit to one, 8-7. USA jumped back into the lead at 10-8 with an Olgard kill. A Poland error, kill from Hunt and a Broekhuis block upped the U.S. lead to 13-9. Olgard tacked on a kill and Poland committed its 34th error of the match to present the U.S. with a 15-10 edge. Poland rallied to score four consecutive points to move to within one, 15-14. Hunt notched two kills around a Poland miscue to push the U.S. in front 18-14. Poland narrowed the deficit in half at 19-17 on consecutive points. Frederick came off the bench and immediately contributed consecutive kills putting the U.S. back in front by four, 21-17. Poland committed an error at 22-17 to extend the American scoring run to three points. Poland scored consecutive points to move back to within three at 22-19. Frederick gave the U.S. five set points at 24-19 with a kill after a Poland error, then put up a block for her fourth point of the set and closing the victory at 25-19. Team USA scored four blocks in the fourth set and took advantage of nine Poland errors.

The fifth set started with a Broekhuis block and Hunt kill giving the Americans a quick 2-0 advantage. Poland answered with two points of its own to tie the set at 2-all. Hunt added a second kill of the set followed by a Poland error pushing the U.S. back in front 4-2. Again, Poland responded with two points to knot the set at 4-all. Dowdy followed by a Poland error with a kill to give the U.S. another two-point cushion at 7-5, but Poland scored three unanswered points to take its first lead at 8-7. Olgard put up a block to put the U.S. up 9-8. Broekhuis put up a block and Poland committed an error to give the U.S. a 13-10 advantage. Hunt gave the U.S. match point with a kill at 14-11 and the U.S. ended the match on Poland’s 42nd error at 15-11. Hunt scored three of the U.S. points in the tiebreaker while five different American players scored in the frame.

U.S. Women’s Junior National Team
# - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, Region, Club or College, High School Grad Year)
1 - Kendall Bateman (S, 5-11, Manhattan Beach, Calif., SCVA, University of Southern California, 2008)
2 - Kelsey Black (OH/L, 6-0, Amarillo, Texas, Sun Country, Texas A&M, 2008)
3 - Morgan Broekhuis (OPP/S, 6-6, Colorado Springs, Colo., Rocky Mountain, Colorado Juniors, 2010)
4 - Karissa Cook (S, 6-0, Santa Cruz, Calif., Northern Cal, Main Beach, 2009)
5 - Amanda Dowdy (MB, 6-3, Lexington, Texas, Lone Star, Texas Tech, 2008)
6 - Lilla Frederick (OH/L, 5-10, Huntington Beach, Calif., SCVA, Pepperdine, 2008)
7 - Alex Hunt (OH, 6-0, Granger, Ind., Hoosier, Michigan, 2008)
8 - Ashleigh McCord (OH, 6-1, Wylie, Texas, North Texas Region, Rice, 2008)
9 - Sarah Shaw (OH, 6-2, Austin, Texas, Lone Star, Austin Juniors, 2010)
10 – Alexis Olgard (MB, 6-6, Spokane, Wash., Evergreen, Spokane Splash, 2010)
11 - Hayley Spelman (OPP, 6-6, Las Vegas, Nev., SCVA, TCA, 2009)
12 - Mallory Woolridge (MB, 6-3, Henrico, Va., Old Dominion Region, USPAV, 2010)
Head Coach: Paula Weishoff (UC Irvine head coach)
Assistant Coach: John Corbelli (Texas A&M associate head coach)
Assistant Coach: Jim Stone (U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team head coach)
Team Leader: Denise Corlett (Stanford associate head coach)

FIVB Women’s Junior National Pool H Schedule/Results (2nd Round)
July 20: Czech Republic def. USA 20-25, 25-16, 25-13, 21-25, 15-10
July 20: Poland def. Venezuela 25-15, 25-20, 25-12
July 21: USA def. Poland 21-25, 25-11, 24-26, 25-19, 15-11
July 21: Venezuela vs. Czech Republic, 8 p.m.
July 22: Czech Republic vs. Poland, 4 p.m.
July 22: USA vs. Venezuela, 8 p.m.

Pool H Standings
Czech Republic 1-0
USA 1-1
Poland 1-1
Venezuela 0-1

FIVB Women’s Junior National Pool D Schedule/Results (1st Round)
July 16: Turkey def. Bulgaria 25-21, 19-25, 25-19, 25-10
July 16: Cuba def. USA 25-23, 23-25, 25-22, 25-11
July 17: Bulgaria def. USA 23-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-17
July 17: Turkey def. Cuba 25-16, 25-15, 25-22
July 18: Bulgaria def. Cuba 25-23, 25-22, 29-27, 25-23
July 18: Turkey def. USA 25-20, 25-20, 25-16

Pool D Standings
Turkey 3-0
Bulgaria 2-1
Cuba 1-2
USA 0-3