U.S. Women's Junior Team Sweeps Venezuela

July 23, 2009, 1:55 a.m. (ET)

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


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 22, 2009) – The U.S. Women’s Junior National Team won its second straight match of the 2009 FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship (Under-20) with a 25-12, 25-17, 27-25 victory over Venezuela on Wednesday evening to finish with a 2-1 record during the second-round Pool H phase of the competition in Tijuana, Mexico.

Team USA’s victory pushes it into the 9-12 classification round to be held July 24-25 in Tijuana. Earlier today, Czech Republic rallied to defeat Poland 20-25, 23-25, 25-17, 25-21, 15-12 in the other Pool H match enabling the U.S. to remain in contention for the 9-12 classification round with a victory over Venezuela. The U.S. started the World Championship with a 0-3 record in first-round robin-robin competition.

During the 9-12 classification round, the U.S. will be joined by China (Pool G winner), Cuba (Pool G runnerup) and Czech Republic (Pool H winner) all battling for ninth place. Competing for the overall championship in the semifinals will be Brazil (Pool E winner), Bulgaria (Pool E runnerup), Germany (Pool F winner) and Dominican Republic (Pool F runnerup). The match schedule for all classification matches will be determined on Friday.

In the USA-Venezuela match, the Americans benefited from four blocks and 10 other Venezuelan errors to dominate the opening set 25-12 as all six starters scored at least one point. Team USA built a 15-8 lead in the second, but weathered a Venezuelan 6-1 run reducing the margin to 17-15 before scoring eight of the final 10 points for a 25-17 victory. The Americans overcame an 18-15 deficit in the third set using a 4-0 run to take the lead back at 19-18, then finished the set at 27-25 with their third match-point opportunity.

“We wanted to set the tone of the match from the beginning and we did that,” U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Head Coach Paula Weishoff said. “They play a different system than us, so we made some adjustments. This team has been together only for a week, so it has been hard to find a starting line-up. We will continue to play hard and hope for the best.”

Team USA was led by two high school who players who will graduate in 2010. Sara Shaw (Austin, Texas) led all scorers with 12 points via nine kills, two blocks and an ace. Alexis Olgard (Spokane, Wash.) chipped in 11 points with seven kills and team-leading four blocks. Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind.) provided nine kills and an ace for 10 points. Amanda Dowdy (Lexington, Texas) contributed four kills, two blocks and an ace for seven points. Hayley Spelman (Las Vegas, Nev.) sparked the American offense with six kills and a block off the bench. Ashleigh McCord (Wylie, Texas) added two points, while Kendall Bateman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Morgan Broekhuis (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Mallory Woolridge (Henrico, Va.) rounded out the scoring with a point apiece.

Shaw and Hunt each picked up seven digs to lead the American defense, while Black added five digs and a team-high nine excellent receptions on 15 attempts. Bateman provided 28 assists in the match, while Karissa Cook (Santa Cruz, Calif.) came off the bench in double-switches to add six assists.

The U.S. held a 12-3 block advantage over Venezuela as seven different Americans produced at least one block in the match. Team USA held margins of 37-27 in kills and 3-2 in aces while limiting its own errors to 22 for the match. The U.S. converted 34.9 percent of its attacks into kills with a .198 hitting efficiency. Meanwhile, Venezuela was limited to a 25.8 kill percent and .170 hitting efficiency.

“We are satisfied with the way some of our subs came in and played today,” Bateman said. “We are going to keep playing hard. For many players in our team this is their first international experience.”

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. Cook was a sub in all three sets. McCord, Spelman and Woolridge came off the bench in the final two sets, while Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif.) was a reserve in the third set.

“We have half of the players of this team competing today in Brazil and we don’t have a big population of volleyball players so it is difficult to replace them,” Venezuela Head Coach Sergio Rivero said. “Some of them are playing out of position and making a great effort.”

Mariangel Perez Rodriguez paced Venezuela with 11 points all on kills, while Wendy Romero Franco provided 10 points in the loss.

The U.S. qualified for the FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship by winning the 2008 NORCECA Women’s Junior Continental Championship in Mexico.

Dowdy put up a block followed by a kill after a Hunt kill to give the U.S. a 5-3 cushion in the first set. Shaw downed a kill and Dowdy served an ace to extend the USA lead to 7-4. The Americans stretched the lead to four at 10-6 after an Olgard kill and Venezuelan error. Back-to-back Venezuela errors gave the U.S. a 12-5 lead, but Venezuela gained the two points back immediately at 12-7. A Broekhuis block followed a Venezuela error allowing the U.S. to regain its seven-point lead at 14-7. The U.S. went into the second technical timeout up 16-8 after a Bateman block. Shaw picked up consecutive kills to allow the U.S. to double-up the score at 18-9. A Venezuela error and Dowdy blocked lifted the U.S. in front 20-9 with its fifth straight point. Venezuela cut into the lead with consecutive points at 20-11. The American lead shifted to 12 points at 24-12 after an Olgard kill and two Venezuela errors. The U.S. scored a fourth straight point to end the set at 25-12. Dowdy led all scorers in the opening set with six points.

Hunt scored five consecutive kills to give the U.S. a 6-3 edge in the second set. Consecutive Venezuela errors provided the U.S. an 8-4 lead at the first technical timeout. A Shaw kill and Olgard block increased the American advantage to five points at 12-7. After a Venezuela error, Shaw served an ace and Olgard followed with a block to increase the U.S. margin to 15-8. Venezuela went on a 6-1 run to cut the gap to two, 17-15. After a Venezuelan error, Shaw put up a block and Spelman chipped in a kill and block on consecutive plays to push the U.S. lead back to six at 21-15. A Hunt kill and McCord block pushed the U.S. scoring run to six unanswered points at 23-16. Spelman scored two kills around a Venezuelan point to end the set at 25-17. Hunt scored six points in the second set, while Shaw added five and Spelman came off the bench late to provide four points. Team USA tallied five blocks in the period.

The U.S. went up 5-3 in the third set as Olgard put a block before Venezuela tied the score at 6-all. Back-to-back Venezuelan errors gave the U.S. its two-point cushion again at the first technical timeout at 8-6. Venezuela scored four unanswered points to nab a 13-11 advantage – its first two-point cushion during the match. Venezuela added to the spurt with a fourth straight point at 14-11. Woolridge scored a kill followed by a Shaw block to narrow the deficit to one, 15-14. However, Venezuela responded with a point on each side of the second technical timeout to return to a three-point cushion at 17-14. Olgard hammered a kill between two Venezuelan errors to tie the score at 18-all on a 3-0 run. Spelman gave the U.S. the lead back at 19-18 on the Americans’ fourth straight point. Olgard put up a block to yield a 21-19 U.S. advantage after a Venezuela error. Venezuela came back to tie the set 23-all. The U.S. finally won the set 27-25 won consecutive Venezuelan errors, the winner on a strong serve by Cook. Shaw and Olgard each totaled four points in the third set and Venezuela stayed close thanks to 12 American errors in the stanza.

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 - Sara 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: Czech Republic def. Venezuela 25-18, 25-12, 25-9
July 22: Czech Republic def. Poland 20-25, 23-25, 25-17, 25-21, 15-12
July 22: USA def. Venezuela 25-12, 25-17, 27-25

Pool H Standings
Czech Republic 3-0
USA 2-1
Poland 1-2
Venezuela 0-3

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