USA in Pool D at Women’s Junior World Championship

June 09, 2009, 6:30 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 9, 2009) – The U.S. Women’s Junior National Volleyball Team will compete against Bulgaria, Cuba and Turkey as part of the opening round Pool D at the FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship held July 16-25 at Tijuana and Mexicali, Mexico.

Other opening round groups include host Mexico, Netherlands, Venezuela and Thailand in Pool A. China, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic and Germany are slotted in Pool B. Brazil, Dominican Republic, Kenya and Poland round out the teams in Pool C. The pools were decided at the Drawing of Lots Ceremony held on June 8 at Tijuana, Mexico.

“The opportunity to represent the USA at the World Junior Championship is an honor and privilege,” said U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Head Coach Paula Weishoff. “The pools are set and we will have Cuba, Bulgaria and Turkey. Right now our focus will be on putting our best team on the court and then playing one match at a time.”

Italy, Japan and Egypt announced their withdrawal from the tournament last month, which allowed for Czech Republic, Thailand and Kenya to enter the tournament.

According to the competition format, the top two teams in each four-team round-robin pool will advance to the final phase of the competition to be held in Mexicali. The other eight teams will compete in Tijuana for positions nine through 16.

The U.S. Women’s Junior National Team qualified for the FIVB World Championship by winning the NORCECA Women’s Junior Continental Championship last summer at Saltillo, Mexico. Paula Weishoff-Hanold (head coach at UC Irvine) returns as head coach of the team. She will be assisted by John Corbelli (associate head coach at Texas A&M University) and Jim Stone (U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team Head Coach/retired Ohio State head coach). Denise Corlett (associate head coach at Stanford University) will serve as the team leader on the trip.

This year’s U.S. Women’s Junior National Team includes setters Kendall Bateman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Karissa Cook (Santa Cruz, Calif.), while Morgan Broekhuis (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will compete for time at setter and opposite. Kelsey Black (Amarillo, Texas) and Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif.) will battle for the libero position, while the player not selected as libero will see court time as outside hitter and defensive specialist.

At outside hitter, the team will have Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind.), Ashleigh McCord (Wylie, Texas) and Sarah Shaw (Austin, Texas) competing for playing time. Hayley Spelman (Las Vegas, Nev.) will compete for the starting opposite position. Amanda Dowdy (Thrall, Texas), Alexis Olgard (Spokane, Wash.) and Mallory Woolridge (Henrico, Va.) will be the team’s middle blockers. Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.), who was originally selected to the 12-player elite roster, withdrew due to an injury and was replaced by Olgard.

Prior to leaving for Mexico on July 14, the team will train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center at Chula Vista, Calif.

Frederick and Spelman competed on the 2008 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team which captured the NORCECA gold medal. McCord will be pulling double duty this summer as she also competed on one of the U.S. Women’s National A2 Teams at the USA Adult Open Championships at Minneapolis. Meanwhile, Bateman is the only player with past FIVB World Championship experience as she competed in the 2007 FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship.

2009 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 (OP/S, 6-6, Colorado Springs, Colo., Rocky Mountain, Colorado Juniors, 2010)
4 - Karissa Cook (S, 6-0, Santa Cruz, Northern Cal, Main Beach, 2009)
5 - Amanda Dowdy (MB, 6-3, Thrall, 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)
* Katie Slay (MB, 6-7, Raleigh, N.C., Carolina Region, Triangle VBC, 2010)
* Note: Katie Slay originally named to the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team, but withdrew due to injury. Alexis Olgard was named to replace her on the roster.

Head Coach: Paula Weishoff-Hanold (UC Irvine head coach)
Assistant Coach: John Corbelli (Texas A&M associate head coach)
Assistant Coach: Jim Stone (U.S. Girls’ Youth Head Coach/retired Ohio State head coach)
Team Leader/Manager: Denise Corlett (Stanford associate head coach)