Associate Director of Communications
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 2, 2011) – The U.S. Women’s National Training Team defeated the Japan Girls’ Youth National Team 25-10, 25-12, 25-17 on Wednesday evening in a friendly exhibition match held at Concordia University in Irvine, Calif.
The U.S. also won yesterday’s exhibition match versus the Japan Girls’ Youth National Team by scores of 25-11, 25-20, 25-19.
A total of nine different U.S. players scored at least one point during Wednesday night’s exhibition. Kindra Carlson (Eaton, Colo.), Becky Perry (Austin, Texas) and Kaitlin Sather (Santa Rosa, Calif.) all scored 11 points in the victory. Sather tallied a team-high 10 kills on 20 errorless attacks to go with a block, while Perry totaled eight kills on 16 errorless attacks to go with three aces. Carlson produced six kills on 13 errorless swings, along with three aces and two blocks.
Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) notched seven points with six kills on 11 attacks and a block. Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif.) charted three aces, two kills and two blocks for six points. Ashley Benson (Bloomington, Ind.) pocketed two kills and two aces for four points, while Naomi Johnson (Bloomington, Minn.) collected three points. Rounding out the scoring were Dominique Olowolafe (Lansing, Mich.) and Kari Pestolesi (Huntington Beach, Calif.) with two and one point, respectively.
U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) started Lloyd at setter, Carlson at opposite, Benson and Gibbemeyer at middle blocker and Perry and Sather at outside hitter. Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) was the designated libero for the first two sets, while Ellie Blankenship (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) was the U.S. libero in the third set. Olowolafe subbed into the match during the second set and started the third set along with Johnson, replacing Benson and Gibbemeyer. Cami Croteau (Orange, Calif.) was a back-row sub in all three sets.
Perry produced a 62 percent positive reception on a team-high eight attempts, while Sather had a 50 percent positive reception on eight attempts. Banwarth totaled five reception attempts with an 80 percent excellent reception mark.
Japan had 10 of its 12 Girls’ Youth National Team roster members score at least one point in the match. Yui Asahi, Nozomi Ito and Sakura Doi all scored five points apiece in the match.
Team USA produced a 46 percent kill percent with only four hitting errors on 78 attacks for a .410 hitting efficiency. The Americans held a 7-2 margin in aces, along with a 13-4 advantage in service aces. The Japan Girls’ Youth National Team was limited to a 26 kill percent for the match.
The U.S. jumped out to early leads in all three sets, starting with an 8-2 advantage in the first set. The Americans reached the second technical timeout leading 16-9 before closing out the set with nine of the final 10 points. The U.S. scored five of its seven blocks in the opening set. In the second set, Team USA inched its leads to 8-4 and 16-8 at the technical timeouts and rolled to the 25-12 victory as it scored seven of its 13 aces in the frame. Japan fell behind 8-3 in the third set, but hung close at 20-14. The U.S. finished the set at 25-17.
The U.S. Women’s National Training Team is currently in its winter training block that runs through mid-April.
Japan’s Girls’ Youth National Team, which has qualified for the 2011 FIVB Girls’ Youth (U-18) World Championship, is being hosted by the U.S. Women’s National Team during an eight-day training block in Anaheim. The Japanese squad arrived in California on Feb. 25 and leaves on March 4. During its stay, the team has train several times at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim. Gen Kawakita, an assistant coach on Japan’s Girls’ Youth National Team, was a volunteer assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team during the last Olympic Quadrennial and served as USA’s top assistant coach at the 2007 Pan American Games.
U.S. Women’s National Training Team Roster for Exhibitions
# - Name (Position, Hometown, College)
1 – Kayla Banwarth (Libero, Dubuque, Iowa, University of Nebraska)
2 – Ashley Benson (Middle Blocker, Bloomington, Ind., Indiana University)
3 – Kindra Carlson (Opposite, Eaton, Colo., University of Washington)
4 – Lauren Gibbemeyer (Middle Blocker, St. Paul, Minn., University of Minnesota)
5 – Jenna Hagglund (Setter, West Chester, Ohio, University of Washington)
6 – Naomi Johnson (Middle Blocker, Bloomington, Minn., Northwestern University)
7 – Carli Lloyd (Setter, Bonsall, Calif., University of California-Berkeley)
8 – Becky Perry (Outside Hitter, Austin, Texas, University of Washington)
9 – Kari Pestolesi (Outside Hitter, Huntington Beach, Calif., UC Irvine)
10 – Julianne Piggott (Outside Hitter, Newport Beach, Calif., UC Irvine)
11 – Kaitlin Sather (Outside Hitter, Santa Rosa, Calif., UCLA)
13 – Dominique Olowolafe (Middle Blocker, Lansing, Mich., Cal Poly)
14 – Cami Croteau (Libero, Orange, Calif., Cal State Fullerton)
17 – Ellie Blankenship (Libero, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, University of Northern Iowa)
Head Coach: Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Assistant Coaches: Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.) and Paula Weishoff (Irvine, Calif.)
Technical Coordinator: Jenni Hirneisen (Parachute, Colo.)
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek (Silver Lake, Minn.)