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Women's U23 Drops World Semifinal Match

Oct. 11, 2013, 10:10 p.m. (ET)

Lauren Cook sets for the U.S. during the FIVB Volleyball Women's U-23 World Championship.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 11, 2013) - The U.S. Women’s U23 National Volleyball Team dropped a 25-21, 25-21, 27-25 match to Dominican Republic in the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Women’s U23 World Championship semifinals on Friday evening in Tijuana, Mexico.

The U.S. will now battle for the bronze medal on Saturday at 5 p.m. PT versus the loser of Japan and China in the second semifinal played later tonight. Team USA had reached the semifinals by finishing second in Pool B to China with a 4-1 record and 11 points.

Sha’Dare McNeal (San Diego) led the Americans with 12 points with nine kills on 18 attacks and three blocks. Gina Mancuso (Omaha, Neb.) chipped in 10 kills on 31 swings and an ace for 11 points. Ariel Turner (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) contributed nine points with seven kills and two blocks. Erica Wilson (Oceanside, Calif.) charted eight points with seven kills and a block. Hayley Hodson (Newport Beach, Calif.) totaled seven points with six kills and a block.

Lauren Cook (Lincoln, Neb.) was credited with 15 running sets as the Americans converted 32.8 percent of their attacks for a .176 hitting efficiency (39-18-119). Bojana Todorovic (Irvine, Calif.) collected 14 excellent receptions on 36 attempts.

Dominican Republic held a 45-39 advantage in kills and a slim 2-1 margin in aces. Both teams collected seven blocks. Team USA committed 23 errors in the match to Dominican Republic’s 20.

"Congratulations Dominican Republic, you played a great match," U.S. Women's U23 Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. "It is good for both teams. It was a great, hard fight, especially they came out very strong to start with. We tried to battle back in the second and third sets. It was a nice hard fight. That’s what good volleyball is all about."

Dominican Republic captain Brayelin Martinez led her team with 21 points, while Yonkaira Pena added 11 points.

"Congratulations to Dominican Republic," said Mancuso, who is the U.S. U23 team captain. "It was a great battle. A very athletic team. Team USA wouldn't give up, but unfortunately it didn't happen for us tonight. But the most important thing for USA is we can still fight for a medal."

U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly started Wilson and McNeal at middle blocker, Mancuso and Tia Scambray (Monarch Bay, Calif.) at outside hitter, Hodson at opposite and Cook at setter. Todorovic is the team’s libero for the tournament. Turner was a sub in all three sets, while Lexi Sun (Solana Beach, Calif.) was reserve in the first two sets. Monique Mead (Newnan, Ga.) and Jordyn Poulter (Aurora, Colo.) was subs in the second and third sets, respectively.

Dominican Republic started the opening set with a 5-1 advantage and maintained a comfortable lead the rest of the way for a 25-21 victory after the U.S. saved three set points. Dominican Republic broke a 13-all tie in the second set with three unanswered points to reach the second technical timeout leading 16-13. After the U.S. scored four straight to close to 22-21, Dominican Republic closed out the set with a 25-21 victory.

The U.S. overcame an early 5-1 deficit in the third set and took the lead at 10-9. Team USA gained a two-point cushion at 21-19, but Dominican Republic notched three straight to take the lead back at 22-21. The Americans saved two sets points and went back in front 25-24, but Dominican responded with two straight to take its third set point at 26-25 and won 27-25.

For more information about the FIVB Volleyball Women’s U23 World Championship, click here.

U.S. Women's U23 National Volleyball Team Roster
# - Name (Position, Hometown, Club)
1 - Sandra Adeleye (MB, Katy, Texas, Clemson University)
2 - Lauren Cook (S, Lincoln, Neb., Vaqueras de Bayamon)
4 - Hayley Hodson (OH, Newport Beach, Calif., T Street Volleyball Club)
5 - Monique Mead (Opp., Newnan, Ga., Telekom Baku)
6 - Jordyn Poulter (S, Aurora, Colo., Front Range Volleyball Club)
7 - Gina Mancuso (OH, Omaha, Neb., Leonas de Ponce)
8 - Ariel Turner (OH, Highlands Ranch, Colo., USGE Nantes)
9 - Bojana Todorovic (L, Irvine, Calif., UCLA)
10 - Erica Wilson (MB, Oceanside, Calif., Arizona State University)
11 - Lexi Sun (OH, Solana Beach, Calif., Coast Volleyball Club)
12 - Tia Scambray (OH, Monarch Beach, Calif., T Street Volleyball Club)
14 - Sha’Dare McNeal (Opp., San Diego, Calif., Neruda Volksbank Bolzano)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Reed Sunahara, Joe Trinsey
Technical Coordinator: Jamison Van Neil
Team Doctor: Jill Wosmeck

2013 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U23 World Championship

Pool A (at Tijuana, Mexico – High Performance Center Gymnasium)
Oct. 5: Turkey def. Italy 29-31, 16-25, 26-24, 25-22, 17-15
Oct. 5: Dominican Republic def. Argentina 25-14, 25-18, 25-16
Oct. 5: Japan def. Mexico 25-19, 25-13, 20-25, 25-15
Oct. 6: Japan def. Italy 21-25, 18-25, 25-22, 25-16, 15-12
Oct. 6: Dominican Republic def. Turkey 25-18, 25-16, 25-21
Oct. 6: Argentina def. Mexico 26-24, 25-21, 25-21
Oct. 7: Turkey def. Argentina 25-20, 25-20, 25-19
Oct. 7: Japan def. Dominican Republic 15-25, 25-22, 17-25, 25-17, 15-9
Oct. 7: Italy def. Mexico 25-19, 25-15, 25-20
Oct. 8: Japan def. Argentina 25-19, 25-16, 25-19
Oct. 8: Dominican Republic def. Italy 23-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-12
Oct. 8: Turkey def. Mexico 25-7, 22-25, 25-18, 25-19
Oct. 9: Italy def. Argentina 25-18, 25-19, 25-17
Oct. 9: Japan def. Turkey 23-25, 25-22, 26-24, 16-25, 15-13
Oct. 9: Dominican Republic def. Mexico 25-15, 25-21, 25-21

Pool B (at Mexicali, Mexico – State Auditorium)
Oct. 5: United States def. Kenya 25-11, 25-11, 25-6
Oct. 5: China def. Germany 25-21, 25-22, 18-25, 25-19
Oct. 5: Brazil def. Cuba 28-26, 25-27, 25-15, 25-21
Oct. 6: Germany def. Kenya 25-9, 25-15, 25-10
Oct. 6: United States def. Cuba 25-20, 25-19, 25-21
Oct. 6: China def. Brazil 25-16, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23
Oct. 7: Brazil def. Kenya 25-8, 25-7, 25-10
Oct. 7: United States def. Germany 25-15, 23-25, 25-27, 25-12, 15-11
Oct. 7: China def. Cuba 25-14, 25-21, 25-23
Oct. 8: Cuba def. Kenya 25-19, 25-23, 25-21
Oct. 8: China def. United States 25-15, 18-25, 14-25, 25-19, 15-5
Oct. 8: Brazil def. Germany 25-11, 25-11, 25-21
Oct. 9: China def. Kenya 25-16, 25-6, 25-14
Oct. 9: Germany def. Cuba 25-22, 25-22, 25-20
Oct. 9: United States def. Brazil 25-20, 16-25, 10-25, 25-22, 15-9

Semifinals
Oct. 11: Turkey (3A) def. Germany (4B) 25-13, 25-13, 25-19
Oct. 11: Italy (4A) def. Brazil (3B) 25-13, 26-24, 25-22
Oct. 11: Dominican Republic (1A) def. United States (2B) 25-21, 25-21, 27-25
Oct. 11: Japan (2A) vs. China (1B), 7 p.m. PT

Finals
Oct. 12: Brazil vs. Germany, noon PT
Oct. 12: Turkey vs. Italy, 2 p.m. PT (5th place)
Oct. 12: United States vs. Japan/China loser, 5 p.m. PT (bronze medal)
Oct. 12: Dominican Republic vs. Japan/China winner, 7 p.m. PT (gold medal)

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