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Women's U23 Falls to Japan in Bronze Match

By Bill Kauffman | Oct. 12, 2013, 9:59 p.m. (ET)

Lauren Cook sets Erica Wilson in the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Women's U23 World Championship bronze-medal match.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 12, 2013) - The U.S. Women’s U23 National Volleyball Team lost to Japan 25-16, 20-25, 25-11, 25-19 in the bronze-medal match of the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Women’s U23 World Championship taking place in Tijuana, Mexico.

Team USA finished second in Pool B with a 4-1 record, then lost in the cross-over semifinals to Dominican Republic 25-21, 25-21, 27-25 on Friday evening. Later tonight Dominican Republic will face Pool B winner China, which defeated Japan in the straight sets in the semifinals.

Gina Mancuso (Omaha, Neb.), who was the tournament’s leading scorer heading into the final day of competition, produced a team-high 12 points with 11 kills and a block. Ariel Turner (Highlands Ranch, Calif.) pocketed 10 kills and a block for 11 points. Erica Wilson (Oceanside, Calif.) contributed eight kills and three blocks for 11 points. Sha’Dare McNeal collected nine points with eight kills and a block. Hayley Hodson (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Monique Mead (Newnan, Ga.) picked up four points apiece, while Lauren Cook (Lincoln, Neb.) rounded out the scoring with two aces.

Cook provided 11 running sets and Jordyn Poulter (Aurora, Colo.) added three running sets. Mancuso totaled a team-best 10 excellent receptions on 32 attempts, while Bojana Todorovic (Irvine, Calif.) added seven excellent receptions on 22 attempts and a team-high five digs.

Japan held a sizeable advantage in kills at 57-41 and took advantage of 24 American errors in the match. The Japanese aggressive serve also netted a 7-4 ace advantage. Team USA held a 9-7 margin in blocks. Team USA was limited to a 32.0 kill percent and a .188 hitting efficiency (41-17-128) by the Japanese defense. Meanwhile, Japan converted 40.7 percent of its attacks with a .307 hitting efficiency (57-14-140).

Japan was led by Yurie Nabeya and Saori Takehashi with 16 points apiece, while Sarina Koga contributed 13 points.

U.S. Head Coach Karch Kiraly started Wilson and McNeal at middle blocker, Mancuso and Turner at outside hitter, Hodson at opposite and Cook at setter. Todorovic is the team’s libero for the tournament. Mead started the second and third sets while subbing in the other two sets. Jordan Poulter (Aurora, Colo.) was a sub in all four sets. Tia Scambray (Monarch Beach, Calif.) came in off the bench in all but the second set.

Japan used a 10-4 spurt to take a 17-10 advantage in the opening set, and the U.S. could not recover in the 25-16 loss. Team USA gained an 11-8 margin in the second set with three unanswered points and increased the advantage to 18-11 as Cook served two aces as part of a 5-0 run. The Americans ended the set with a 25-20 victory, which included three aces and eight Japan errors.

Japan built a 7-1 advantage in the third set and went into the second technical timeout with a 16-7 margin. The Japanese carried the momentum to the 25-11 victory. Japan continued the pressure into the fourth set by taking a 14-4 advantage en route to winning 25-19 after the Americans saved three match points.

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: China (1B) def. Japan (2A) 27-25, 26-24, 25-13

Finals
Oct. 12: Brazil def. Germany 25-20, 25-17, 20-25, 25-15 (7th place)
Oct. 12: Turkey def. Italy 25-17, 25-20, 25-22 (5th place)
Oct. 12: Japan def. United States 25-16, 20-25, 25-11, 25-19 (bronze medal)
Oct. 12: Dominican Republic vs. China, 7 p.m. PT (gold medal)

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