U.S. Girls' Youth Sweep Honduras

By Bill Kauffman | June 24, 2014, 9:37 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 24, 2014) – The U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team opened the NORCECA Women’s U-18 Continental Championship by defeating Honduras 25-8, 25-9, 25-8 in a Pool B match on Tuesday evening at San Jose, Costa Rica.

After an off-day on Wednesday, Team USA concludes the three-team pool on Thursday against Mexico at 4 p.m. MT.

Topping USA’s scorers was outside hitter Milan Stokes (Long Beach, Calif.) with 14 points, including seven kills on 11 attacks and seven aces. Kathryn Plummer (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) added nine points with seven kills on 11 attacks and two blocks. Olivia Nicholson (North Platte, Neb.), Lauren Speckman (San Jose, Calif.) and Brooke Van Sickle (Battle Ground, Wash.) all collected six points apiece. Belen Castillo (Merced, Calif.) and Sarah Langs (Fairview, Texas) each pocketed five points, while Morgyn Greer (Dripping Springs, Texas) and Rachel Rippee (Springfield, Mo.) both charted three points.

The Americans converted 55.9 percent of their attacks with a .441 hitting efficiency (33-7-59). The U.S. held advantages of 16-0 in aces and 8-0 in blocks over Honduras. Team USA also tallied 33 kills and limited Honduras to five kills for the match with a 9.4 kill percent.

Team USA started Castillo and Langs at middle blocker, Greer and Stokes at outside hitter, Speckman at opposite and Plummer at setter. Nicholson was a sub in the first set and started the final two sets. Van Sickle was a sub in the second set and started the third set. Rippee was a sub in all three sets.

“The whole team is just getting adjusted and we’re trying to embrace the atmosphere of playing a NORCECA Continental Championship,” U.S. captain Kathryn Plummer said. “The team still needs to figure out some things to play our best.”

“First our service was effective and we were able to put pressure (on Honduras),” U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team Head Coach Jim Stone said. “And second, our blockers performed well. This is the first international experience for the players and with only one week of training, there’s a lot to improve.”

The U.S. jumped out to a 9-2 advantage in the opening set and scored 11 of the final 12 points for a 25-8 victory. In the second set, Honduras trailed only 6-4 before the Americans pushed out to a 16-5 advantage on a 10-1 run. Team USA continued on to a 25-9 victory in the second set. After leading by two points at 7-5, the U.S. scored 18 of the final 21 points to win 25-8.

Name (Position, Hometown, Volleyball Club, USAV Region, HS Graduation Year)
1 - Belen Castillo (MB, Merced, Calif., Delta Valley Volleyball Club, Northern California, 2015)
3 - Morgyn Greer (OH, Dripping Springs, Texas, Austin Juniors, Lone Star, 2016)
4 - Hailey Harward (L, Phoenix, Ariz., Aspire Volleyball Club, Arizona, 2016)
5 - Madeline Haynes (OH, Rocklin, Calif., Five Starz, Northern California, 2016)
8 - Sarah Langs (MB, Fairview, Texas, Skyline Juniors, North Texas, 2016)
9 - Clare Lenihan (MB, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., SCVC, Southern California, 2017)
13 - Olivia Nicholson (MB, North Platte, Neb., Flatrock, Great Plains, 2016)
14 - Kathryn Plummer (S, Aliso Viejo, Calif., Tstreet, Southern California, 2016)
15 - Rachel Rippee (S, Springfield, Mo., Xplosion, Heart of America, 2016)
16 - Lauren Speckman (S, San Jose, Calif., Vision Volleyball, Northern California, 2016)
17 - Milan Stokes (OH, Long Beach, Calif., Mizuno Long Beach, Southern California, 2016)
20 - Brooke Van Sickle (OH, Battle Ground, Wash., Excel Now Volleyball, Columbia Empire, 2016)

Head Coach: Jim Stone
Assistant Coaches: Brooke Coulter, Lindsey Devine
Technical Coordinator: Jesse Tupac
Team Leader: Heath Hoke

NORCECA Women’s U-18 Continental Championship Schedule

Pool A
June 24: Costa Rica def. Trinidad & Tobago 25-21, 25-15, 25-14
June 25: Guatemala vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 6 p.m. MT
June 26: Costa Rica vs. Guatemala, 8 p.m. MT

Pool B
June 24: United States def. Honduras 25-8, 25-9, 25-8
June 25: Mexico vs. Honduras, 8 p.m. MT
June 26: United States vs. Mexico, 4 p.m. MT

Pool C
June 24: Puerto Rico def. St. Lucia 25-6, 25-8, 25-5
June 25: Dominican Republic vs. St. Lucia, 4 p.m. MT
June 26: Dominican Republic vs. Puerto Rico, 6 p.m. MT

9th Place Classification
June 27: 2nd Highest 3rd Place Pool vs. 3rd Highest 3rd Place Pool, 4 p.m. MT (Match 10)

June 27: 2nd HR1 vs. 2nd HR2 or 2nd HR3, 6 p.m. MT (Match 11)
June 27: 1st HR3 vs. 2nd HR3 or 2nd HR2, 8 p.m. MT (Match 12)

Final Classification 7/8
June 28: 3rd HR1 vs. Match 10 Winner, 4 p.m. MT (Match 13)

June 28: 1st HR2 vs. Match 11 or 12 Winner, 6 p.m. MT (Match 14)
June 28: 1st HR1 vs. Match 11 or 12 Winner, 8 p.m. MT (Match 15)

Final Classification 5/6
June 29: Match 11 Loser vs. Match 12 Loser, 4 p.m. MT (Match 16)

June 29: Match 14 Loser vs. Match 15 Loser, 6 p.m. MT (Bronze Medal)
June 29: Match 14 Winner vs. Match 15 Winner, 8 p.m. MT (Gold Medal)