Women's U23 Sweeps Cuba at Worlds

By Darci Miller | Oct. 06, 2013, 10:42 p.m. (ET)

MEXICALI, Mexico (Oct. 6, 2013) – The U.S. Women’s Under-23 National Volleyball Team defeated Cuba 25-20, 25-19, 25-21 in its second match of Pool B at the FIVB Women’s Under-23 World Championship on Sunday in Mexicali, Mexico.

The United States (2-0, 6 points) will next play Germany (1-1, 3 points) on Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. PT. Live streaming can be found here. Germany won its first match of the tournament earlier on Sunday with a 3-0 victory over over Kenya.

Gina Mancuso attacks against Cuba.
Gina Mancuso (7) attacks against Cuba.

The U.S. converted 39.3 percent of its attacks for points with a .225 hitting efficiency (35-15-89) while Cuba had a 32.6 kill percent and .185 hitting efficiency (30-13-92). The U.S. also led in blocks (11-9) and aces (5-0), as well as had fewer errors (21-24).

“We stayed focused on just getting better every day,” U.S. Women's Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “It started at the service line and went out with a good attack mentality.”

U.S. team captain Gina Mancuso (Omaha, Neb.) led the team in scoring with 15 points on 14 kills and one block, in addition to a team-high seven digs and seven excellent receptions. Ariel Turner (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) contributed 13 points on eight kills, three blocks and two aces. Monique Mead (Newnan, Ga.) scored 11 points on eight kills and three blocks.

Erica Wilson (Oceanside, Calif.) added six points on three attacks and three blocks. Hayley Hodson (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Sha’Dare McNeal (San Diego, Calif.) scored two points apiece, Hodson on one attack and one ace and McNeal on one block and one ace. Tia Scambray (Monarch Beach, Calif.) and Lauren Cook (Lincoln, Neb.) each chipped in one point, Scambray on an ace and Cook on an attack. Cook was also credited with seven running sets. Bojana Todorovic (Irvine, Calif.) had five digs and six excellent receptions.

Cuba was led by Melissa Vargas, the youngest player in the tournament at almost 14 years old. Vargas scored 14 points on 12 kills and two blocks.

“It was not easy, but our team did a great job today,” Mancuso said.

Kiraly started Adeleye and Wilson at middle blocker, Cook at setter, Mancuso and Turner at outside hitter, Mead at opposite and Todorovic at libero. Hodson and Scambray subbed in all three sets, while Lexi Sun (Solana Beach, Calif.) subbed in the first two and McNeal subbed in the third.

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 – Tiata 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 Coach: Reed Sunahara
Team Manager: Joe Trinsey
Team Doctor: Jill Wosmeck
Technical Coordinator: Jamison Van Neil

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: Argentina vs. Turkey, 3 p.m. PT
Oct. 7: Japan vs. Dominican Republic, 5 p.m. PT
Oct. 7: Mexico vs. Italy, 7 p.m. PT
Oct. 8: Argentina vs. Japan, 3 p.m. PT
Oct. 8: Dominican Republic vs. Italy, 5 p.m. PT
Oct. 8: Mexico vs. Turkey, 7 p.m. PT
Oct. 9: Italy vs. Argentina, 3 p.m. PT
Oct. 9: Turkey vs. Japan, 5 p.m. PT
Oct. 9: Mexico vs. Dominican Republic, 7 p.m. PT

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: Kenya vs. Brazil, 3 p.m. PT
Oct. 7: United States vs. Germany, 5 p.m. PT
Oct. 7: Cuba vs. China, 7 p.m. PT
Oct. 8: Cuba vs. Kenya, 3 p.m. PT
Oct. 8: United States vs. China, 5 p.m. PT
Oct. 8: Germany vs. Brazil, 7 p.m. PT
Oct. 9: China vs. Kenya, 3 p.m. PT
Oct. 9: Germany vs. Cuba, 5 p.m. PT
Oct. 9: United States vs. Brazil, 7 p.m. PT

In the gold-medal bracket (Classification 1-4), first-place teams in the two pools will play the second-place teams in the opposite pool. In the 5-8 classification, third-place pool teams will play the fourth-place pool team from the opposite pool.

Semifinal winners of Classification 1-4 will play for the gold medal, while the losers will play for the bronze medal. Semifinal winners in the Classification 5-8 bracket will play for fifth place, while the losers will play for seventh place.