The youth women earned a 3-2 record and finished in fifth place overall at the IHF Trophy tournament in Montreal.
USA Team Handball sent two teams to the IHF Trophy tournament in Montreal earlier this month, a women’s youth team for athletes born in 2002 or later, and a women’s junior team for athletes born in 2000 or later. The tournament was held October 15 - 20.
Coached by Craig Rot and Kristina Alavanja, the youth women earned a 3-2 record and finished in fifth place overall. The junior women were coached by Jennifer Fithian and Greg Inahara.
The youth women fell to Martinique 36-16 and Guadaloupe 40-16 during the first two matches of the tournament, then surged back to earn three consecutive wins against St. Kitts, 36-6, Puerto Rico, 27-17, and and Puerto Rico once again, 30-12, in the final match to earn fifth place.
“I am really proud of our girls, who are very young, averaging 14.5 years in a tournament for 17 year olds," Rot said. "Most of our players are available for the next cycle, and some are available for the next two. This is a strong group with a bright future ahead of them."
The youth team's top scorers were Sif Christensen, Emma Ready, Eden Nesper and Kathleen Baker.
“We finished strong, which is all I can ask for as a coach. By the time we put our pieces together, considering this was our first tournament as a team, the most important games were behind us," Rot said. "All three of the final day winners emerged from our group, winning gold, bronze and fifth place. Ours was a tough group. I would have liked to see what we could have done against the likes of Mexico and Canada in the end.”
Rot is working to put together a women’s youth tournament in January or February, which will hopefully bring together teams from the United States, Canada and Mexico. In the spring of 2020, the youth women will be competing again for a world championship spot at the women’s youth NACHC championships.
The youth women stand together before a game for the playing of the national anthem.
The U.S. youth women's team was coached by Craig Rot and Kristina Alavanja,
Youth Women's Roster
|BAKER Kathleen||Backcourt, Wing||Team Handball Academy, USA|
|CHRISTENSEN Sif Skov||Backcourt, Pivot||Hillerod Handball Club, Denmark|
|FAULKNER Hannah||Pivot||Team Handball Academy, USA
|SUMALLA Amanda||Backcourt, Wing||Team Handball Academy, USA|
|FUNK Allison||Backcourt, Wing||Team Handball Academy, USA|
|HAUFSCHILD Tracy||Wing||Team Handball Academy, USA|
|NWEAHE Zeina||Wing||Team Handball Academy, USA|
|LYONS Dakota||Backcourt||Team Handball Academy, USA|
|MALYSZ Julia||Goalkeeper||Tetra Team Handball Club, USA|
|MEITZLER Jenna||Backcourt||Team Handball Academy, USA|
|NESPER Eden||Backcourt, Wing||TV Hannover-Bandstedt, Germany|
|PAUL Caitlin||Backcourt, Wing||Team Handball Academy, USA|
|READY Emma||Backcourt||Malvik Handballklubb, Norway|
|STAGNITO Gracie||Backcourt, Wing||Team Handball Academy, USA|