U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Prepares for NORCECA Continental Championship

July 21, 2008, 4:03 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bill.kauffman@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 21, 2008) – The 2008 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team will compete in the NORCECA Women’s Junior Continental Championship July 22-27 at Saltillo, Mexico. According to the NORCECA regulations, the top three finishers in the eight-team tournament advance to the 2009 FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship.

The U.S. has been placed in Pool A with Canada, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic. Pool B participants are host Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Trinidad & Tobago.

Team USA opens the tournament against Dominican Republic on July 22 at 6 p.m., followed by pool matches against Costa Rica on July 23 at 2 p.m. and Canada on July 24 at 6 p.m.

The quarterfinal round on July 25 pits the second-place team in both pools against the opposing pool’s third-place team. The pool winners advance directly to the semifinals on July 26 and receive a day off. The semifinal round is scheduled for July 26, while the gold, bronze and classification round matches will be settled on July 27.

Paula Weishoff-Hanold, the head women’s coach at Concordia University Irvine, will serve as the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Head Coach. She will be assisted by collegiate assistant coaches Kim Jagd (UCLA) and John Corbelli (Texas A&M).

“The USA Women’s Junior Team had two good weeks of training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista,” Weishoff said. “We are currently in Saltillo, Mexico, getting ready for our first match against Dominican Republic. Our main goal today is to get used to Mexico time, practice a couple of times to get the kinks out from our travel day yesterday, and get on a routine with meals and bus schedules. We are ready and excited to go!”

The 12-member U.S. squad has three players who competed in the 2007 FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship. Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va., Richmond Volleyball Club), Darcy Dorton (Muncie, Ind., Munciana Volleyball Club) and Hannah Werth (Springfield, Ill., Illini Elite) helped the Americans finish 10th at the FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship. Michelle Bartsch (Maryville, Ill., Southwest Illinois Volleyball Club) was a member of the 2006 NORCECA Girls’ Youth Continental Championship gold-medal team and a member of the 2007 U.S. Girls’ Youth National Training Team.

Lilla Frederick (Huntington Beach, Calif., TCA) was named most valuable player of the 2008 USA Junior Olympic Girls’ Volleyball Championship 18 Open Division as she led TCA to the gold medal. Werth was the most valuable player of the JVDA Championships 17-and-Under Open Division, while Dorton was all-tournament in the same tournament’s 18-and-Under Open Division.

Carpenter will serve as the U.S. libero for the NORCECA Continental Championship. Setters on the 2008 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team include Cat Highmark (Huntington Beach, Calif., Cal Juniors) and Annie Luhrsen (Wheaton, Ill., SPVB).

Outside hitters on the roster include Dorton, Frederick, Gina Mancuso (Bellevue, Neb., Nebraska Volleyball Academy) and Werth, who will also possibly play the opposite position. Opposites on the 12-player roster include Hayley Spelman (Las Vegas, Nev., Nevada Juniors) and Bailey Webster (Baltimore, Md., TCA-Baltimore).

Bartsch, ShaDare McNeal (Fallbrook, Calif., Epic) and Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C., Triangle Volleyball Club) will see time at middle blocker for Team USA.

2008 U.S. Women's Junior National Team
# - Name (Pos, Ht, Grad Year, Hometown, Club, Region)
2 - Michelle Bartsch (MB/OPP, 6-4, 2008, Maryville, Ill., Southwest Illinois VB, Gateway)
5 - ShaDare McNeal (MB, 6-0, 2009, Fallbrook, Calif., Epic, Southern Cal)
6 - Kristin Carpenter (L, 5-7, 2009, Mechanicsville, Va., Richmond Volleyball Club, Old Dominion)
7 - Darcy Dorton (OH, 6-2, 2009, Muncie, Ind., Asics Munciana, Hoosier)
11 - Hayley Spelman (OPP, 6-6, 2009, Las Vegas, Nev., Nevada Juniors, Southern Cal)
12 - Lilla Frederick (OH, 5-10, 2008, Huntington Beach, Calif., TCA, Southern Cal)
13 - Cat Highmark (S, 5-10, 2008, Huntington Beach, Calif., Cal Juniors, Southern Cal)
14 - Annie Luhrsen (S, 6-0, 2008, Wheaton, Ill., SPVB, Great Lakes)
16 - Gina Mancuso (OH, 6-1, 2009, Bellevue, Neb., Nebraska Volleyball Academy, Great Plains)
17 - Hannah Werth (OH/OPP, 6-0, 2009, Springfield, Ill., Illini Elite, Great Lakes)
18 - Katie Slay (MB, 6-6, 2010, Raleigh, N.C., Triangle Volleyball Club, Carolina)
19 - Bailey Webster (OPP, 6-3, 2009, Baltimore, Md., TCA-Baltimore, Chesapeake)

Head Coach: Paula Weishoff-Hanold
Assistant Coach: Kim Jagd
Assistant Coach: John Corbelli

2008 NORCECA Women’s Junior Continental Championship

Pool A: Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, USA
Pool B: Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago

Pool A
Canada 0-0
Costa Rica 0-0
Dominican Republic 0-0
USA 0-0

Pool B
Cuba 0-0
Mexico 0-0
Puerto Rico 0-0
Trinidad & Tobago 0-0

Pool Play Matches
July 22: Canada vs. Costa Rica, 2 p.m.
July 22: Cuba vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 4 p.m.
July 22: USA vs. Dominican Republic, 6 p.m.
July 22: Puerto Rico vs. Mexico, 8 p.m.
July 23: USA vs. Costa Rica, 2 p.m.
July 23: Puerto Rico vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 4 p.m.
July 23: Dominican Republic vs. Canada, 6 p.m.
July 23: Cuba vs. Mexico, 8 p.m.
July 24: Dominican Republic vs. Costa Rica, 2 p.m.
July 24: Cuba vs. Puerto Rico, 4 p.m.
July 24: USA vs. Canada, 6 p.m.
July 24: Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 8 p.m.

July 25: 2B vs. 3A, 3 p.m.
July 25: 2A vs. 3B, 5 p.m.

Classification 5-8
July 26: 3A/2B Loser vs. 4B or 4A, 1 p.m.
July 26: 3B/2A Loser vs. 4B or 4A, 1 p.m.

July 26: 1B vs. 2B/3A or 2A/3B winner, 5 p.m.
July 26: 1A vs. 2B/3A or 2A/3B winner, 7 p.m.

Final Classification Round
July 27: 7th-place match, 1 p.m.
July 27: 5th-place match, 3 p.m.
July 27: Bronze Medal Match, 5 p.m.
July 27: Gold Medal Match, 7 p.m.