U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Opens NORCECA Championship with Loss

July 22, 2008, 8:59 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 22, 2008) – The 2008 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team lost to Dominican Republic 25-23, 24-26, 25-20, 25-17 on the opening day of the NORCECA Women’s Junior Continental Championship 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.

Team USA continues pool play on July 23 versus Costa Rica (0-1) at 2 p.m., followed by a July 24 match against Canada (1-0) at 6 p.m.

Darcy Dorton (Muncie, Ind.) led the U.S. with 13 points with 12 kills on 27 attacks and a block. Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) added 11 points with a match-high six blocks and five kills. Hannah Werth (Springfield, Ill.) came off the bench to added nine points with seven kills and two blocks. Michelle Bartsch (Maryville, Ill.) and Gina Mancuso (Bellevue, Neb.) each totaled seven points for Team USA. Mancuso provided 16 excellent service receptions on 25 attempts. Anne Luhrsen (Wheaton, Ill.) added three points to go with six assists, while Hayley Spelman rounded out the scoring with two points. Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) totaled a match-high 17 excellent service receptions on 38 attempts.

"Both teams played well, but we had some mistakes because it's our first match together," Dorton said. "But, overall, we played well"

Team USA started Luhrsen at setter, Dorton and Mancuso at outside hitter, Bartsch and Slay at middle blocker and Spelman at opposite. Carpenter is the designated libero for the U.S. squad at the NORCECA Continental Championship. Werth started the final three sets in place of Spelman, while Cat Highmark was subbed into the match during the fourth set.

Dominican Republic’s Elisa Eve Mejia Lisvel knocked down 20 kills on 32 swings, three blocks and an ace for a match-high 24 points, while Joeselyna Rodriguez Santos contributed 19 points in the victory. Yenifer Calcano Gonzalez tacked on 12 points in the win.

"The United States always has great teams," Niverka Dharlenis Marte Frica said. "But we go out to win this game that means so much for classification. We are happy because we gave many chances to win, was an outstanding goal."

As a team, Dominican Republic held advantage in all three scoring columns; 55-37 in kills, 13-12 in blocks and 5-3 in aces. Team USA did benefit from 34 Dominican Republic errors to its own 26 miscues. The victors also succeeded with a 10-3 margin in digs and converted 53.9 percent of its service receptions into excellent passes. In contrast, the U.S. had an excellent service reception percent of 44.7.

Earlier today, Canada needed to rally past Costa Rica 25-15, 21-25, 22-25, 25-19, 15-10 in the other Pool A match. Cuba handled Trinidad & Tobago 25-11, 25-12, 25-7. Later today, Mexico hosts Puerto Rico at 8 p.m.

After pool play matches conclude on July 24, the quarterfinal round starts on July 25 with second-place teams in both pools competing 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.

For more information, visit http://volleyball.teamusa.org/event/event/242.

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
Dominican Republic 1-0
Canada 1-0
Costa Rica 0-1
USA 0-1

Pool B
Cuba 1-0
Mexico 0-0
Puerto Rico 0-0
Trinidad & Tobago 0-1

Pool Play Matches
July 22: Canada vs. Costa Rica, 25-15, 21-25, 22-25, 25-19, 15-10
July 22: Cuba def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-11, 25-12, 25-7
July 22: Dominican Republic def. USA, 25-23, 24-26, 25-20, 25-17
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.