Girls' Youth Team Advances to Worlds Quarters

By Kelli LeGrande | Aug. 13, 2015, 5:07 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 13, 2015)—The U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team defeated Brazil 25-19, 21-25, 25-20, 25-15 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Girls’ U18 World Championship on Thursday in Lima, Peru.

“Playing against Brazil is always a challenge and today was not an exception,” Girls’ Youth National Team Head Coach Jim Stone said. “We are happy to have won and now we have to work thinking about the following matches.”

Team USA, now 4-1, will compete against Germany (4-0, 12 points in pool play), on Friday at 2 p.m. ET. Germany is Pool B’s first-place team and one of only three undefeated teams left in the tournament.

Outside hitter Khalia Lanier (Scottsdale, Ariz.) led the offensive front for Team USA with a match-high 18 points via 13 kills on 37 swings, four blocks and one ace. Opposite Kathryn Plummer (Aliso Viejo, Calif.), middle blocker Ronika Stone (San Jose, Calif.) and outside hitter Lexi Sun (Encinitas, Calif.) all contributed 13 points each. Plummer hammered out 10 kills on 23 attacks and three blocks, Stone added nine kills and four blocks while Sun pocketed 10 kills, one block and two aces.

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Setter Madison Lilley (Overland Park, Kan.) finished with six points via four kills on five swings, one block and one ace. Middle blocker Regan Pittman (Spring Hill, Kan.) rounded out the scoring with five points via four kills and one ace.

Libero Tiffany Clark (Naperville, Ill.) handled two digs with three excellent receptions on 22 total attempts. Sun and Plummer each added six digs, while Sun had five excellent receptions. Lanier picked up four digs and a team-high six excellent receptions.

The U.S. converted 39 percent of its attacks with a .307 (50-11-127) hitting efficiency. Lilley totaled 17 running sets on 76 attempts, while Sydney Hilley (Brooklyn Park, Min.) chipped in nine running sets on 30 total attempts. The Americans held a 50-44 margin in kills and a 13-7 advantage in blocks. Team USA’s defense held Brazil to a 29.9 kill percent and .213 (44-28-75) hitting efficiency. The Brazilian’s also committed 28 errors that the U.S. took advantage of during the match.

“Brazil is a very tough team, but we had the ability to take the game,” said Plummer. “We have more games where we need to give our best to be come out victorious.”

Team USA retained composure versus a very emotional, high energy Brazilian team. Brazil challenged the American block throughout the first two sets. The U.S. made adjustments in the third and finally started to control the blocking game. Plummer served as a vital opposite as she sealed the win in the fourth set with an explosive attack in the middle.

The U.S. GYNT controlled the serve and Lanier and Clark handled the Brazilian serve very well.

The U.S. middles were efficient and scored at critical times as well. Stone and Pittman both were vital blockers throughout the match to keep the U.S. in the game. Lanier did a really nice job of making Brazil work for every point and the Brazilian defense couldn’t stop her swing.

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Team USA was able to make adjustment and bounce back from the second set to have positive touches so the defense was able to play around the block. Brazil never stopped swinging, but made several errors that played to the advantage of the U.S. Brazil took initiative in the second set to be able to get one under its belt and closed the set, 25-20.

The U.S. regained exposure in the third set and Lilley did a great job of providing opportunities for the American hitters to score. The American outsides played intelligently and were able to take Brazil out of system when it was not able to score.

The Americans handled the fourth set with ease as it busted out to an early lead and forced a Brazilian timeout. Team USA never surrendered its lead and ended the set on a 13-5 run to take set four, 25-15.

2015 U.S. Girls' Youth National Team
Name (Position, Height, Hometown, Club, Region)
1 - Brionne Butler (MB, 6-3, East Bernard, Texas, Texstar, Lone Star Region)
2 - Tiffany Clark (L, 5-11, Naperville, Ill., Sports Performance, Great Lakes Region)
3 - Paige Hammons (OH, 6-2, Louisville, Ky., Kentucky Indiana Volleyball Association, Pioneer Region)
6 - Morgan Hentz (L, 5-9, Lakeside Park, Ky., Northern Kentucky Volleyball Club, Pioneer Region)
7 - Sydney Hilley (S, 5-11, Brooklyn Park, Minn., Minnesota Select, North Country Region)
8 - Khalia Lanier (OH, 6-2, Scottsdale, Ariz., AZ Storm, Arizona Region)
9 - Madison Lilley (S, 5-11, Overland Park, Kan., KC Power, Heart of America Region)
12 - Regan Pittman (MB, 6-4, Spring Hill, Kan., KC Power, Heart of America Region)
13 - Stephanie Samedy (MB, 6-2, Clermont, Fla., Top Select Volleyball Academy, Florida Region)
14 - Kathryn Plummer (Opp/S, 6-6, Aliso Viejo, Calif., Tstreet Volleyball Club, Southern California Region)
19 - Ronika Stone (MB, 6-2, San Jose, Calif., Vision Volleyball Club, Northern California Region)
20 - Lexi Sun (OH, 6-3, Encinitas, Calif., Coast VBC, Southern California Region)

Head Coach: Jim Stone
Assistant Coaches: Lindsey Devine, Michelle Chatman
Technical Coordinator: Jared Hazel
Team Leader: Erin Leaser

FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship Schedule—Lima, Peru
Aug. 8: USA def Dominican Republic 25-15, 25-17, 25-17
Aug. 9: USA def Argentina 25-20, 25-19, 25-23
Aug. 10: Russia def USA 23-25, 25-20, 19-25, 25-23, 15-10
Aug. 11: USA def Belgium 25-17, 25-23, 25-19
Aug 13: USA def Brazil 25-19, 21-25, 25-20, 25-15
Aug. 14: USA vs. Germany, 2 p.m. ET (Quarterfinals)

Pool C Standings (W-L, Points)
1 - Russia (4-0, 11 points)
2 - USA (3-1, 10 points)
3 - Belgium (2-2, 6 points)
4 - Argentina (1-3, 3 points)
5 - Dominican Republic (0-4, 0 points)