U.S. Girls' Youth Team Defeats Argentina

By Kelli LeGrande | Aug. 09, 2015, 12:38 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 9, 2015) - The U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team swept Argentina 25-20, 25-19, 25-23 in the FIVB Volleyball Girls’ U18 World Championship on Sunday in Lima, Peru.

The U.S., which is now 2-0 in pool play, faces Russia (2-0, 6 points) on Monday at 11 a.m. ET in its third Pool C match. Both teams hold identical records and point ratios heading into their third matches of pool play. Team USA rounds out the five-team group on Tuesday versus Belgium (1 p.m. ET). 

"I'm really pleased with our win against Argentina," U.S. Girls' Youth National Team Head Coach Jim Stone said. "They played very well and challenged us in each set. I was pleased with our competitive spirit. This win will allow us to advance from our pool. However, the next two matches against Russia and Belgium will be challenge, to say the least. I hope for continued improvement." 

Outside hitter Lexi Sun (Encinitas, Calif.) led the team with a match-high 14 points via 12 kills on 33 swings and two blocks. Opposite/setter Kathryn Plummer (Aliso Viejo, Calif.,) pocketed 13 points via 10 kills on 16 attacks, one block and two aces. Middle blocker Regan Pittman (Spring Hill, Kan.) led the defensive front for Team USA with four blocks, four kills and one ace for nine points.

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Middle blocker Ronika Stone (San Jose, Calif.) posted eight points via five kills, two blocks and one ace, while outside hitter Khalia Lanier (Scottsdale, Ariz.) contributed seven points with six kills and one block. Setter Sydney Hilley (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) added two points via two aces.

Setter Madison Lilley (Overland Park, Kan.) and middle blocker Stephanie Samedy (Clermont, Fla.) rounded out the scoring with one point each. Libero Tiffany Clark (Naperville, Ill.) handled 15 digs and seven excellent receptions on 23 chances, all team highs.

The U.S. converted 39.2 percent of its attacks with a .155 hitting efficiency (38-23-97) as Hilley was credited with 18 running sets on 82 set attempts. The Americans held a 7-1 advantage in aces. Team USA managed a 38-29 margin in kills. Team USA’s defense held Argentina to a 28.7 kill percent and .109 hitting efficiency (29-18-101).

Argentina started the set off taking the first two points, but Team USA picked up the tempo and Stone got a kill to tie it up, 4-4. Sun had the go-ahead kill that kept the U.S. in the lead for the rest of the set. The powerful American offense forced Argentina to take two timeouts and set the pace to go on and take set one, 25-20.

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In set two, Team USA hit the floor and went on an 8-0 run to start off the set. However, Argentina didn’t let them run away with the set as it took advantage of an American disconnection and took the lead, 16-15. Team USA regained control and took set two, 25-19.

The Argentinians came out in the third ready to battle as they hung with the Americans and traded leads throughout the set. However, the U.S. turned the pressure back on and the teams kept battling to keep a lead. Team USA finished off the match at 25-23.

Group play will be held from Aug. 7-12, followed by bracket play Aug. 14-16. Pool A consists of Egypt, Korea, Mexico, Peru and Chinese Tapei. Pool B is made up of China, Germany, Poland and Serbia. Pool C is comprised of Argentina, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Russia and USA. While Pool D contains Brazil, Cuba, Italy, Japan and Turkey.

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: USA vs. Russia 11 a.m. ET 
Aug. 11: USA vs. Belgium 1 p.m. ET.
Aug 14-16: Depends on pool play

Pool C Standings (W-L, Points) - Remaining Matches
1 - USA (2-0, 6 points) - Aug. 10 vs Russia; Aug. 11 vs. Belgium
1 - Russia (2-0, 6, points) - Aug. 10 vs. USA; Aug. 11 vs. Dominican Republic
3 - Belgium (2-1, 6 points) - Aug. 10 idle; Aug. 11 vs. USA
4 - Dominican Republic (0-2, 0 points) - Aug. 10 vs. Argentina; Aug. 11 vs. Russia
5 - Argentina (0-3, 0 points) - Aug. 10 vs. Dominican Republic; Aug. 11 ide