U.S. Girls' Youth Team Eases Past Barbados

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Aug. 28, 2018, 6:04 p.m. (ET)

U.S. Girls' Youth National Team
U.S. Girls' Youth Team during national anthem prior to defeating Barbados in NORCECA Girls' U18 Continental Championship pool play.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 28, 2018) – The U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team eased past Barbados 25-10, 25-7, 25-16 on Tuesday on the second day of the biennial NORCECA Girls’ U18 Continental Championship in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

The U.S., now 2-0 in Pool B, concludes the preliminary round on Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET against host Honduras. The pool winner advances directly to the semifinals set for Friday after the crossover quarterfinals with Pool A on Thursday. The final classification matches take place on Sept. 1 with the top two finishers earning berths to the 2019 FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship.

The Americans opened the first set with a 6-1 lead and eased into the victory at 25-10 as Barbados scored just once on its own serve. Team USA raced out to a 7-1 margin in the second set and used a 7-0 run to build a 21-6 advantage before concluding with a 4-0 run for a 25-7 victory. Barbados led 4-2 early in the third set and stayed close after the U.S. led 16-13. However, the Americans closed out the match on a 9-4 run to win 25-16.

“For the first 70 percent of the match, I thought we played pretty consistent and reduced our errors, which has been a challenge for us.” U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team Head Coach Jim Stone said. “One of our challenges for this time period has been our left sides setting up a good block and just going straight over it. I thought we did a good job at that today. We have a tendency at times to drift away. It is a work in progress, but I thought it was a job well done today. Within this match, I thought we did a good job controlling Barbados’ best attacker.”

Related: Match Stats | U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team Home Page | Watch Live on FloVolleyball.tv

The U.S. was led offensively by outside hitter Ally Batenhorst (Katy, Texas) and opposite Emily Londot (Utica, Ohio), who each scored 12 points. Batenhorst totaled 10 kills on 11 errorless attacks and two aces for her dozen points, while Londot had nine kills on 15 swings, two aces and a block.

“At the beginning of the match I was hitting a lot of straight on balls, and I tried to change it up and use different shots,” Londot said on the success she enjoyed during the match.

Middle CC Crawford (Kansas City, Missouri) pocketed eight points with six kills on eight errorless swings, one block and one ace. Middle Bre Kelley (Rockwall, Texas) contributed five kills on nine attacks, one block and one ace for seven U.S. points. Outside hitter Lindsay Krause (Papillion, Nebraska) tacked on seven points with six kills on 20 errorless attacks and a block. Setter Kami Miner (Redondo Beach, California) contributed three aces and a kill for four points. Outside hitter Sydney Taylor (Grove City, Ohio) rounded out the scoring with two aces.

Libero Hattie Monson (Morris, Illinois) led the American defense with six digs and was credited with nine excellent receptions on 17 chances.

2018 NORCECA Girls’ U18 Continental Championship Schedule for USA

Miner tallied 14 running sets on 46 total set attempts as the U.S. converted 56.9 percent of its attacks into points with a .492 hitting efficiency (37-5-65). Team USA limited Barbados to a 19.6 kill percent and .036 hitting efficiency (11-9-56).

“I just think it is important to keep the energy up and the enthusiasm throughout the match," Miner said of running the Team USA offense. "It definitely helps, because when everyone is enthusiastic we play better. I was trying to get my hitters the best ball possible.”

The Americans dominated at both the service and net with a 11-1 margin in aces and 4-0 block advantage. The U.S. held a 37-11 kill margin in the victory. Barbados scored 21 of its 33 points on Team USA errors.

The U.S. was cognizant of Barbados’ top hitter, Tenneille Chapman-Goodluck, throughout the match. The Americans limited her to seven points in the match.

“I knew that No. 17 hit cross nearly all the time, and I just knew that I needed to get outside the block and get the ball up,” Londot said in defending Chapman-Goodluck.

The U.S. started Batenhorst and Krause at outside hitter, Kelley and Crawford at middle, Londot at opposite and Miner at setter. Monson was the designated libero. Taylor was a back-row sub in the opening two sets, then started the third set for Batenhorst, who returned after Taylor’s back-row rotation was finished.

“I am glad we got some players on the court tonight who did not play a lot yesterday,” Stone said. “At the end of the day, it helps us with some flexibility with our lineup.”

Outside hitters Allison Jacobs (Stevenson Ranch, California) and Jess Mruzik (Livonia, Michigan), setter Kennedi Orr (Eagan, Minnesota) and middle Devyn Robinson (Ankeny, Iowa) were all given the match off as they started yesterday’s opener against Nicaragua.

The U.S. will now turn its attention to the host team, Honduras.

“What I told the team after this match is that every match moving forward is going to get harder. I think Honduras, relatively speaking, is going to be our hardest match we play, then whoever we play next will be our hardest match we play. We will have to continue to improve and not be satisfied with where we are at because there are some good teams ahead of.”

Londot and Miner said they are anxious to play in host team with an electric crowd.

“I am really excited for the future crowd against Honduras and the whole atmosphere of the gym,” Londot said.

“It will definitely be a large crowd against Honduras,” Miner said. “They had almost 2,000 people for their first match against Barbados on Monday. The energy will be awesome.”

The U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team has won the NORCECA Girls’ U18 Continental Championship seven of the 10 times of the biennial event. The Americans have finished second to Dominican Republic in the last two editions in 2014 and 2016. Team USA has won the event’s silver medal three times.

The U.S. opened the first set with a 6-1 advantage as Krause and Londot each had two points in the early run. Krause scored two kills around a Londot ace to push the lead to 10-3. Batenhorst hammered a kill after a Barbados error to extend the American lead to 12-4. Crawford and Batenhorst scored back-to-back kills to lift the U.S. lead to 14-5. Kelley and Londot downed kills to put the U.S. in front 16-6 at the second technical timeout. Team USA added to the lead out of the break with three consecutive Miner aces prompting Barbados to call timeout trailing 19-6. Barbados scored consecutive points for the first time to cut the gap to 19-8. Krause and Londot scored kills around two Barbados errors to put the Americans in front 23-8. Crawford ended the set with a power slam at 25-10.

Batenhorst started the second set with a kill and the U.S. took a 2-0 lead after a Barbados error. Team USA took a 7-1 lead with two Batenhorst aces, Londot kill and two Barbados errors. After a Barbados error, Crawford scored a block and Batenhorst followed with a backrow kill for a 10-2 advantage. The Americans reached the second technical timeout leading 16-6 as Batenhorst pounded a kill after a Barbados service error. Out of the break, Kelley and Londot tapped over kills around two Barbados errors at 20-6. Out of Barbados’ second timeout, Kelley slammed a kill to cap a 7-0 run at 21-6. Team USA scored the final four points of the set at 25-7 with a Kelley kill, Taylor ace, Krause kill and Barbados error.

Barbados took its first lead of the match with three consecutive points at 4-2 in the third set. Team USA tied the set at 4-all with a Krause kill and Londot ace. The Americans gained the lead back at 7-5 with a Crawford kill between two Barbados errors. Batenhorst claimed two kills between a Crawford ace to extend the U.S. lead to 10-6. Barbados scored back-to-back points to close to 10-8. The U.S. upped its advantage to 12-8 with a Batenhorst kill and Londot block. Barbados continued to stay within striking distance at 13-11 with consecutive points. Krause ended the run with a kill and Kelley served an ace at 15-11. Miner and Crawford scored back-to-back kills to raise the American lead to 18-13. Batenhorst hammered back-to-back kills between two Barbados errors to give the Americans a 22-14 lead. Batenhorst gave the U.S. match points at 24-15 with consecutive kills, then U.S. won 25-16 on a Barbados service error.

2018 U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team
# - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, High School Grad Year, Youth Club/Region, College Status)
1 - Allison Jacobs (OH, 5-11, Stevenson Ranch, Calif., 2020, Legacy/Southern California, verballed to UCLA)
2 - Hattie Monson (L, 5-5, Morris, Ill., 2020, Sports Performance/Great Lakes, verballed to Notre Dame)
3 - Sydney Taylor (L/OH, 5-8, Grove City, Ohio, 2021, Mintonette/Ohio Valley, Uncommitted)
4 - Kami Miner (S, 6-0, Redondo Beach, Calif., 2021, Mizuno Long Beach/Southern California, Uncommitted)
5 - Kennedi Orr (S, 6-0, Eagan, Minn., 2021, Northern Lights/North Country, verballed to University of Nebraska)
10 - Jess Mruzik (OH, 6-1, Livonia, Mich., 2020, Legacy VBC, Lakeshore, verballed to University of Michigan)
11 - Devyn Robinson (M, 6-1, Ankeny, Iowa, 2020, Iowa Power Plex/Iowa, verballed to University of Wisconsin)
12 - CC Crawford (M, 6-2, Kansas City, Mo., 2020, MAVS/Heart of America, verballed to University of Kansas)
14 - Emily Londot (M, 6-2, Utica, Ohio, 2020, Mintonette/Ohio Valley, verballed to Ohio State University)
16 - Bre Kelley (M, 6-3, Rockwall, Texas, 2021, Excel VBC/North Texas, Uncommitted)
17 - Lindsay Krause (OH, 6-3, Papillion, Neb., 2021, Nebraska Premier/Great Plains, verballed to University of Nebraska)
19 - Ally Batenhorst (OH, 6-4, Katy, Texas, 2021, Houston Juniors Volleyball/Lone Star, Uncommitted)

Head Coach: Jim Stone (USA Volleyball)
Assistant Coaches: Nicki Holmes (women’s associate head coach at George Washington University), Kelly Surrency (USA Volleyball)
Technical Coordinator: Fabian Ardila (assistant coach at Babson College)
Doctor: Dr. Jarod Keller
Team Leader: Katie Mitchell (USA Volleyball)