U.S. Girls' Youth Rallies Past Brazil at Worlds

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Aug. 21, 2017, 1:38 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 21, 2017) – In a match full of momentum shifts, the U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team rallied to defeat Brazil 26-24, 19-25, 8-25, 25-19, 15-11 on Monday during pool play of the biennial FIVB Girls' U18 World Championship at Santa Fe, Argentina.

The Americans concludes pool play versus Mexico on Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET. Both the U.S. and Brazil are now 1-2 in the tournament. Mexico is winless in the tournament without a set victory.

Related: Official Stats | U.S. Girls' Youth National Team Page

Taylor Landfair (Plainfield, Illinois), who received her first starting nod, scored a team-high 22 points with 18 kills on 48 swings, two blocks and two aces. Logan Eggleston (Franklin, Tennessee) charted 16 points with 13 kills via 48 swings, two blocks and an ace. Mica Allison (White Heath, Illinois), also getting her first starting nod, contributed nine kills on 18 swings, one block and one ace for 11 points.

“Us playing together as a team helped us a lot," Landfair said. "In the previous games that we didn’t win, we were kind of down on ourselves and playing as individuals, but this time and the other sets we won before we were playing as a family and with much more intensity. We need to come out tomorrow with the same mindset from today with the same intensity and lots of energy right from the get-go. If we do that then we’ll be able to take the win."

Madison Horin (Munster, Indiana) pocketed nine points with six kills on 11 swings, two blocks and an ace. Holly Campbell (Austin, Texas), who started and played just the first and third sets, tallied three kills and two blocks for five points. Kendall Kipp (Newport Beach, California) added two blocks, one ace and one kill in starting the second, fourth and fifth sets. Nicklin Hames (Maryville, Tennessee) recorded two aces from her setter position. Selina Xu (San Carlos, California) rounded out the scoring with an ace.

Momentum played a huge role in the match. The Americans overcame a 20-17 deficit in the opening set to win 26-24. After the U.S. started the second set up 4-1, Brazil took a 13-7 lead on a 12-3 run and went on to win 26-24. In the third set, Brazil scored 21 of the final 24 points, including a 14-0 spurt, to win 25-8. After trailing 8-3 in the fourth set, the Americans used a 13-4 run to take a 16-12 advantage and went on to cruise for a 25-19 win. In the deciding fifth set, Team USA used a key 5-1 run to take a 13-10 advantage and went on to win 15-11.

"We’ve been struggling in our previous matches both in Brazil and here, in terms of maintaining a semi-consistent level of play and I think we were much better at that today, with the exception of set three," U.S. Girls' Youth National Team Head Coach Jim Stone said. "I think our periods of unforced errors were reduced and today we hit the highest numbers so far on our trip, so that made a difference. But I think more than anything else I thought we played a bit tougher mentally and didn’t let set three just be a dagger, and we were able to come back in set four and then win the match.”

Eggleston provided 16 excellent receptions on 28 chances and nine digs. Allison was credited with a team-best 20 digs. American libero Brooke Nuneviller (Chandler, Arizona) tallied 19 digs and 16 excellent receptions on 28 chances.

The U.S. converted 36.6 percent of its attacks into points with a .148 hitting efficiency (52-31-142). Hames was credited with 12 running sets on 129 total set attempts in running the American offense. In contrast, Brazil converted just 32.8 percent of its attacks with a .130 hitting efficiency (43-25-131).

The U.S. made the overall team stats for the match a liar in predicting the winner. Brazil dominated the net with a 19-11 block advantage and held a 13-7 ace margin. The Brazilians also benefited from 29 American errors and limited their own to 23. The Americans enjoyed a 52-43 margin in kills for the match, as well as a 65-56 dig margin.

The U.S. took an early 11-8 lead in the opening set thanks to three blocks and two aces. However, Brazil quickly tied the set at 11-all and went into the second technical timeout leading 16-14. Out of the break, the U.S. quickly leveled the score at 16-all. Brazil scored three unanswered to stake a 20-17 advantage. The U.S. tied the set up at 23-all with a 4-1 scoring run. The Americans saved one set point and scored the final three points to win 26-24.

The U.S. bolted to a 4-1 lead in the second set, but Brazil blazed in front at 7-5 with six of the next seven points. Brazil widened its lead to 13-7 with five straight points. The Americans cut the deficit to two points at 15-13 on a 6-2 run. Brazil responded by building its lead back to five points at 19-14. The U.S. moved back to within two points at 19-17 with three unanswered points, but the Brazilians tallied three straight of their own to go up 22-17 and went on to win 25-19.

Brazil scored four consecutive points to take an 8-5 lead into the third set’s first technical timeout. The U.S. cut the deficit to one at 8-7, but the Brazilians countered with a 14-0 run to take an 22-7 advantage. Brazil finished the set at 25-8, winning 17 of the final 18 points.

Brazil continued its momentum in the fourth start with a 4-0 lead and reached the first technical timeout up 8-3. The U.S. charged back to tie the set at 8-all after scoring five straight out of the break, then took the lead at 11-10. The Americans gained a four-point cushion at 16-12 as they went into the second technical timeout on a 13-4 run. The U.S. advantage reached six points at 23-17 and the Americans went on to win 25-19.

Brazil gained an early 6-3 advantage in the tiebreaking fifth set. However, the Americans charged back to square the set at 6-all. The U.S. gained a key two-point cushion at 11-9, then extended the margin to 13-10 on a 5-1 run. The Americans claimed the victory at 15-11.

U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team at FIVB Women’s U18 World Championship
# -- Name (Position, Ht., Hometown, Club, Region)
3 – Brooke Nuneviller (L, 5-11, Chandler, Arizona, Aspire, Arizona)
4 – Mica Allison (S/OPP, 6-0, White Heath, Illinois, Illini Elite, Great Lakes)
5 – Nicklin Hames (S, 5-11, Maryville, Tennessee, K2 Volleyball, Southern)
6 – Selina Xu (S, 6-0, San Carlos, California, Vision Volleyball, Northern California)
8 – Madison Williams (OH, 6-1, Mansfield, Texas, Texas Advantage, North Texas)
9 – Logan Eggleston (OH, 6-3, Franklin, Tennessee, Alliance, Southern)
11 – Skylar Fields (OH, 6-2, Missouri City, Texas, Houston Juniors, Lone Star)
14 – Madi Kubik (OH, 6-2, West Des Moines, Iowa, Central Iowa Select, Iowa)
15 – Kendall Kipp (M/OPP, 6-5, Newport Beach, California, Laguna Beach, Southern California)
16 – Madison Horin (M, 6-3, Munster, Indiana, First Alliance, Great Lakes)
17 – Holly Campbell (M, 6-3, Austin, Texas, Austin Juniors, Lone Star)
19 – Taylor Landfair (OH, 6-4, Plainfield, Illinois, Elite Sports Performance, Great Lakes)

Head Coach: Jim Stone
Assistant Coaches: Michelle Chatman-Smith, Michael Gee
Technical Coordinator: Herb Summer
Head of Delegation: Lizzy Briones

U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team Schedule at FIVB Women’s U18 World Championship
Aug. 19: USA lost to Russia 25-17, 25-20, 25-19
Aug. 20: USA lost to Belarus 25-20, 25-13, 21-25, 25-20
Aug. 21: USA def. Brazil 26-24, 19-25, 8-25, 25-19, 15-11
Aug. 22: USA vs. Mexico, 9 a.m. ET