U.S. GYNT Takes Down Germany

By Kelli LeGrande | Aug. 14, 2015, 4:55 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 14, 2015)—The U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team swept previously undefeated Germany 25-19, 25-11, 25-20 and advanced to the semifinals of the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Girls’ U18 World Championship on Friday in Lima, Peru.

"This is the first time we've played Germany," U.S. Girls' Youth National Team Head Coach Jim Stone said. "We knew they had good attacks going in, so that’s why we tried to be effective with our serves and receptions."

Team USA, now 5-1 combining its four preliminary round matches with its two playoff victories, will compete against Pool B’s second-place team China (3-1 and nine points), on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.

Opposite Kathryn Plummer (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) led the offensive and defensive front for Team USA with a match-high 16 points via nine kills on 14 swings, match-high five blocks and two aces. Outside hitter Lexi Sun (Encinitas, Calif.) pocketed 11 points via eight kills and three aces while outside hitter Khalia Lanier (Scottsdale, Ariz.) added 10 points via eight kills and two aces.

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Middle blocker Ronika Stone (San Jose, Calif.) hammered out nine points through six kills, one block and two aces. Middle blocker Regan Pittman contributed six points via one kill, two blocks and three aces. Setter Madison Lilley (Overland Park, Kan.) rounded out the scoring for the U.S. with five points via three kills and two blocks.

Libero Tiffany Clark (Naperville, Ill.) handled nine digs with four excellent receptions on 15 total attempts. Lilley added five digs while Plummer and Lanier each added four. Libero Morgan Hentz (Lakeside Park, Ky.), outside hitter Paige Hammons (Louisville, Ky.), Stone and Sun each added at least one dig. Lanier and Sun each had four excellent receptions while Hentz had one.

The U.S. converted 47.3 percent of its attacks with a .351 (35-9-74) hitting efficiency. Lilley totaled 11 running sets on 55 attempts. The Americans held a 35-29 kill margin and a 10-3 advantage in blocks. Team USA’s defense held Germany to a 30.5 kill percent and .275 (29-15-51) hitting efficiency. The Germans also committed 18 errors to the Americans 15.

"They are a good team," said Plummer. "We tried to improve our reception throughout the match and also moved at a very fast pace so they couldn’t read our plays."

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Team USA controlled the entire match with its serve, forcing the German team to be out of system a majority of the match. The first set was back and forth in the beginning, with Germany serving well and the USA making a few mistakes. But the Americans took the lead early on and never looked back. Germany was not able to keep up with the tempo of the game, as USA was dictating it for the remainder of the match. USA won the first set by executing the basics and forced Germany to struggle in all aspects of the game.

In set 2 USA came out to a strong lead, consistently keeping Germany out of its system. Germany was not able to get its offense going and soon enough Pittman served USA to a 17-4 lead. USA shut down everything Germany tried in efforts to score a point. The U.S. block was impenetrable and frustrated the German offense. Pittman and Plummer closed the set out with a stuff block that ended a 21-7 U.S. run.

In the final set, Germany tried to change up its shots and tip on the U.S., but the Americans picked everything up and returned it with power. Germany slowly tried to chip away at a 19-13 deficit, but Lanier crushed that hope with a swing over the top of the German block to make the score 20-14. Team USA kept composure and focus to close out the final set, 25-19.

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 def Germany 25-19, 25-11, 25-20 (Quarterfinals)
Aug. 15: USA vs. China 2 p.m. ET (Semifinals)
Aug. 16: Depends on Semifinal

Pool C Standings Prior to Bracket Play (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)