U.S. Girls U19 after advancing to gold medal match.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 10, 2023) – The U.S. Girls U19 National Team defeated Italy, 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 20-25, 25-15) in the semifinal round of the 2023 FIVB World Championship on Thursday in Osijek, Croatia.


The U.S. Girls Team (8-0) will play Türkiye (8-0) in the finals on Friday at 12 p.m. PDT. The U.S. has won medals in four of the last five editions of the U18 World Championship before the change to U19 last year, taking gold in 2019, silver in 2013 and 2015, and bronze in 2021.

“This group is one of a kind. We stayed true to who we are this entire tournament and improved with each match,” U.S. Girls U19 Head Coach Jamie Morrison said. “I’m proud that we get to play for a gold medal tomorrow and continue to show the Croatian community and the world who we are.”

Outside hitter Abby Vander Wal led the U.S. with 21 points and 17 kills, adding three blocks and an ace. Middle blockers Ayden Ames and Favor Anyanwu each scored 13 points. Ames finished with 10 kills and three blocks, while Anyanwu finished with six kills and a match-high seven blocks as the U.S. outblocked Italy, 14-9.

“It was a thrilling win for us today,” Anyanwu commented. “Entering the competition as underdogs, it is great to make it to the final. Tomorrow, we will just go out there and play our game. We know what we have to do, and we know we can play USA volleyball. We have very good team chemistry, and we’re not going into matches allowing stress to play a role. We are going to have fun, go with the flow, and enjoy the match.”

The U.S. squad led Italy in kills, 50-43, with most of the differential coming in the fourth set (14-8). Outside hitter Teraya Sigler recorded nine kills and an ace for 10 points. Opposite Abigail Mullen netted seven points on five kills and two aces, and setter Campbell Flynn contributed six points on three kills, a block, and two aces. Libero Olivia Mauch led the team with 12 digs, with Vander Wal, Sigler, and Mullen each adding seven.

The U.S. used a 5-0 run to take a 12-8 lead in the first set and maintained at least a five-point lead for most of the set. Vander Wal scored six points on four kills, one block, and one ace. Both teams recorded 12 kills in the set, but the U.S. held the advantage in blocks (4-2) and aces (3-0).

Italy led most of the second set, but the U.S. took the lead for good on a block for a 19-18 lead and Flynn followed with an ace for a two-point lead. Anyanwu scored five points on two kills and three blocks, and Vander Wal also scored five points. Italy registered one more kill (11-10), but the U.S. used a 6-2 advantage in blocks to go up two sets to none.

The U.S. led 15-14 in the third set before Italy used a 5-1 run to take a three-point lead. A U.S. block cut the deficit to one, 21-20, but Italy secured the final four points, two on aces. Vander Wal tallied six points on five kills and a block in the set.

The U.S. Girls U19 Team led from start to finish in the fourth set, jumping out to a 7-0 lead. Italy used a 6-2 run to pull within three points, but the U.S. scored the next four points and led by at least five for the rest of the set.

There are 24 teams from around the world competing at the World Championship.

U.S. Girls U19 Roster for the 2023 FIVB World Championship

Name (Position, Height, Birth Year, Hometown, School, USAV Region)
2 Jaela Auguste (MB, 6-2, 2006, Spring, Texas, Grand Oaks HS, Lone Star)
3 Charlie Fuerbringer (S, 5-11, 2006, Hermosa Beach, Calif., Mira Costa HS, Southern California)
4 Ayden Ames (MB, 6-4, 2006, Prosper, Texas, Prosper HS, North Texas)
5 Favor Anyanwu (MB, 6-2, 2006, Rowlett, Texas, Sachse HS, North Texas)
6 Campbell Flynn (S, 6-3, 2006, Rochester Hills, Mich., Mercy HS, Lakeshore)
9 Ava Falduto (L, 5-7, 2006, Elmhurst, Ill., IC Catholic Prep, Great Lakes)
11 Becca Kelley (OH, 6-3, 2005, Rockwall, Texas, University of Oregon, North Texas)
12 Olivia Mauch (L, 5-6, 2005, Bennington, Neb., Bennington HS, Great Plains)
13C Emerson Sellman (OH, 6-4, 2005, Burtonsville, Md., The Academy of the Holy Cross, Chesapeake)
15 Abigail Mullen (Opp, 6-3, 2006, Kansas City, Mo., Liberty HS, Heart of America)
17 Teraya Sigler (OH, 6-2, 2006, Horizon HS, Scottsdale, Ariz., Arizona)
19 Abby Vander Wal (OH, 6-3, 2006, Elmhurst, Ill., Timothy Christian HS, Great Lakes)

Head Coach: Jamie Morrison
Assistant Coach: Michelle Chatman Smith
Assistant Coach: Maggie Eppright
Performance Analyst: Kyle Thompson
ATC: Chris Cornell
Team Lead: Jon Wong

1 Lizzy Andrew (MB, 6-5, 2005, Ridgefield, Wash., Ridgefield HS, Columbia Empire)
7 Carly Gilk (OPP, 6-2, 2006, Brooklyn Park, Minn., Champlin Park HS, North Country)
8 Kaci Demaria (OH, 6-4, 2007, San Pedro, Calif., Palos Verdes HS, Southern California)
10 Noemie Glover (Opp, 6-2, 2005, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., University of Oregon, Southern California)
14 Skyler Pierce (OH, 6-2, 2005, Lenexa, Kan., Olathe Northwest HS, Heart of America)
16 Cari Spears (OH, 6-3, 2007, Dallas, Texas, Prestonwood Christian Academy, North Texas)
18 Izzy Starck (S, 6-1, 2006, Melbourne, Fla., Viera HS, Rocky Mountain)

U.S. Schedule for the 2023 FIVB Girls U19 World Championship
Matches will be shown on the Volleyball World YouTube channel

All times PDT
Aug. 1: USA def. Korea, 3-2 (25-21, 19-25, 25-21, 23-25, 15-10)
Aug. 2: USA def. Japan, 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 26-24)
Aug. 3: USA def. Mexico, 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-20)
Aug. 5: USA def. Poland, 3-1 (23-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-15)
Aug. 6: USA def. Serbia, 3-2 (25-15, 18-25, 25-19, 19-25, 15-7)
Aug. 7 Round of 16: USA def. Dominican Republic, 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 2-24)
Aug. 9: Quarterfinals: USA def. Brazil, 3-2 (21-25, 25-19, 25-19, 23-25, 15-11)
Aug. 10: Semifinals: USA def. Italy, 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 20-25, 25-15)
Aug. 11: Finals: USA vs. Türkiye, 12 p.m.