COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The U.S. Girls Youth National Team beat Slovenia today to advance to the quarterfinals at the FIVB Girls U18 World Championship in Santa Fe, Argentina. The U.S. won 25-21, 25-18, 25-22.
The Americans (3-2) have tomorrow off and then will face Italy (5-0) on Friday at 3p ET. In 2015, Italy beat the U.S. in the gold medal match at the U18 World Championship in three sets. In this tournament, the Italians have only dropped two sets in five matches.
Russia, Japan, Germany, Turkey, Dominican Republic and Argentina have also advanced.
Team USA Starters
Libero: Brooke Nuneviller
Setter: Nicklin Hames
Middles: Holly Campbell, Kendall Kipp,
Opposites: Mica Allison
Outside Hitters: Logan Eggleston, Taylor Landfair
Team USA Stat Leaders
Points: Logan Eggleston, 19; Mica Allison, 12; Taylor Landfair, 9; Holly Campbell, 8
Kills: Logan Eggleston, 12; Mica Allison, 11; Taylor Landfair, 6
Blocks: Holly Campbell, 4; Logan Eggleston, 3
Aces: Logan Eggleston, 4; Taylor Landfair, 3; Kendall Kipp, 3
The U.S. wanted to get out to a fast start tonight and they most certainly did. Slovenia opened up a small lead early in the first set and the U.S. went on a 7-1 run to erase it. The score remained close all the way to 21-21, then the Americans tallied the final four points to take the first set.
The young Americans dominated the second set leading by six-to-eight points throughout, aided by a strong service game that garnered six aces in the second, winning the set 25-18.
The third set, much tighter, again tied at 21-21, but the U.S., the No. 1 team in the world, according to FIVB world rankings, finished the set 25-22 to close out the match.
“I thought it was a really great team performance,” said head coach Jim Stone. “We had a lot of people chipping in offensively, so it wasn’t just our outsides having to score. The middles scored, Mica scored behind the setter, so well done. And it was our best serving performance so far in the tournament.
“It was so much fun,” said opposite Mica Allison. “I thought we played really well together … I’m just super happy and we had a ton of fun. It just felt so good to win in three.”
But now the U.S. gets Italy, a team that they scrimmaged just 11 days ago in Brazil. It was the first match the young Americans ever played as a unit after a couple weeks of training in Lake Placid.
“Italy kind of slapped us around in a scrimmage before this tournament, so at least our players know who they are, they know that they’re good, and know that we’ll have to play well,” said Stone. “But hey, you get in this tournament and you take your shot at the best teams and whatever happens happens.”
But these U.S. players are becoming a team.
Said Allison: “We played them and it was a little rough, but we have improved a lot since then. Things have gotten a lot better on our end and we know that, so I think it’ll be a really good match.”
Team USA Matches
Aug. 19 … USA v. Russia … L … 25-17, 25-20, 25-19
Aug. 20 … USA v. Belarus … L … 25-20, 25-13, 21-25, 25-20
Aug. 21 … USA v. Brazil … W … 26-24, 19-25, 8-25, 25-19, 15-11
Aug. 22 … USA v. Mexico … W … 17-25, 24-26, 25-19, 30-28, 15-10
Aug. 23 … USA v. Slovenia … W … 25-21, 25-18, 25-22
In 2013, the U.S. Girls Youth National Team made history, becoming the first U.S. volleyball team of either gender to win a world championship medal at the youth or junior level, taking the silver after losing to China in the final in Thailand. In 2015, the U.S. earned another silver in the World Championship final against Italy.
The U.S., ranked No. 1 in the world, competed in Pool B along with Russia, the 2017 European U18 champions; Brazil, the 2017 South American champions, plus, Belarus and Mexico.
2017 U.S. Girls Youth National Team
# — Name (Position, Ht., Hometown, Club, Region)
3 – Brooke Nuneviller* – L, 5-11, Chandler, Ariz., Aspire, Arizona
4 – Mica Allison – S, 6-0, White Heath, Ill., Illini Elite, Great Lakes
5 – Nicklin Hames – S, 5-11, Maryville, Tenn., K2 Volleyball, Southern
6 – Selina Xu – S, 6-0, San Carlos, Calif., Vision Volleyball, Northern California
8 – Madison Williams – OH, 6-1, Texas Advantage, North Texas
9 – Logan Eggleston* – OH, 6-3, Franklin, Tenn., 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* – MB, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Laguna Beach, Southern California
16 – Madison Horin – MB, 6-3, Munster, Ind., First Alliance, Great Lakes
17 – Holly Campbell – MB, 6-3, Austin, Texas, Austin Juniors, Lone Star
19 – Taylor Landfair – OH, 6-4, Plainfield, Ill., Elite Sports Performance, Great Lakes
* Member of the 2016 U.S. Girls Youth National Team
Head Coach: Jim Stone
Asst. Coach: Michelle Chatman-Smith
Asst. Coach: Michael Gee
Head of Delegation: Lizzy Briones
Technical Coordinator: Herb Summer