COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 10, 2019) – The U.S. Girls Youth National Team (GYNT) advanced to the FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship quarterfinals after defeating host country Egypt 25-13, 27-25, 25-17 in the Round of 16 on Tuesday in Ismailia, Egypt.
Team USA, which improved to 4-1 overall in the tournament, will now play Japan in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET (time subject to change). The biennial age-group World Championship semifinals are on Friday and concludes on Saturday with the medal-round matches.
Outside hitter Jess Mruzik (Livonia, Michigan) led Team USA with 20 points, including 15 kills on 36 swings, three aces and two blocks. Middle Devyn Robinson (Ankeny, Iowa) charted nine kills on 16 attacks and one blocks for 10 points. Opposite Emily Londot (Utica, Ohio) chalked up seven kills on 15 attacks plus two block for nine points.
Mruzik said playing the host team presented a different challenge for Team USA, but she and her teammates turned their focus to what they could control.
“Playing against Egypt was a whole different experience than what we have been through thus far in the tournament,” Mruzik said. “Playing on their home court, their fans were super riled up. Everybody was really into it, and that was something we had adjust to because we had never experienced that before. I thought as a team, we did a nice job of adjusting to that and just focusing on our side of the court and playing together.”
Middle Caroline Crawford (Lansing, Kansas) contributed five kills on nine swings and three blocks for eight points. Outside hitter Elena Oglivie (Kapolei, Hawaii) scored three aces and two kills for five points, but her 24 total serves led to several long American scoring runs. Setter Kennedi Orr (Eagan, Minnesota) totaled five points with three aces, one block and one kill. Allison Jacobs (Stevenson Ranch, California) contributed two kills on six attacks as a sub in the final two sets. Setter Kami Miner (Redondo Beach, California) rounded out the scoring with a block and kill as a sub in the final set.
Top 8! The U.S. Girls Youth National Team (GYNT) advanced to the FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship quarterfinals after…
“Any time you are at this event, any win is a good win,” U.S. Girls Youth National Team Head Coach Jim Stone said. “And this is a good win. Egypt presented us some different challenges. I didn’t think we played our best match, but I liked how our team competes. I think we learned a lot about how different people can contribute in different situations. To beat any team on their home court is nice. We are happy, we are in the final eight.”
American libero Lexi Rodriguez (Sterling, Illinois) handled a team-high 19 receptions with a 63 positive reception percent. Mruzik added 14 receptions and Oglivie had 14 receptions.
The U.S. converted 46 percent of its attacks with a .319 hitting efficiency (43-13-94) with Orr handling the bulk of the setting duties. The Americans limited the Egyptians to a 32 kill percent and .120 hitting efficiency (29-18-92).
Team USA out-blocked Egypt 11-4 and held an 8-4 margin in aces. The American offense netted a 43-29 advantage in kills while the U.S. defense had a 33-23 edge in digs.
The U.S. started Orr at setter, Crawford and Robinson at middle, Oglivie and Mruzik at outside hitter, Londot at opposite, and Rodriguez at libero. Sydney Taylor (Grove City, Ohio) was a sub in all three sets.
The U.S. scored the opening three points of the first set and used a 7-0 run to go up 11-3 as Mruzik was 5-of-6 hitting with a block early on. Egypt scored three straight points to close to 14-8. The American lead extended to 22-9 on seven consecutive points. Team USA closed out the set with a 25-13 victory. Mruzik ended the set with 11 points.
Egypt used a 5-0 run to establish an 8-4 advantage in the second set. Team USA took the lead at 13-9 on eight unanswered points. Egypt answered with three consecutive points to close to 13-12. The U.S. extended its lead to 20-15 with a 5-1 spurt. Egypt charged back to tie the set at 22-all and picked up set point at 24-23. The Americans reversed the lead at 25-24 with consecutive points. The U.S. cashed on its second set point opportunity to win 27-25.
The U.S. reached an 8-3 lead in the third set on a 7-2 scoring run. The Americans increased the margin to 11-4 with three straight points. Team USA reached the second technical timeout leading 16-7. Egypt sliced its deficit to 19-14 with four straight points. The Americans extended the lead to 23-16 with consecutive points and went on to win 25-17.
U.S. Girls Youth National Team at 2019 FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship
# – Name (Pos, Ht, Hometown, HS Grad Year, Club/Region, College Verbal Commitment)
1 – Lexi Rodriguez (L, 5-6, Sterling, Illinois, 2021, Sports Performance/Great Lakes, University of Nebraska)
3 – Elena Oglivie (OH, 5-10, Kapolei, Hawaii, 2020, Ku’ikahi VBC/Aloha, Stanford University)
4 – Sydney Taylor (L, 5-10, Grove City, Ohio, 2021, Mintonette Sports/Ohio Valley, N/A)
5 – Allison Jacobs (OH, 5-11, Stevenson Ranch, California, 2020, Legacy Volleyball Club/Southern California, UCLA)
6 – Kami Miner (S, 6-0, Redondo Beach, California, 2021, Mizuno Long Beach/Southern California, Uncommitted)
7 – Kennedi Orr (S, 6-0, Eagan, Minnesota, 2021, Mizuno Northern Lights/North Country, University of Nebraska)
11 – Jess Mruzik (OH, 6-1, Livonia, Michigan, 2020, Legacy Volleyball Club/Lakeshore, University of Michigan)
12 – Caroline Crawford (M, 6-2, Lansing, Kansas, 2020, Mid-America VBC/Heart of America, University of Kansas)
13 – Devyn Robinson (M, 6-2, Ankeny, Iowa, 2020, Iowa Powerplex/Iowa, University of Wisconsin)
14 – Emily Londot (OH, 6-2, Utica, Ohio, 2020, Mintonette Sports/Ohio Valley, Ohio State University)
17 – Lindsay Krause (OH, 6-3, Papillion, Nebraska, 2021, Premier Nebraska/Great Plains, University of Nebraska)
20 – Carter Booth (M, 6-7, Englewood, Colorado, 2022, Colorado Juniors/Rocky Mountain, University of Minnesota)
Head Coach: Jim Stone
Assistant Coaches: Nicki Holmes, Jen Flynn Oldenburg
Technical Coordinator: Mike Gee
Head of Delegation: Meredith Lee