COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 6, 2019) – The U.S. Girls Youth National Team (GYNT) was up 2-0 in sets to defending champions Italy, but lost in a heartbreaking 20-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 15-13 contest on Friday on the second day of the FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship Pool B taking place in Ismailia, Egypt.
Team USA is now 1-1 in the five-team Pool B,while Italy was playing its first match of the tournament. After an off-day on Saturday, the Americans resume pool play on Sunday against Korea at 6:30 a.m. ET followed by Canada on Monday at 9 a.m. ET.
Jess Mruzik (Livonia, Michigan) led Team USA with 24 points including 22 kills on 54 swings and two blocks. Elena Oglivie (Kapolei, Hawaii) added 12 kills on 38 swings and an ace for 13 points.
Devyn Robinson (Ankeny, Iowa) contributed eight kills on 22 swings and an ace for nine points. Caroline Crawford (Lansing, Kansas) pocketed six kills on 19 errorless attacks, two blocks and an ace for nine points. Emily Londot (Utica, Ohio) charted eight kills on 24 swings. Kennedi Orr (Eagan, Minnesota) scored an ace and block for two points, while Kami Miner (Redondo Beach, California) rounded out the scoring with an ace.
Libero Lexi Rodriguez (Sterling, Illinois) handed 39 receptions with a 31 positive percent. Oglivie was unofficially credited with a 43 positive reception percent on 28 chances. Sydney Taylor (Grove City, Ohio), a back-row sub in all five sets, handled nine receptions.
The U.S. converted 35 percent of its attacks with a .177 hitting efficiency (58-29-164) behind Orr’s setting. The Americans held the Italians to a 36 kill percent and .201 hitting efficiency (55-24-154).
The U.S. Girls Youth National Team lost a heartbreaking 20-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 15-13 contest to defending champions…
Unofficially, Italy produced scoring advantages of 19-5 in blocks and 10-5 in aces. The U.S. held a slim 58-55 margin in kills.
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. Miner was a sub in the second and third sets, while Allison Jacobs (Stevenson Ranch, California) was a sub in the final two sets. Lindsay Krause (Papillion, Nebraska) was a sub in the third set.
The world championship pool play is divided up into four pools of five teams. The top four teams in each pool advance to the Eight Finals Round (Top 16) with the winners advancing to the quarterfinals and losers falling into the 9-16 classification matches. The tournament concludes on Sept. 14 with the medal-round matches.
The U.S. used a 3-0 run in the opening set to take an 8-6 lead into the first technical timeout. Italy leveled the set at 10-all with consecutive points, but the U.S. answered with two straight points to go up 12-10. After a battle of sideouts, Team USA put together six consecutive points to go up 21-14. Italy stopped the run with four consecutive points of its own to close to 21-18. The Americans responded with back-to-back points and went on to win 25-20.
The second set was a battle of lead changes and ties in the early going. Team USA assumed a 12-11 advantage, the seventh lead change of the set after the 10th tie of the set, and extended its margin to 16-12 with a 4-0 run. Italy whittled the gap to 20-19 with three consecutive points. The Americans stopped the run with three consecutive points to regain a four-point cushion at 23-19 en route to winning 25-21.
The U.S. broke a string of sideouts in the third set by breaking the sixth tie of the set and going into the lead for the first time at 7-6. Team USA gained the first two-point cushion of the third set at 10-8, but Italy quickly leveled the set at 10-all. The American picked up two straight points at 12-10, only to have Italy respond with three straight to take a 13-12 advantage. Italy earned its first two-point cushion at 17-15, but the U.S. scored consecutive points to tie the set for the 14th time at 17-all. Italy answered with back-to-back points to go up 19-17, only to have the Americans charge back into the lead at 20-19 on a 3-0 run. Italy reversed the lead to its side at 21-20. The U.S. responded with consecutive points and broke the 17th tie by going up 22-21. Yet again, Italy came back to take the lead at 23-22 and scores final four points to win 25-22.
The Americans broke a 3-all tie in the fourth set with consecutive points to go up 5-3. Italy sided out until it tied the set at 11-all. Italy took its first lead of the fourth set at 14-13 and extended the margin to 17-14 with three unanswered points. Team USA recovered with three straight points to level the set at 17-all. Italy regained a three-point cushion at 21-18, but the U.S. closed the deficit to 21-20 with consecutive points. The Americans leveled the set at 23-all, but it wasn’t enough as Italy scored the final two points for a 25-23 victory.
Italy scored three straight points to go up 3-1 in the tiebreaking set, only to have Team USA answered with three consecutive points to reverse the lead to its side at 4-3. Italy regained the advantage at 6-5 and extended the margin to 10-6 with a 4-0 run. Team USA cut the gap to one at 11-10 with three consecutive points. The U.S. tied the set at 13-all with consecutive points, but Italy scored the final two points for a 15-13 victory.
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, 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 Volleyball Club/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