COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 8, 2019) – The U.S. Girls Youth National Team (GYNT) dominated Korea 25-11, 25-17, 25-13 on Sunday to improve to 2-1 in the FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship Pool B taking place in Ismailia, Egypt.

Team USA, now qualified for the Eight Finals Round (Top 16), concludes pool play against Canada on Monday at 9 a.m. ET. The top four teams in each of the four pools of five countries advance to the Eight Finals for crossover play with the winners advancing to the quarterfinals and losers falling into the 9-16 classification matches. The biennial tournament concludes on Sept. 14 with the medal-round matches.

U.S. opposite Emily Londot (Utica, Ohio) scored a team-high 13 points with six kills on 12 swings and seven blocks. Middle Devyn Robinson (Ankeny, Iowa) totaled 10 points with six kills on nine errorless attacks and four blocks. Middle Caroline Crawford (Lansing, Kansas) turned in five kills on six errorless attacks, two aces and two blocks for nine points.

“We did really in staying disciplined on our block and communicating at the net, and I feel like that gave us the advantage in the game,” Robinson said. “If we keep our energy and improving, we should beat Canada.”

Outside hitter Elena Oglivie (Kapolei, Hawaii) contributed five kills on 13 swings, three aces and a block for nine points. Outside hitter Jess Mruzik (Livonia, Michigan) tacked on four kills two blocks and two aces for eight points. Setter Kennedi Orr (Eagan, Minnesota) put up two blocks.

Libero Lexi Rodriguez (Sterling, Illinois) and Oglivie each handled 13 receptions with a 38 positive reception percent.

It’s a sweep for the U.S. Girls Youth National Team over Korea, clinching a spot into the FIVB Girls’ U18 World…

Posted by USA Volleyball on Sunday, September 8, 2019

“I think Korea, at every level, is a hard team to play,” U.S. Girls Youth National Team Head Coach Jim Stone said. “Their hitters tend to tool the block a lot, so you get a lot of deflections on defense. I thought our players did a couple things very well. First, they defended that. A lot of balls would go off our block, then we play that successfully in the backcourt. Korea serves very tough, and we have this ‘bend but don’t break’ on serve-receive, and I thought our players very good job. They weren’t all perfect passes, but they were high balls, we could get a set, we could get a swing and subsequently we scored a lot.”

Orr set Team USA to a 44 kill percent and .305 hitting efficiency (26-8-59). The American defense held Korea to a negative .172 hitting efficiency (16-30-81) and 20 kill percent.

Team USA held an 18-2 block advantage over the smaller Korean squad. The Americans out-attacked the Koreans 26-16 in kills and took advantage of 46 Korea errors. The U.S. produced a slim 7-6 margin in aces.

“I thought we started the match blocking very well,” Stone said. “I think it forced Korea into manufacturing some size they do not have and made some subsequent hitting errors. And our players played pretty consistently.”

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. Lindsay Krause (Papillion, Nebraska) subbed into the match in the first set. Sydney Taylor (Grove City, Ohio) and Allison Jacobs (Stevenson Ranch, California) were subs in the second set, while Kami Miner (Redondo Beach, California) entered in the third set.

After Korea scored the first two points of the match, Team USA responded with eight unanswered points to take an 8-2 advantage in the first set. The Americans went on a second 8-0 run to stretch the lead to 20-5. The U.S. finished the set at 25-11. Team USA had six blocks and five aces in the set.

The U.S. built a 10-6 advantage in the second set using three unanswered points. Korea responded with four straight points to level the set at 10-all. The Americans notched the next four points to stake a 14-10 lead. Team USA extended the margin to 17-12 with three straight points. The Americans ended the set at 25-17 on a 4-0 run. Korea had 13 errors in the set.

Team USA scored four straight points to break a 5-all tie in the third set and go up 9-5. Korea charged back into a 9-all tie with a 4-0 run. The Americans broke a 10-all tie with three consecutive points pushing to a 13-10 lead. Korea responded with two quick points to close to 13-12. The U.S. scored the final seven points of the match as part of a 12-1 spurt for a 25-13 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