COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept 2, 2016) – The U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team (GYNT) aced Guatemala 25-12, 25-12, 25-10 on Friday in its opening match of the NORCECA Women’s U18 Continental Championship being staged in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The GYNT will carry its 1-0 record into day two when it faces Barbados at 2 p.m. ET. Team USA concludes pool play on Sunday against Dominican Republic at 6 p.m. ET.

Outside hitter Brooklyn Schirmer (Long Beach, California, Mizuno Long Beach VBC) notched a match-high 13 points, including seven aces, five kills and a block. Middle Kendall Kipp (Newport Beach, California, Momentous VBC) added 10 points via five aces, four kills and a block in starting just the first and third sets. Middle Serena Gray (San Gabriel, California, San Gabriel Elite VBC) contributed nine points with seven kills and two blocks – both team highs.

Middle Sophia Dorsch-Summers (Beaverton, Oregon, Athena Volleyball Club) pocketed six points with five kills and a block while starting the first two sets. Opposite Haley Warner (Fayetteville, Arkansas, Ozark Juniors) turned in six kills in the victory. Outside hitter Logan Eggleston (Franklin, Tennessee, Alliance VBC) chalked up three kills, one block and an ace for five points.

Setters Ella Powell (Fayetteville, Arkansas, Ozark Juniors), who started all three sets, and Erin O’Leary (Novi, Michigan, Legacy VBC) each had four points with three aces and a kill. Outside hitter Skylar Fields (Missouri City, Texas), who subbed in the first and third sets, slammed two kills in the win and outside hitter Mia Grunze (San Gabriel, California, San Gabriel Elite VBC) rounded out the scoring with a block.

The U.S. opened the first set with a 6-0 lead and finished with a 25-12 victory. Guatemala led the second set 5-2, but the GYNT stormed back on an 8-1 run taking a 10-6 advantage. The Americans continued the momentum to win the second set 25-12. Guatemala stayed close in the third, trailing only 12-10 before the Americans scored the final 13-0 points to finished off the set 25-10.

The U.S. held a 19-2 ace advantage and managed a 7-1 margin in blocks. The Team USA defense limited Guatemala to nine kills for the entire match. Though the American service game had 19 aces, it was hit or miss as they had 16 service errors as part of 22 total errors.

The GYNT is comprised of 12 players born in 2000 or 2001 and all making their debuts in an international NORCECA or FIVB tournament.

The top team in each pool advances directly to the semifinals on Sept. 6, while the second- and third-place teams play crossover quarterfinals on Sept. 5. The biennial tournament concludes on Sept. 7 with the final classification matches, including the medal round matches. The top two teams will advance to next year’s age-group FIVB World Championship.

Team USA has had recent success in the U18 age group. The Americans have won seven of the nine NORCECA Women’s U18 Continental Championships contested since the inaugural event in 1998. Dominican Republic is the defending champion of the event, which ended a run of six straight titles for the U.S. Along with its dominance at the NORCECA level, the GYNT has won silver at the two most recent FIVB Women’s U18 World Championships held in 2013 and 2015.

USA Starters:
M – Sophia Dorsch-Summers and Kendall Kipp
OH – Logan Eggleston and Brooklyn Schirmer
OPP – Haley Warner
S – Ella Powell
L – Brooke Nuneviller

USA Scoring
Points – Brooklyn Schirmer 13, Kendall Kipp 10, Serena Gray 9, Sophia Dorsch-Summers 6, Haley Warner 6, Logan Eggleston 5, Ella Powell 4, Erin O’Leary 4, Skylar Fields 2, Mia Grunze 1. TEAM USA 75, GUATEMALA 34.
Kills – Serena Gray 7, Haley Warner 6, Sophia Dorsch-Summers 5, Brooklyn Schirmer 5, Kendall Kipp 4, Logan Eggleston 3, Skylar Fields 2, Erin O’Leary 1, Ella Powell 1. TEAM USA 34, GUATEMALA 9.
Blocks – Serena Gray 2, Sophia Dorsch-Summers 1, Logan Eggleston 1, Mia Grunze 1, Kendall Kipp 1, Brooklyn Schirmer 1. TEAM USA 7, GUATEMALA 1.
Aces – Brooklyn Schirmer 7, Kendall Kipp 5, Erin O’Leary 3, Ella Powell 3, Logan Eggleston 1. TEAM USA 19, GUATEMALA 2.

2016 U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team
Name (Position, Hometown, Height, HS Grad Year, Volleyball Club, Region)
4 – Sophia Dorsch-Summers (M, Beaverton, Oregon, 6-3, 2019, Athena Volleyball Academy, Columbia Empire)
5 – Logan Eggleston (OH, Franklin, Tennessee, 6-2, 2019, Alliance VBC, Southern)
6 – Skylar Fields (OH, Missouri City, Texas, 6-2, 2019, Houston Juniors, Lone Star)
7 – Serena Gray (M, San Gabriel, California, 6-3, 2018, San Gabriel Elite VBC, Southern California)
8 – Mia Grunze (OH, Waterford, Wisconsin, 6-2, 2018, Milwaukee Sting, Badger)
10 – Kendall Kipp (M, Newport Beach, California, 6-4, 2019, Momentous VBC, Southern California)
12 – Allison Martinez (OH, Montebello, California, 6-0, 2018, San Gabriel Elite, Southern California)
13 – Brooke Nuneviller (L, Chandler, Arizona, 5-10, 2018, Aspire VBC, Arizona)
14 – Erin O’Leary (S, Novi, Michigan, 5-10, 2018, Legacy VBC, Lakeshore)
17 – Ella Powell (S, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 6-0, 2018, Ozark Juniors, Delta)
20 – Brooklyn Schirmer (OH, Long Beach, California, 6-1, 2018, Mizuno Long Beach VBC, Southern California)
23 – Haley Warner (OH, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 6-1, 2018, Ozark Juniors, Delta)

Head Coach: Erin Virtue
Assistant Coaches: Stacy Sykora, Kayla Cole
Technical Coordinator: Nicki Holmes
Physiotherapist: Molly Mattea
Team Leader: Denise Sheldon

2016 NORCECA Women’s U18 Continental Championship Schedule (all times ET)

Pool A
Sept. 2: Mexico def. Costa Rica 25-20, 25-16, 25-16
Sept. 2: Puerto Rico vs. French St. Martin, 8 p.m.
Sept. 3: French St. Martin vs. Mexico, 4 p.m.
Sept. 3: Puerto Rico vs. Costa Rica, 8 p.m.
Sept. 4: Costa Rica vs. French St. Martin, 2 p.m.
Sept. 4: Puerto Rico vs. Mexico, 8 p.m.

Pool B
Sept. 2: USA def. Guatemala 25-12, 25-12, 25-10
Sept. 2: Dominican Republic vs. Barbados, 6 p.m.
Sept. 3: USA vs. Barbados, 2 p.m.
Sept. 3: Dominican Republic vs. Guatemala, 6 p.m.
Sept. 4: Barbados vs. Guatemala, 4 p.m.
Sept. 4: USA vs. Dominican Republic, 6 p.m.

Sept. 5: 2B vs. 3A, 6 p.m.
Sept. 5: 2A vs. 3B, 8 p.m.

Classification 5-8
Sept. 6: 4B vs. Quarterfinal Loser TBA, 2 p.m.
Sept. 6: 4A vs. Quarterfinal Loser TBA, 4 p.m.

Sept. 6: 1B vs. Quarterfinal Winner TBA, 6 p.m.
Sept. 6: 1A vs. Quarterfinal Winner TBA, 8 p.m.

Final Classification Matches
Sept. 7: Classification 5-8 Losers, 2 p.m. (7th Place)
Sept. 7: Classification 5-8 Winners, 4 p.m. (5th Place)
Sept. 7: Semifinal Losers, 6 p.m. (Bronze Medal)
Sept. 7: Semifinal Winners, 8 p.m. (Gold Medal)