COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept 7, 2016) – The U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team opened the NORCECA Women’s U18 Continental Championship title match with a 2-0 set lead before Dominican Republic rallied to win the match 18-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-20, 15-13 on Wednesday evening in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Based on reaching the gold-medal match, both the U.S. and Dominican Republic had already earned NORCECA’s two spots into the 2017 FIVB Women’s U18 World Championship.

In the fifth-set tiebreaker, Dominican Republic came back from a 10-7 deficit with five unanswered points to win the set. Earlier in the tournament, the U.S. had rallied from a 14-12 deficit to Dominican Republic to win in five sets and conclude pool play undefeated.

Dominican Republic was the defending tournament champions, but Team USA had won seven of the first nine editions of the biennial event. 

The U.S. was led in scoring by opposite Haley Warner (Fayetteville, Arkansas, Ozark Juniors) and outside hitter Logan Eggleston (Franklin, Tennessee, Alliance VBC), who each had 17 points. Warner contributed 13 kills on 35 errorless attacks and four blocks for her 17, while Eggleston registered eight kills on 35 swings, a match-high six aces and three blocks. Middle Kendall Kipp (Newport Beach, California, Momentous VBC) chipped in 12 points with seven kills on 14 swings, three blocks and two aces.

Team USA overcame an 8-5 deficit in the opening set by using an 11-4 run to establish a 16-12 lead and never looked back in winning 25-18. The Americans opened the second set leading 5-0 and reached a 10-point lead at 14-4 before cruising into to a 25-17 win with six blocks and four aces in the second set. Dominican Republic controlled much of the third set with slim leads and managed to win 25-22. Dominican Republic pulled away from a slim 17-16 lead late in the fourth set to win 25-20 and sending the match to a fifth-set tiebreaker. Dominican rallied from a 10-7 deficit in the fifth set with five unanswered points and went on to win 15-13.

Skylar Fields (Missouri City, Texas, Houston Juniors), the opposite in Team USA’s double-sub in all five sets, pocketed nine kills on 17 attacks in the match. Outside hitter Brooklyn Schirmer (Long Beach California, Mizuno Long Beach VBC) tallied six kills on 22 attacks and two blocks. Middle Serena Gray (San Gabriel, California, San Gabriel Elite) connected for seven kills on 11 swings in the match. Rounding out the scoring was setter Ella Powell (Fayetteville, Arkansas, Ozark Juniors) scoring a kill.

The Americans converted 37.0 percent of their attacks with a .261 hitting efficiency (51-15-138) as Powell was credited with 10 running sets on 87 set attempts and double-sub setter Erin O’Leary (Novi, Michigan, Legacy VBC) added six running sets on 24 chances. Team USA held Dominican Republic to a 32.7 kill percent and .170 hitting efficiency (48-23-147).

Libero Brooke Nuneviller (Chandler, Arizona, Aspire VBC) tallied 16 excellent receptions on 27 chances and 11 digs. Eggleston was credited with 12 digs and 11 excellent receptions on 32 chances.

The U.S. held advantage in kills (51-48) and blocks (12-10), while Dominican Republic held a slim 9-8 margin in aces. Dominican committed 34 errors to the Americans’ 33.

Dominican Republic’s offense was centered around two individuals as captain Natalia Martinez scored a match-high 29 points and Madeline Jazmin Guillen Paredes added 22 points.

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

Dominican Republic jumped to a 7-4 lead in the opening set on the strength of three aces, but the U.S. came back to level the set at 8-all starting with a Gray kill and two Dominican errors. Team USA built a 13-11 lead of its own following a Kipp kill and Fields overpass kill. Team USA went into the second technical timeout leading 16-12 on a Kipp kill and Dominican error. Out of the timeout, Dominican scored three straight to close to 16-15 prompting a Team USA timeout. The U.S. answered with a Kipp ace after a Dominican error to regain a three-point cushion at 18-15. Team USA extended its advantage to 21-16 with three unanswered points including two Dominican errors. The Americans never let up in winning the set 25-18 as Warner slammed the final point.

The U.S. established a 5-0 run in the second set including three aces from Eggleston after kills from Schirmer and Warner. The Americans went into the first technical timeout up 8-2. Kipp gave the U.S. an 11-3 lead with consecutive blocks. Gray took a quick set for a kill yielding providing the Americans a double-digit lead at 14-4. After Dominican sliced its deficit to 14-7 with three straight, the U.S. used a 7-0 run with four blocks – two each from Eggleston and Warner – to take a commanding 21-8 advantage. Dominican Republic stopped the run with four consecutive points to trim the gap to 21-12. Team USA ended the set at 25-17 with a Fields kill off the block.

Dominican Republic used a 3-0 run in the third set to establish a 6-4 margin. Dominican Republic inched its advantage to 17-11. Eggleston trimmed the gap to 17-13 with a kill after a Dominican Republic service error. Team USA moved to within two at 18-16 with two aces from Eggleston. However, Dominican Republic rebuilt its four-point cushion to 21-17 with consecutive points. Team USA returned to a two-point deficit at 21-19 after Warner slammed a key and served an ace. However, Dominican Republic was able to side its way out to a 25-22 victory.

Dominican Republic took the first two-point cushion of the fourth set at 4-2. Team USA leveled the score at 5-all on an Eggleston block. Dominican broke a string of side outs to take a 9-7 advantage and extended the margin to 13-9. Consecutive Dominican Republic errors trimmed the gap to 13-11. Trailing 16-13 at the second technical timeout, U.S. cut the deficit to 16-15 with back-to-back kills from Fields. Dominican Republic scored three consecutive points to reach a three-point edge at 23-19 and went on to win 25-20.

Team USA started the fifth set with a 3-0 lead with a Warner block and Kipp ace. However, Dominican Republic whittled its deficit to 4-3 and leveled the score at 5-all. Dominican Republic went in front 7-6 on a block. The reversed back to the USA at 8-7 as Warner wipe an attack off the Dominican block. Following the side switch, the U.S. increased its lead to 10-7 with its third and fourth straight points capped by a Kipp block. Dominican erupted for five straight to take the lead at 14-12 and gained tournament match points and won the match 15-13.

USA Starters:
M – Serena Gray and Kendall Kipp
OH – Logan Eggleston and Brooklyn Schirmer
OPP – Haley Warner
S – Ella Powell
L – Brooke Nuneviller

USA Scoring
Points – Logan Eggleston 17, Haley Warner 17, Kendall Kipp 12, Skylar Fields 9, Brooklyn Schirmer 8, Serena Gray 7, Ella Powell. TEAM USA 105, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 100.
Kills – Haley Warner 13, Skylar Fields 9, Logan Eggleston 8, Serena Gray 7, Kendall Kipp 7, Brooklyn Schirmer, Ella Powell 1. TEAM USA 51, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 48.
Blocks – Haley Warner 4, Logan Eggleston 3, Kendall Kipp 3, Brooklyn Schirmer 2. TEAM USA 12, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 10.
Aces – Logan Eggleston 6, Kendall Kipp 2. TEAM USA 8, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 9.

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 def. French St. Martin 25-5, 25-4, 25-4
Sept. 3: Mexico def. French St. Martin 25-1, 25-6, 25-2
Sept. 3: Puerto Rico def. Costa Rica 25-10, 25-3, 27-25
Sept. 4: Costa Rica def. French St. Martin 25-8, 25-7, 25-8
Sept. 4: Mexico def. Puerto Rico 25-18, 25-17, 26-24

Pool B
Sept. 2: USA def. Guatemala 25-12, 25-12, 25-10
Sept. 2: Dominican Republic def. Barbados 25-10, 25-13, 25-13
Sept. 3: USA def. Barbados 25-13, 25-8, 25-11
Sept. 3: Dominican Republic def. Guatemala 25-7, 25-9, 25-11
Sept. 4: Guatemala def. Barbados 16-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-18
Sept. 4: USA def. Dominican Republic 25-23, 14-25, 23-25, 25-23, 16-14

Sept. 5: Dominican Republic (2B) def. Costa Rica (3A) 25-15, 25-11, 25-17
Sept. 5: Puerto Rico (2A) def. Guatemala (3B) 25-10, 25-11, 25-15

Classification 5-8
Sept. 6: Costa Rica (3A) def. Barbados (4B) 25-10, 25-9, 25-12
Sept. 6: Guatemala (3B) def. French St. Martin 25-10, 25-7, 25-7

Sept. 6: Dominican Republic (2B) def. Mexico (1A) 25-18, 25-16, 25-21
Sept. 6: USA (1B) def. Puerto Rico (2B) 19-25, 25-21, 25-20, 20-25, 15-10

Final Classification Matches
Sept. 7: Barbados def. French St. Martin 25-12, 25-4, 25-8 (7th Place)
Sept. 7: Costa Rica def. Guatemala 21-25, 25-15, 25-22, 25-23 (5th Place)
Sept. 7: Mexico def. Puerto Rico 25-20, 25-18, 25-19 (Bronze Medal)
Sept. 7: Dominican Republic def. USA 18-25, 17-25, 22-25, 20-25, 15-13 (Gold Medal)