COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The U.S. Girls Youth National Team held off three match points in the fourth sets versus Mexico today at the FIVB Girls U18 World Championship and went on to win in five, 17-25, 24-26, 25-19, 30-28, 15-10.
With that finish in Santa Fe, Argentina, the U.S. team now advances to the Top 16 of the tournament.
Outside hitter Madi Kubik picked the right time for a break out performance leading the U.S. out of the pool play round with medal hopes intact.
In the previous two matches Kubik had one kill on 17 attempts with zero blocks and zero aces. Today Kubik went off. Jumping into the line-up in the middle of the first set, Kubik had a match-high 31 points with 25 kills on 56 attempts, also leading the team with four blocks and two aces.
Team USA Starters
Libero: Brooke Nuneviller
Setter: Nicklin Hames
Middles: Madison Horin, Kendall Kipp,
Opposites: Mica Allison
Outside Hitters: Logan Eggleston, Taylor Landfair
Team USA Stat Leaders
Points: Madi Kubik, 31; Logan Eggleston, 17; Mica Allison, 13: Kendall Kipp, 10.
Kills: Madi Kubik, 25; Logan Eggleston, 14; Mica Allison, 10
Blocks: Madi Kubik, 4; Logan Eggleston, 3; Kendall Kipp, 3; Mica Allison, 2
Aces: Madi Kubik, 2; Mica Allison, 1; Kendall Kipp, 1; Madison Horin, 1.
Digs: Brooke Nuneville, 22; Madi Kubik, 19; Logan Eggleston, 17; Mica Allison, 12
Sets: Nicklin Hames, 12 running sets, 130 still sets on 144 att.
Excellent Receptions: Brooke Nuneviller, 20; Mica Allison, 12; Madi Kubik, 12
That Fourth Set
“Madison Kubik was fantastic today,” said head coach Jim Stone. “She took great swings at critical match points to keep us alive in the fourth set.”
That fourth set was a heart stopper for Team USA fans, a loss to Mexico would likely have dropped the U.S. team out of the Top 16. Mexico playing tenacious defense had match point in the fourth … three times.
“We really fought back in the fourth,” said Kubik. “We played as a group.”
Kubik was a first-set substitution.
“I came on the court to help the team because that’s what I am here for, I’m happy.”
For the second match in a row, the young Americans got down early.
“It was a combination of great play by Mexico and erratic play on our part put us in a hole,” said Stone. “To the credit of the players, they raised their level, as Mexico continued to play great.
Setter Nicklin Hames said: “The game was really good, we were down 0-2 and we battled really hard. Mexico played really well and in the end we just played the bigger points better and won the match.”
Now the team wants to get off to a faster start.
“Looking to our match tomorrow, we just need to play better at the beginning because we tend to struggle in the beginning and then have to battle back,” said Hames. “We just need to start out ahead and earn points early so we can get some momentum going. It’s just going to be all us tomorrow.”
The team’s next opponent and start time to be determined awaiting the conclusion of pool play.
What does the win mean for the team?
“It means we get the opportunity to play more good teams,” said Stone.
Aug. 19 … USA lost to Russia … 25-17, 25-20, 25-19
Aug. 20 … USA lost to Belarus … 25-20, 25-13, 21-25, 25-20
Aug. 21 … USA beat Brazil … 26-24, 19-25, 8-25, 25-19, 15-11
Aug. 22 … USA beat Mexico … 17-25, 24-26, 25-19, 30-28, 15-10
In 2013, the U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team made history, becoming the first U.S. volleyball team of either gender to win a world championship medal at the youth or junior level, taking the silver after losing to China in the final in Thailand. In 2015, the U.S. earned another silver in the World Championship final against Italy.
The U.S., ranked No. 1 in the world, competed in Pool B along with Russia, the 2017 European U18 champions; Brazil, the 2017 South American champions, plus, Belarus and Mexico.
2017 U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team
# — Name (Position, Ht., Hometown, Club, Region)
3 – Brooke Nuneviller* – L, 5-11, Chandler, Ariz., Aspire, Arizona
4 – Mica Allison – S, 6-0, White Heath, Ill., Illini Elite, Great Lakes
5 – Nicklin Hames – S, 5-11, Maryville, Tenn., K2 Volleyball, Southern
6 – Selina Xu – S, 6-0, San Carlos, Calif., Vision Volleyball, Northern California
8 – Madison Williams – OH, 6-1, Texas Advantage, North Texas
9 – Logan Eggleston* – OH, 6-3, Franklin, Tenn., Alliance, Southern
11 – Skylar Fields* – OH, 6-2, Missouri City, Texas, Houston Juniors, Lone Star
14 – Madi Kubik – OH, 6-2, West Des Moines, Iowa, Central Iowa Select, Iowa
15 – Kendall Kipp* – MB, 6-5, Newport Beach, Calif., Laguna Beach, Southern California
16 – Madison Horin – MB, 6-3, Munster, Ind., First Alliance, Great Lakes
17 – Holly Campbell – MB, 6-3, Austin, Texas, Austin Juniors, Lone Star
19 – Taylor Landfair – OH, 6-4, Plainfield, Ill., Elite Sports Performance, Great Lakes
* Member of the 2016 U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team
Head Coach: Jim Stone
Asst. Coach: Michelle Chatman-Smith
Asst. Coach: Michael Gee
Head of Delegation: Lizzy Briones
Technical Coordinator: Herb Summer