FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (July 21, 2016) – Following the 2016 High Performance Championship on Sunday, the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team will travel 20 minutes up the road to compete in the NORCECA U20 Continental Championship from July 24-31.
The NORCECA tournament will be played at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale and will feature teams from Cuba, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Haiti, Mexico, Puerto Rico and French St. Martin. The top two finishing teams automatically qualify for the 2017 FIVB U20 World Championships in Boca del Rio, Mexico.
The Women’s Junior Team gets a glimpse of its NORCECA competition this week, playing Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico – a NORCECA pool play opponent – at the High Performance Championships.
“As coaches we love to know what we’re up against and it gives us a lot of things to work on and teach in practice sessions and training,” Corbelli said. “I think having a preview of these teams before NORCECA is probably the best thing that could happen for us, especially with such a new group.”
Named July 18 following a week-long training session, the Women’s Junior National Team is comprised of 12 players representing 11 of USA Volleyball’s 40 regions. A training team of 19 athletes was named in May following a series of tryouts held nationwide earlier this year.
The team will play to defend the gold medal won by the 2014 Women’s Junior National Team. Although the 2014 team qualified automatically for the 2015 World Championship, it did not compete due to the tournament’s conflict with the high school and college seasons.
Through Tuesday, the U.S. is 2-0 at High Performance Championships, sweeping the Girls’ Youth National Team, and the Girls’ Youth National A2 Team.
At the Continental Championship, the U.S. faces French St. Martin in pool play on Tuesday, followed by Puerto Rico and Mexico on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. The winning pool play team will have a quarterfinals-bye on Friday ahead of Saturday’s semifinals.
The gold medal match is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 31, with the bronze medal match immediately before at 5 p.m.
A member of the 1980 Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team which did not compete due to the boycott, and a silver medalist on the 1984 Olympic Team, Corbelli is working closely with her staff to instill pride in the team as the players represent their country both at NORCECA and the High Performance Championships.
“It makes me smile because it is such an honor and I don’t want them to take that lightly,” Corbelli said. “We’re reminding them daily and you can catch them with a gleam in their eye and a smile on their face when they think about it. It’s nice that they appreciate it.”
<2016 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team
No. Name (Position, Hometown, Height, High School Grad Year, Cub, Region)
1. Brionne Butler (MB, East Bernard, Texas, 6-3, 2017, Houston Juniors, Lone Star)
2. Jamye Cox (L, Oregon, Ohio, 5-3, 2017, Michigan Elite, Lakeshore)
3. Paige Hammons (OH, Louisville, Kentucky, 6-2, 2017, KIVA, Pioneer)
5. Thayer Hall (OH, Moore, South Carolina, 6-3, 2018, Upward Stars Upstate, Southern)
6. Hailey Harward (L, Phoenix, Arizona, 5-9, 2016, Aspire 18 Rox, Arizona)
7. Sydney Hilley (S, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, 5-11, 2017, Minnesota Select, North Country)
8. Taryn Knuth (MB, Johnston, Iowa, 6-3, 2017, Iowa Power, Iowa)
9. Madison Lilley (S, Overland Park, Kansas, 6-0, 2017, KC Power, Heart of America)
10. Mackenzie May (OH, Dubuque, Iowa, 6-3, 2017, Adrenaline Volleyball Academy, Iowa)
12. Lauren Sanders (MB, Snohomish, Washington, 6-5, 2017, WVBA 18 Mizuno, Puget Sound)
13. Stephanie Samedy (OH, Clermont, Florida, 6-2, 2017, Top Select Volleyball Academy, Florida)
20. Lexi Sun (OH, Encinitas, California, 6-3, 2017, Coast VBC, Southern California)
Head Coach: Laurie Corbelli
Assistant Coaches: Brian Wright and Genny Volpe
Technical Coordinator: Jesse Tupac
Team Leader: Lizzy Briones
NORCECA U20 Continental Championships Schedule (All times listed in eastern standard time)
Tuesday, July 26:
Cuba vs. Haiti, 1 p.m.
Dominican Republic vs. Costa Rica, 3 p.m.
Mexico vs. Puerto Rico, 5 p.m.
United States vs. French St. Martin, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, July 27:
French St. Martin vs. Mexico, 1 p.m.
Haiti vs. Dominican Republic, 3 p.m.
Costa Rica vs. Cuba, 5 p.m.
United States vs. Puerto Rico, 7 p.m.
Thursday, July 28:
Haiti vs. Costa Rica, 1 p.m.
Puerto Rico vs. French St. Martin, 3 p.m.
Cuba vs. Dominican Republic, 5 p.m.
United States vs. Mexico, 7 p.m.
Friday, July 29:
2nd Pool A vs. 3rd Pool B, 5 p.m.
2nd Pool B vs. 3rd Pool A, 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 30:
1st Pool A vs. Winner of Quarterfinal 1, 5 p.m.
1st Pool B vs. Winner of Quarterfinal 2, 7 p.m.
Sunday, July 31:
Bronze medal match, 5 p.m.
Gold medal match, 7 p.m.