U.S. Girls U19 Team celebrates advancing to Pan Am Cup final
The U.S. Girls U19 Team celebrates advancing to the Pan Am Cup final

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 13, 2023) – The U.S. Girls U19 National Team is moving on to the championship match after defeating Costa Rica in the semifinals of the 2023 NORCECA Pan American Cup. The U.S was victorious by a final score of 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-6) on Saturday in Puerto Rico. The team has yet to lose a set throughout its Pan Am Cup journey.


This was the team’s second victory over Costa Rica during this competition. USA previously defeated CRC 3-0 (25-13, 25-13, 25-12) in the pool stage on May 10.

In the semifinal, the U.S. once again got out to an early lead to set the tone in the first set. Outside hitter Blaire Bayless put up all nine of her total points with five kills and four aces. Her final tally was more than double the opponent’s leading scorer for the match. Setter Izzy Starck contributed five of her six total points in the first set and had four aces in the match.

The second set was a tougher test. Costa Rica rallied to draw within one point with the score at 13-12. They held the margin within four points until the U.S. captured the final score at 25-20. Outside hitter Abby Vander Wal stepped in to take charge of scoring with nine total points of her own in the second set. Vander Wal would finish as the leading scorer for the U.S. with 12 points on 9 kills and three aces.

“Our energy definitely picked up from the second to the third set,” Vander Wal said. “I am super excited to take that energy into the championship game tomorrow.”

The U.S. finished strong in the third set, led this time by outside hitter Kaci Demaria. She scored six points on three kills and three blocks. Middle blocker Jaela Auguste tied Bayless for second on the team in kills for the match with five total. She put up four of her six total points in the third set.

Logan Parks was the team’s third highest scorer and earned a team-high five aces in the victory. Four of her seven points came in the third set. Libero Ava Falduto played all three sets and had 11 digs while averaging 3.67 per set.

As a team, the U.S. had a 41.2 percent hitting efficiency and a 57.14 kill percentage throughout the three sets with Costa Rica. Assistant coach Cursty Le Roux credited the team’s resolve and cohesion while facing a confident opponent.

“I think Costa Rica was an amazing team,” Le Roux said. “After beating Dominican Republic, they really had a lot of confidence, so our point was just to serve really aggressively, which we did, and play with a lot of energy and positivity. It was great to see a lot of different lineups and it just showed exactly who we are as a team.”

The U.S. Girls U19 National Team will look to capture its second consecutive Pan Am Cup title on Sunday. They will face the semifinal winner of Puerto Rico vs. Mexico. Match time is currently set for 4 p.m. PT.

No. Name (Position, Height, Birth Year, Hometown, School, Region)
1 Lizzy Andrew (MB, 6-5, 2005, Ridgefield, Wash., Ridgefield HS, Columbia Empire)
2 Jaela Auguste (MB, 6-2, 2006, Spring, Texas, Grand Oaks HS, Lonestar)
3 Olivia Babcock (OPP, 6-4, 2005, Los Angeles, Calif., Sierra Canyon HS, Southern California)
4 Blaire Bayless (OH, 6-2, 2005, Plano, Texas, Plano West Senior HS, North Texas)
5 Julia Blyashov (OH, 6-3, 2005, San Diego, Calif., Cathedral Catholic HS, Southern California)
8 Kaci Demaria (OH, 6-4, 2007, San Pedro, Calif., Palos Verdes HS, Southern California)
9 Ava Falduto (L, 5-7, 2006, Elmhurst, Ill., IC Catholic Prep, Great Lakes)
14 Calissa Minatee (MB, 6-0, 2005, Kansas City, Mo., University of Minnesota, Heart of America)
15 Logan Parks (OPP/S, 5-11, 2006, Overland Park, Kan., Blue Valley North HS, Heart of America)
17 Teraya Sigler (OH, 6-2, 2006, Horizon HS, Scottsdale, Ariz., Arizona)
18 Izzy Starck (S, 6-1, 2006, Colorado Springs, Colo., Rampart HS, Rocky Mountain)
19 Abby Vander Wal (OH, 6-3, 2006, Elmhurst, Ill., Timothy Christian HS, Great Lakes)

Head Coach: Keegan Cook
Assistant Coach: Krista Hendrickson
Assistant Coach: Cursty Le Roux
Performance Analyst: Virginia Pham
Athletic Trainer: Cherryl Bueno
Team Lead: Courtney Smith

Suli Davis (OH, 6-2, 2007, Euless, Texas, Colleyville Heritage HS, North Texas)
Brooklyn DeLeye (OH, 6-2, 2005, Auburn, Kan., Washburn Rural HS, Heart of America)
Taylor Harvey (MB, 6-3, 2006, Bountiful, Utah, Bountiful HS, Intermountain)
Kelly Kinney (OH, 6-2, 2007, West Palm Beach, Fla., The King’s Academy, Florida)
Ryan McAleer (L, 5-5, 2005, Leawood, Kan., Blue Valley HS, Heart of America)
Reese Messer (S, 5-11, 2006, Olathe, Kan., Saint James Academy, Heart of America)
Alec Rothe (MB, 6-3, 2006, Dublin, Ohio, Dublin Scioto HS, Ohio Valley)
Taylor Yu (S, 6-0, 2006, Temple City, Calif., Temple City HS, Southern California)

U.S. Schedule

Tuesday, May 9
11 a.m.: USA vs. U.S. Virgin Islands
W 3-0 (25-6, 25-18, 25-12)

Wednesday, May 10
11 a.m.: USA vs. Costa Rica
W 3-0 (25-13, 25-13, 25-12)

Thursday, May 11
1 p.m.: USA vs. Mexico
W 3-0 (25-14, 25-11, 25-17)

Saturday, May 13
Semifinal 4 p.m.: USA vs. Costa Rica
W 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-6)

Sunday, May 14
Final 4 p.m.: USA vs. Mexico/Puerto Rico