COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 23, 2018) – The U.S. Women’s Junior National Team captured the NORCECA Women’s U20 Continental Championship on Saturday with a dominating 25-20, 25-11, 25-20 victory over Dominican Republic as the two undefeated teams met in the gold-medal match in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
With the victory, the U.S. also earned qualification into the 2019 FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship. The Americans finished the tournament with a 5-0 record, but by far saved its most dominant performance of the tournament for the championship match. Team USA has now won the biennial NORCECA Women’s U20 Championship seven times out of 11 tournaments.
After several lead changes in the opening stages of the first set, the U.S. used a 6-0 run to take a 15-10 advantage and went on to win 25-20. The Americans dominated the early stages of the second set in building a 13-4 margin and went on to win 25-11. After leading by a slim 11-10 margin in third set, the U.S. surged to a 19-14 advantage and went on to win 25-20 after Dominican Republic had saved three match points.
“I think we played the way we wanted the whole tournament at the right time,” U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Head Coach Keegan Cook said. “We did a really nice job against a really good team. The whole game we were really steady. We always thought we would win, but we have a lot of respect for Dominican Republic. Two years ago we were in the same position, up 2-0 and they came back to beat us. So the motto was it is not over until it is over.”
The U.S. received balanced scoring as middle Molly Phillips (Mansfield, Texas) contributed a match-high 13 points with seven blocks and six kills on 12 errorless attacks. Outside hitter Madi Kubik (West Des Moines, Iowa) notched 12 points with nine kills on 23 swings, two blocks and an ace. Opposite Skylar Fields (Missouri City, Texas) charted nine points with seven kills on 24 attacks and two blocks.
Outside hitter and captain Logan Eggleston (Franklin, Tennessee), who was named the tournament most valuable player and Best Server, chipped in eight points with five kills on 18 swings, two aces and a block. Middle Madison Horin (Munster, Indiana) pocketed three kills, two blocks and two aces for seven points. Setter Mica Allison (White Heath, Illinois) rounded out the scoring with a kill.
“I am so excited. I am so proud of our team,” Eggleston said. “We played so hard tonight. I am so happy right now. I think we just came out really strong. I don’t think they were really expecting that. So I am really proud at how we played. We came out working together and being really good teammates.”
U.S. libero Brooke Nuneviller (Chandler, Arizona) picked up 18 digs and 13 excellent receptions on 19 errorless chances. Eggleston was credited with eight excellent receptions on 12 errorless chances and 10 digs. Kubik charted 11 digs in the victory.
Allison was credited with 18 running sets on 72 total set attempts leading Team USA to a 35.2 kill percent and .273 hitting efficiency (31-7-88). The Americans limited Dominican Republic to a 24.5 kill percent and .051 hitting efficiency (24-19-98).
The American held a 14-5 advantage in blocking, thanks in large part to a tremendous serving net that also netted a 5-2 ace margin. The U.S. offense produced a 31-24 advantage in kills. Team USA took advantage of 25 Dominican Republic errors and limited its own mistakes to 20 – eight of which came in the first 34 points of the match to keep Dominican Republic in the opening set. Dominican Republic held a 99-59 advantage in digs.
The U.S. started Eggleston and Kubik at outside hitter, Horin and Phillips at middle, Fields at opposite and Allison at setter. Nuneviller is the American libero for the tournament.
The U.S. grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the opening set with a Phillips kill and Kubik block. Dominican Republic used a 3-0 run to take a 5-4 lead. The Americans answered with a Horin ace after a Dominican service error to retake the lead at 6-5. Dominican responded with two quick points to stake a 7-6 advantage and went into the first technical timeout leading 8-7 on Team USA’s fifth error of the set. Phillips slammed a kill out of the break and Dominican Republic hit long to yield a 9-8 U.S. lead. Yet again, Dominican answered with two straight points to take a 10-9 lead. Fields powered down a kill and Dominican committed three consecutive errors to lift the Americans in front 13-10. Out of a Dominican timeout, Fields tip a kill over the block and then put up a block of her own for a 15-10 lead as part of a 6-0 run. Dominican Republic chipped off two points at 16-13. Kubik launched a cross-court winner and served an ace around a Horin block to prompt Dominican Republic to call timeout trailing 19-13. Dominican Republic closed the gap to 19-15 on Team USA’s eighth error of the set. Phillips hit a back-court winner and Horin served an ace to lift the Americans to a 21-15 advantage. Fields notched a block to raise the American lead to 23-16. Dominican Republic chipped off three points on the deficit to close to 23-19. The Americans won the set 25-20 on a Kubik smash.
After Dominican Republic scored the opening point of the second set, Team USA went up 4-1 on an Eggleston ace, Kubik block and Fields kill. The U.S. raised its advantage to 8-3 at the technical timeout on a Kubik kill and consecutive Dominican Republic errors. Out of the break, Fields hit a back-row kill for a fourth straight point and 9-3 USA lead. Horin slammed a kill, Eggleston placed a monster block and Allison downed an overpass to build the American lead to 12-4. Out of the break, Dominican committed an error to give the U.S. a 13-4 lead as part of a 4-0 run. Consecutive Dominican Republic errors raised the margin to 15-5. Eggleston slammed a kill off the block between two Dominican Republic errors to extend the lead to 18-6. Phillips scored a kill and block around a Fields kill, then Eggleston served an ace to stake a 15-point cushion at 22-7. Dominican Republic served an ace at 23-10, but then served out to give the U.S. set points at 24-10. Team USA won the set 25-11 on a Horin kill.
Fields scored a kill and block then Dominican Republic hit long to yield the U.S. with a 3-0 lead early in the third set. Dominican Republic closed the gap to 9-8. However, Phillips hammered a kill and put up a block to give a three-point cushion at 11-8. Dominican Republic answered with two quick points to narrow the deficit to 11-10. Consecutive Dominican Republic errors pushed the Team USA lead to 15-12. Horin and Eggleston scored consecutive kills around the second technical timeout to build the American lead to 17-13. Team USA staked a 19-14 advantage with an Eggleston kill and Dominican Republic error. Eggleston nailed a back-row kill to put the Americans in front 22-16 at Dominican Republic’s final timeout. Kubik blocked Dominican Republic to give match points at 24-17. Dominican Republic saved thred match points before the U.S. won 25-20 on a Kubik kill.
2018 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team
# – Name (Position, Height, HS Grad Year, Hometown, Club, Region, College Commitment)
2 – Amelia Tuaniga (S, 5-9, Long Beach, 2020, California, Apex 1, Southern California, Long Beach State University)
3 – Brooke Nuneviller (L, 5-11, 2018, Chandler, Arizona, Aspire Volleyball Club, Arizona, University of Oregon)
5 – Mica Allison (S, 6-0, 2018, White Heath, Illinois, Illini Elite, Great Lakes, Auburn University)
6 – Selina Xu (S, 6-0, 2019, San Carlos, California, Vision Volleyball, Northern California, Uncommitted)
9 – Madi Kubik (OH, 6-2, 2019, West Des Moines, Iowa, Iowa Powerplex TPP, Iowa, University of Nebraska)
10 – Adeola Owokoniran (M, 6-2, 2018, Raleigh, North Carolina, Triangle VBC, Carolina, Duke University)
11 – Anita Anwusi (M, 6-3, 2019, Houston, Texas, Houston Juniors, Lone Star, Uncommitted)
12 – Caitlin Baird (OH, 6-3, 2019, Indianapolis, Indiana, Circle City Volleyball Club, Hoosier, Stanford University)
13 – Destiny Cox (OH, 6-3, 2018, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Triangle VBC, Carolina, University of North Carolina)
14 – Logan Eggleston (OH, 6-3, 2018, Franklin, Tennessee, Alliance Mizuno 18-1, Southern, University of Texas)
15 – Skylar Fields (OH, 6-2, 2019, Missouri City, Texas, Houston Juniors, Lone Star, University of Texas)
16 – Madison Horin (M, 6-3, 2019, Munster, Indiana, First Alliance, Great Lakes, University of Southern California)
17 – Molly Phillips (M, 6-4, 2019, Mansfield, Texas, Texas Image Volleyball, North Texas, University of Texas)
Head Coach: Keegan Cook (head coach at University of Washington)
Assistant Coaches: Rob Browning (head coach at Saint Mary’s College, California), Jenny Hazelwood (club director with Infinity Volleyball Academy)
Technical Coordinator: Jon Wong (assistant coach at Bradley University)
Doctor: Dr. William Feldner
Team Leader: Tayyiba Haneef-Park
2018 NORCEA Women’s U20 Continental Championship Schedule (times are listed as ET)
June 18: Cuba def. Guatemala 25-20, 25-14, 25-12
June 18: United States def. Puerto Rico 25-13, 25-9, 25-19
June 19: Puerto Rico def. Guatemala 25-16, 25-9, 24-26, 25-17
June 19: United States def. Cuba 20-25, 25-18, 25-19, 22-25, 15-11
June 20: United States def. Guatemala 25-13, 25-11, 25-7
June 20: Cuba def. Puerto Rico 25-20, 26-24, 20-25, 25-12
June 18: Dominican Republic def. Costa Rica 25-13, 25-17, 25-18
June 18: Mexico def. Honduras 25-7, 25-19, 25-9
June 19: Dominican Republic def. Honduras 25-16, 25-12, 25-14
June 19: Mexico def. Costa Rica 25-19, 25-9, 25-12
June 20: Costa Rica def. Honduras 25-22, 25-16, 25-22
June 20: Dominican Republic def. Mexico 26-24, 19-25, 25-22, 25-20
June 21: Cuba (2B) def. Costa Rica (3A) 25-22, 25-20, 25-21
June 21: Mexico (2A) def. Puerto Rico (3B) 25-16, 25-21, 25-21
June 22: Costa Rica (3A) def. Guatemala (4B) 25-13, 25-13, 25-6
June 22: Puerto Rico (3B) def. Honduras (4A) 25-16, 25-18, 16-25, 25-13
June 22: Dominican Republic (1A) def. Cuba (2B) 25-17, 25-17, 25-21
June 22: USA (1B) def. Mexico (2A) 25-20, 27-25, 25-27, 25-9
Final Classification 7-8
June 23: Honduras def. Guatemala 25-15, 25-12, 26-24
Final Classification 5-6
June 23: Puerto Rico def. Costa Rica 25-9, 25-11, 25-13
June 23: Mexico def. Cuba 25-13, 20-25, 27-25, 25-23
June 23: USA def. Dominican Republic 25-20, 25-11, 25-20