AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico (July 14, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s Junior National Team (WJNT) wrapped up the initial round of pool play at the FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship Sunday by sweeping Cuba 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-20) at Hermanos Carreon Stadium.
“We got on our heels a little bit in the second set, recovering from a four-point deficit,” Jerritt Elliot, head coach of WJNT. “We got a little tentative and we were down, but this team battles back to find a way to win. They could have started getting mad at each other, but they stayed together as a unit. The girls are learning the system and how to play at a higher level, which adds an emotional toll; they did a really nice job. Now we just have to wait and celebrate moving into the next round.”
The U.S led through much of the first set, but they had to rally from a four-point deficit to take the second. After falling behind through the first 20 points, WJNT pulled even at 21-all before taking four of the final six points in the frame. They also ended the third on a 6-2 run to close out the contest and first round of pool play.
“We’ve built confidence every single match and gotten more trust in each other,” said U.S. Women’s National Team outside hitter and captain Logan Eggleston. “I hope to keep going from here, you’re going to see us win some games. I think we did a really good job in staying together against Cuba’s strong hitters. Today we just picked up from yesterday’s performance, we’re continuing on an upward road after just being together for a week now, so I think we did a pretty good job together playing the entire match.”
WJNT dominated the net Sunday as they out-blocked Cuba 13-6. Middles Molly Phillips and Heather Gneiting stuffed four Cuba attacks apiece, and Eggleston stopped three. Opposite Kendall Kipp added the other two American blocks.
Eggleston led WJNT in scoring with 11 points, adding eight kills to her block total. Phillips ended the match with nine points – four blocks, four service aces and a kill. Gneiting and outside hitter Jenna Wenaas each added seven points apiece, and opposite Skylar Fields offered five points to the American cause. Kipp and setter Mia Tuaniga notched three points each Sunday.
The U.S. will now shift to the second stage of group play at the World Championship, which begins Tuesday, July 16. Matchups will be set upon the conclusion of the first round of pool play Sunday night.
2019 Women’s Junior National Team Roster
Name (Position, Height, HS Grad Year, Club/Region, College, Hometown)
3 – Brooke Nuneviller (L, 5-11, 2018, Aspire VBC/Arizona, Oregon, Chandler, Ariz.)
4 – Mia Tuaniga (S, 5-9, 2020, Apex1/Southern Cal, Long Beach State, Long Beach, Calif.)
5 – Azhani Tealer (OPP, 5-10, 2019, Texas Image/North Texas, Kentucky, Grand Prairie, Texas)
6 – Logan Eggleston (OH, 6-1, 2018, Alliance/Southern, Texas, Brentwood, Tenn.)
7 – Jenna Wenaas (OH, 6-1, 2020, TAV/North Texas, Minnesota, Frisco, Texas)
9 – Skylar Fields (OPP, 6-2, 2019, Houston Juniors/Lone Star, Texas, Missouri City, Texas)
11 – Molly Phillips (M, 6-2, 2019, Texas Image/North Texas, Texas, Mansfield, Texas)
13 – Ella May Powell (S, 6-2, 2018, Ozark Juniors/Delta, Washington, Fayetteville, Ark.)
15 – Katie Clark (M, 6-3, 2018, TAV/North Texas, TCU, Arlington, Texas)
17 – Anna Dixon (OH, 6-3, 2019, KC Power/Heart of America, Kansas State, Louisburg, Kan.)
19 – Kendall Kipp (OPP, 6-6, 2019, Laguna Beach VBC/Southern Cal, Stanford, Newport Beach, Calif.)
20 – Heather Gneiting (M, 6-6, 2018, Club V/Intermountain, BYU, Provo, Utah)
Head Coach: Jerritt Elliott (University of Texas)
Assistant Coaches: Paula Weishoff (Concordia Irvine) and Jenny Hazelwood (Infinity Volleyball Club)
Technical Coordinator: Jon Wong (Bradley University)
Head of Delegation: Coley Pawlikowski