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U.S. Women's Junior National Team celebrates its win over Puerto Rico
U.S. Women’s Junior National Team celebrates its win over Puerto Rico

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 18, 2018) – The U.S. Women’s Junior National Team opened the NORCECA Women’s U20 Continental Championship with a strong performance in beating Puerto Rico 25-13, 25-9, 25-19 in Pool A on Monday in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

The U.S. Women’s Junior National Team will meet Cuba on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET before concluding Pool A against Guatemala on Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET. All NORCECA matches are being streamed in the United States on www.flovolleyball.tv, a subscription service.

The U.S. opened the first set with an 8-2 advantage and cruised into a 25-13 victory. Team USA erupted for a 9-0 lead in the second set and never looked back in winning 25-9 with nine aces in the set. After the Americans opened the third set leading 10-4, Puerto Rico fired back to move within one at 11-10. However, the Americans pulled away with a 5-0 run to stake a 22-15 lead en route to winning 25-19.

“It is nice to get through it and come out with a three-set win,” U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Head Coach Keegan Cook said. “First matches can be hard, especially for a group just coming together. We saw a little bit of that with our serving. But as the match went on, we got better, which we love to see.”

Related: U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Page | Match Stats

U.S. Women's Junior National Team captain Logan Eggleston talks about the Americans sweep over Puerto RicoU.S. outside hitter Logan Eggleston (Franklin, Tennessee) led all scorers with 15 points, including eight kills on 18 swings, a match-high six aces and a block. Middle Molly Phillips (Mansfield, Texas), who started just the first two sets, added six kills on 10 errorless swings, two aces and a block. Opposite Skylar Fields (Missouri City, Texas) chipped in seven kills on 15 attacks with just one error in the victory.

“I thought our team chemistry and energy was really, really good,” Eggleston said. “We were super consistent throughout the match. It was really fun.”

Middle Madison Horin (Munster, Indiana) added three kills on five attacks and a block for Team USA. Setter Mica Allison (White Heath, Illinois) contributed three aces, while outside hitter Madi Kubik (West Des Moines, Iowa) totaled two kills and an ace while starting just the third set after being a double-sub in the first set. Outside hitter Caitlin Baird (Indianapolis, Indiana) pocketed three kills while starting just the first two sets. Middle Adeola Owokoniran (Raleigh, North Carolina) scored a kill and block in starting the third set. Opposite Destiny Cox (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) rounded out the scoring with a block as a sub in the final two sets.

U.S. libero Brooke Nuneviller (Chandler, Arizona) contributed a team-leading eight digs and added 10 excellent receptions on 15 errorless chances. Kubik added four digs and four excellent receptions on seven errorless chances.

Allison and Tuaniga set The Americans to a 41.7 kill percent and .236 hitting efficiency (30-13-72). Allison was credited with 11 running sets on 36 set attempts.

The U.S. defense held Puerto Rico to a 18.4 kill percent and .000 hitting efficiency (14-14-76). Team USA held a 12-2 margin in aces along with a 30-14 advantage in kills. The Americans out-served Puerto Rico with a 5-4 edge in aces. The U.S. limited its errors to 21 for the match and took advantage of 28 errors by Puerto Rico.

Eggleston said part of the team’s focus was on the service game.

“We have been talking all week is being consistent with our serving and serving the seams. Mica was the server at the beginning and she did a very good job at that. The rest of the team just eliminated a lot of errors, and that made sure the run was able to continue.”

The U.S. started Baird and Eggleston at outside hitter, Horin and Phillips at middle, Fields at opposite and Allison at setter. Nuneviller is the American libero for the tournament. Setter Amelia Tuaniga (Long Beach, California) came off the bench in all three sets and middle Anita Anwusi (Houston) was a sub in the final set.

As for tomorrow, Team USA wants to make sure the energy level stays up the entire match.

“We just need to make sure we are pushing the whole match,” Eggleston said.

Cook said tomorrow’s match will bring a much more physical opponent.

“Cuba is a really physical team,” Cook said. “Block, particularly out-of-system blocking, is something we have to get a lot better against a team that is pretty dynamic attacking. And just more what we talked about today, keeping service pressure on our opponents. When we do that, we are a difficult team to stop. We are siding out well, passing really well. We are going to see a much more physical team tomorrow.”

The U.S. took a 3-0 lead in the opening set with two Eggleston aces after a Phillips kill. Team USA reached the first technical timeout leading 8-2 as part of a 4-0 run that included a Horin block and Fields ace. Puerto Rico chipped two points off the deficit at 10-6. The Americans answered with back-to-back points at 12-6, then push Puerto Rico into a timeout down 14-7 after a Phillips kill. Baird put down a kill and Puerto Rico hit long to push the U.S. lead to 18-9. Eggleston scored a kill and block, then Fields slammed a kill to yield a 24-13 American advantage. Team USA closed out the set on a 4-0 run capped by a Puerto Rico error at 25-13.

The U.S. took a 3-0 lead in the opening set with two Eggleston aces after a Phillips kill. Team USA reached the first technical timeout leading 8-2 as part of a 4-0 run that included a Horin block and Fields ace. Puerto Rico chipped two points off the deficit at 10-6. The Americans answered with back-to-back points at 12-6, then push Puerto Rico into a timeout down 14-7 after a Phillips kill. Baird put down a kill and Puerto Rico hit long to push the U.S. lead to 18-9. Eggleston scored a kill and block, then Fields slammed a kill to yield a 24-13 American advantage. Team USA closed out the set on a 4-0 run capped by a Puerto Rico error at 25-13.

Allison opened the second set with three aces around an Eggleston kill to give the Americans a 4-0 lead. Out of a Puerto Rico timeout, the U.S. jumped the lead to 7-0 with an Eggleston kill and block around a Puerto Rico error. Phillips tipped a ball on second contact to push the Team USA lead to 8-0 at the first technical timeout. Out of the break, Eggleston continued the run with a kill at 9-0. Eggleston served four consecutive aces to extend the lead to 14-1. Puerto Rico scored four straight to move within 14-5. The Americans went into the second technical timeout up 16-5 with a Phillips kill and Puerto Rico error. Out of the break, Puerto Rico hit wide and Phillips served Team USA’s eighth and ninth aces of the set to extend the margin to 19-5. Baird notched a kill on a sixth straight USA point at 20-5. Team USA closed out the set at 25-9 on a Phillips kill.

After a Puerto Rico scored the first point of the third set, Kubik and Fields scored kills after a Puerto Rico error to give the U.S. a 3-1 lead in the third set. Horin scored consecutive blocks to put the Americans in front 8-4 at the first technical timeout. Out of the break Eggleston pounded a kill and Puerto Rico hit wide for a 10-4 American lead. Puerto Rico broke the 4-0 run with two straight points of its own at 10-6. Puerto Rico climbed to within one at 11-10 as part of a 6-1 run. Eggleston served an ace between two Puerto Rico errors to inch the American lead to 15-11. Puerto Rico cut its deficit in half at 17-15 with back-to-back points. Kubik and Eggleston answered with kills, then Kubik lasered an ace to put the Americans in front 20-15. Out of a Puerto Rico timeout, Kubik served another ace and Horin hit a slide winner at 22-15 to cap a 5-0 run. Puerto Rico responded with three unanswered points to cut the deficit to 22-18. Eggleston gave Team USA set points at 24-19 and Fields finished it at 25-19 with a kill off the block.

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)

Group A
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: Guatemala vs. Puerto Rico, 5 p.m. ET
June 19: United States vs. Cuba, 7 p.m. ET
June 20: United States vs. Guatemala, 3 p.m. ET
June 20: Puerto Rico vs. Cuba, 7 p.m. ET

Group B
June 18: Dominican Republic def. Costa Rica 25-13, 25-17, 25-18
June 18: Mexico vs. Honduras, 9 p.m. ET
June 19: Dominican Republic vs. Honduras, 3 p.m. ET
June 19: Mexico vs. Costa Rica, 9 p.m. ET
June 20: Costa Rica vs. Honduras, 5 p.m. ET
June 20: Dominican Republic vs. Mexico, 9 p.m. ET

Quarterfinals
June 21: Group A 2nd Place vs. Group B 3rd Place, 7 p.m. ET
June 22: Group B 2nd Place vs. Group A 3rd Place, 9 p.m. ET

Classification 5-8
June 22: Group A 4th Place vs. Quarterfinal Round Loser, 3 p.m. ET (Match 13)
June 22: Group B 4th Place vs. Quarterfinal Round Loser, 5 p.m. ET (Match 14)

Semifinals
June 22: Group A 1st Place vs. Quarterfinal Winner, 7 p.m. ET
June 22: Group B 1st Place vs. Quarterfinal Winner, 9 p.m. ET

Final Classification 7-8
June 23: Losers of Match 13 and 14, 3 p.m. ET

Final Classification 5-6
June 23: Winners of Match 13 and 14, 5 p.m. ET

Bronze Medal
June 23: Semifinal losers, 7 p.m. ET

Gold Medal
June 23: Semifinal winners, 9 p.m. ET