AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico (July 12, 2019) – Despite not having played together previously, the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team (WJNT) put in a solid showing to begin the 2019 FIVB Women’s 20 World Championship Friday before falling to Italy 3-1 (26-28, 25-18, 28-30, 22-25) at Hermanos Carreon Stadium.
“I was pleased with the mentality of the team,” said WJNT Head Coach Jerritt Elliot. “It is our first game together against anybody. We had to do some things in the game that we haven’t even practiced and I thought we were in it late in the game. We had too many errors, got a little bit excited, and didn’t stick to the routines”.
The opening match of the tournament was well-balanced with each team winning 101 points and two sets seeing extra frames. Italy took both such sets – the first and third – while the U.S. saw a strong 18-25 victory in the second. The fourth was also close; the teams were tied at 21 apiece before Italy took four of the final five points to clinch the set and the match.
“This is only our first game as a team and I think we did a really good job sticking together battling against a team that has been together for a really long time, I really think we can meet them again in the finals,” said U.S. captain and outside hitter Logan Eggleston. “One of the best things today was not getting emotional when things were not going well, and we need to improve in getting more comfortable together”.
Italy held the advantage in most scoring categories, landing 51 points in the attack compared to the United States’ 42 and outblocking the U.S. 11-7. The Americans, however, committed fewer errors – 24 as opposed to 34 from Italy – and they dug up three more balls than the Italians.
Individually, opposite Skylar Fields led WJNT with 15 points, 11 in the attack and four more from the service line. Eggleston also posted 11 kills, supplementing those with two service aces and a block. Outside hitter Jenna Wenaas added eight points, all on kills, middle Molly Phillips saw seven, and fellow middle Heather Gneiting six.
Eggleston also paced the U.S. with 30 receptions, 60 percent of which were positive. Libero Brooke Nuneviller added 23, 70 percent positive, and Wenaas was one shy of that tally at 22, 82 percent positive.
The U.S. resumes play at the FIVB u20 World Championships Saturday, July 13, with a match against host country Mexico. That contest begins at 9 p.m. Eastern, again in Aguascalientes.
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
2019 FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship – Léon Guanajuato & Aguascalientes, Mexico
July 12: USA lost to Italy 28-26, 18-25, 30-28, 25-22
July 13: USA vs. Mexico, 9 p.m. ET
July 14: USA vs. Cuba, 1:30 p.m. ET