COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 17, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s Junior National Team lost to Poland 25-18, 25-20, 25-23 Wednesday evening in Aguascalientes, Mexico, during the FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship Second Round (Top 8) Pool F.
Team USA, now 0-2 in Pool F and 2-3 overall, will challenge Turkey (1-1 in Pool F and 3-2 overall) on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ET to conclude the second round Pool F. Regardless of the outcome, the Americans will move into the 5th-8th-place bracket starting on Saturday.
Opposite Kendall Kipp (Newport Beach, California) led the Americans with 12 points via eight kills on 18 attacks and a match-high four blocks. Middle Heather Gneiting (Provo, Utah) added five kills on 12 attacks, three blocks and an ace for nine points. Outside hitter Logan Eggleston (Brentwood, Tennessee) added eight kills on 20 swings.
“I think a big thing we need to work on is our passing and serve receive, and ball control in general and getting into system,” Kipp said. “Against teams with this big of block and discipline, we really need to get into system to side out. I think we did a better job in the third set coming together and pushing when we had the lead. I think in the end we had a few unfortunate errors that kind of blew the match.”
Outside hitter Jenna Wenaas (Frisco, Texas) and middle Katie Clark (Arlington, Texas) tallied four points in the match, while opposite Skylar Fields (Missouri City, Texas) and outside hitter Anna Dixon (Louisburg, Kansas) each scored three points. Setter Ella Powell (Fayetteville, Arkansas) rounded out the scoring with a block.
The U.S. converted 33 percent of its attacks with Powell and Mia Tuaniga (Long Beach, California) setting. Poland held a .264 hitting efficiency and 42 kill percent in the victory.
“Poland passed better and made less errors. Simple,” said Jerritt Elliott, head coach of the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team, said in reference to Poland’s advantage in the match. “We made some big errors late in the match. We have to execute a little more clean.”
Unofficially, libero Brooke Nuneviller (Chandler, Arizona) was 60 percent positive receiving on 10 chances. Eggleston was 56 percent positive on 27 chances. Wenaas handled 14 receptions with a 43 positive percent. Dixon was 58 percent positive on 12 receptions.
“We just were not passing the ball,” Elliott said. “We were passing at a 1.5. We couldn’t score. We couldn’t get our middles involved. We just made a lot errors. We are a young team, so we have to learn from that and bounce back.”
The Americans out-blocked Poland 10-5, but Poland managed a 45-33 margin in kills and 3-1 edge in aces. The U.S. had 23 attack errors.
The U.S. started Tuaniga at setter, Eggleston and Wenaas at outside, Kipp at opposite, Phillips and Gneiting at middle and Nuneviller at libero. Clark and Dixon started the final two sets. Powell was a sub in the final two sets.
Poland broke a 12-all tie in the opening set with three consecutive points and stretched the advantage to 20-14. Poland ended the set with a 25-15 victory.
The U.S. reached the second set’s second technical timeout with a 16-13 advantage on a 4-1 scoring run. Poland came back to take the lead at 24-19 on an 9-1 run, then won the set 25-20.
Poland built a 13-8 advantage in the third set but the USA charged back into the lead at 16-15 as the block picked up several points. Poland scored four consecutive points to take a 24-22 lead and went on to win 25-23.
2019 U.S. 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