USA Women's U21 after Worlds win over Netherlands

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 19, 2023) – The U.S. Women’s U21 Team finished the first round of pool play at the 2023 FIVB U21 World Championship with a 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-17) victory over Netherlands in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

The U.S. brings a 2-1 record into the second round of pool play, which commences on Monday.


The U.S. Women’s U21 squad used advantages in kills (49-41), blocks (11-8), and aces (9-5) to rebound from a first-set loss and take the next three sets to earn the victory.

“Our goal for our match today was to play with the American fighting spirit and our entire team delivered. We executed the game plan and improved our defense and transition offense. This young group took a huge step in their development and represented U.S.A. with pride,” U.S. Head Coach Tom Hogan said. “We look forward to the opportunity to play Brazil, Italy and Türkiye in our next pool as we head into the top eight.”

Outside hitter Abby Vander Wal led the team with 19 points, 12 kills, four blocks and three aces. She finished second on the team with nine digs.

“It was such an amazing match to be a part of,” she said. “This match was a total team effort and put us in a position to continue competing at the highest level of this competition.”

Middle blockers Taylor Harvey and Lizzy Andrew each registered 10 kills. Harvey totaled 13 points, hitting at a .533 efficiency percentage, adding two blocks and one ace. Andrew recorded one block to finish with 11 points, while hitting at a .412 clip.

Outside hitter Emerson Sellman totaled 11 points on nine kills, one block and one ace. Opposite Abigail Mullen contributed eight points on six kills, one block and one ace. Setter Campbell Flynn led the offense to a .296 hitting efficiency percentage and scored five points of her own on a kill, two blocks and two aces.

Libero Ava Falduto led all players with 19 digs, seven more than the leader from Netherlands. She also paced the U.S. with seven successful receptions.

Using a 4-1 run, the U.S. took a 20-19 lead in the first set, but then dropped six of the last seven points in the set, committing a service error and two hitting errors in the process.

Netherlands cut a four-point lead in half to pull within 21-19 in the second set, but two aces, including one by Mullen on set point, led the U.S. to closing the set by scoring four of the final five points.

The U.S. took a 10-point lead, 17-7, in the third set and regained the 10-point advantage with the set-clinching point. Vander Wal scored seven points in the set, hitting .500 with four kills, adding two blocks and one ace. Harvey scored on all four of her attacks, and Flynn recorded both her two blocks and two aces in the set.

Leading 8-7 in the fourth set, the U.S. scored three consecutive points for an 11-7 lead and Netherlands never got closer. Hogan called a timeout when Netherlands cut a seven-point advantage to four, 20-16, and his team responded with four points in a row with a block and kills from Vander Wal, Mullen and Harvey.

There are 16 teams entered in the World Championship. The United States is looking for its first medal at the Women’s U21 World Championship.

U.S. Women’s U21 Roster for the 2023 FIVB World Championship

No. Name (Position, Height, Birth Year, Hometown, School, USAV Region)
Lizzy Andrew (MB, 6-5, 2005, Ridgefield, Wash., Ridgefield HS, Columbia Empire)
Campbell Flynn (S, 6-3, 2006, Rochester Hills, Mich., Mercy HS, Lakeshore)
Kaci Demaria (OH, 6-4, 2007, San Pedro, Calif., Palos Verdes HS, Southern California)
Ava Falduto (L, 5-7, 2006, Elmhurst, Ill., IC Catholic Prep, Great Lakes)
11 Kelly Kinney (OH, 6-2, 2007, West Palm Beach, Fla., The King’s Academy, Florida)
13C Emerson Sellman (OH, 6-4, 2005, Burtonsville, Md., The Academy of the Holy Cross, Chesapeake)
14 Skyler Pierce (OH, 6-2, 2005, Lenexa, Kan., Olathe Northwest HS, Heart of America)
15 Abigail Mullen (OPP, 6-3, 2006, Kansas City, Mo., Liberty HS, Heart of America)
17 Taylor Harvey (MB, 6-3, 2006, Bountiful, Utah, Bountiful HS, Intermountain)
18 Izzy Starck (S, 6-1, 2006, Melbourne, Fla., Viera HS, Rocky Mountain)
19 Abby Vander Wal (OH, 6-3, 2006, Elmhurst, Ill., Timothy Christian HS, Great Lakes)
20 Alec Rothe (MB, 6-3, 2006, Dublin, Ohio, Dublin Scioto HS, Ohio Valley)

Head Coach: Tom Hogan
Assistant Coach: Stacy Sykora
Second Assistant: Lauren Plum
Team Manager: Courtney Smith
Performance Analyst: Evan Metzger
Athletic Trainer: Cherryl-Marie Bueno

U.S. Schedule for the 2023 FIVB Women’s U21 World Championship
Matches will be livestreamed on the Volleyball World YouTube channel
All times PDT
Aug. 17 USA def. Cuba, 3-0 (25-23, 25-14, 25-21)
Aug. 18 Türkiye def. USA, 3-1 (25-17, 22-25, 25-23, 25-14)
Aug. 19 USA def. Netherlands, 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-17)
Aug. 21-24 Second round of pool play
Aug. 25 Semifinals and classification playoffs
Aug. 26 Finals