U.S. Women's U21 Team vs. Italy at 2023 Worlds

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 21, 2023) – The U.S. Women’s U21 Team lost 3-1 (25-19, 25-10, 32-34, 25-17) to undefeated Italy on Monday at the 2023 FIVB U21 World Championship in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

The U.S. (2-2) plays Brazil (2-1) at 7 p.m. PT on Tuesday.


The U.S. Women’s U21 Team finished the match with one more kill (52-51) than Italy, but it was outplayed at the net (15-3 in blocks) and at the service line (8-2 in aces). The U.S. also committed 10 more errors, 33-23.

“Tonight’s match was a great growth and learning opportunity for this young team. Italy played a fantastic match and kept pressure on us with their block and transition offense,” remarked U.S. Head Coach Tom Hogan.

Outside hitter Emerson Sellman led the team with 12 points and 12 kills, one of three U.S. players to score in double digits, adding a team-best 26 successful receptions and seven digs. Middle blockers Lizzy Andrew (nine kills, one block, one ace) and Taylor Harvey (11 kills) contributed 11 points apiece.

Outside hitter Abby Vander Wal finished with nine kills and eight digs, while opposite Skyler Pierce scored seven points on six kills and a block. Libero Ava Falduto led the team with 16 digs and totaled 22 successful receptions.

With the score tied at 17 in the first set, Italy scored seven of the next eight points and ended the set on an 8-2 run. Sellman led the U.S. with four points in the set.

Italy dominated the second set, using a 7-1 early run to take an 11-5 lead and took its biggest lead on set point.

The U.S. fell behind 15-12 in the third set, but then scored the next four points. From there, it was a see-saw set that saw 10 set points before the U.S. finally closed out the set with back-to-back kills from Andrew and Harvey after Italy tied the set at 32.

“I was very proud of the way our team held their poise in a very intense and high-level third set. We fought through several Italian set points to eventually win 34-32. We will learn from this experience, reset, and prepare for a very good Brazil team tomorrow,” Hogan said.

The two middle blockers keyed the attack in the third set with each scoring six points. The two players combined for 11 kills without an error with Harvey recording six and Andrew adding five kills and an ace.

Italy regained the momentum in the fourth set, taking a 15-6 lead and eventually clinching the match. Five players from Italy posted double-digits in points.

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 Italy def. USA, 3-1 (25-19, 25-10, 32-34, 25-17)
Aug. 22 USA vs. Brazil, 7 p.m.
Aug. 23 USA vs. Türkiye, 7 p.m.
Aug. 25 Semifinals and classification playoffs
Aug. 26 Finals