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GYNT Rallies Past Dominican 3-2 in NORCECA U18



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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept 4, 2016) – The U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team (GYNT), trailing Dominican Republic 2-1 in sets, rallied from a 13-5 deficit in set four and 14-12 in set five to capture a hard-fought 25-23, 14-25, 23-25, 25-23, 16-14 victory to conclude NORCECA Women’s U18 Continental Championship pool play undefeated Sunday evening in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The GYNT ended Pool B with a 3-0 record and advanced directly to Tuesday’s semifinals. Dominican Republic went 2-1 in Pool B and will play Costa Rica in Monday’s quarterfinals at a time to be announced. Dominican Republic is the reigning champion of the biennial event, though Team USA has won seven of the previous nine tournaments.

Opposite Haley Warner (Fayetteville, Arkansas, Ozark Juniors) led the U.S. with 17 points via 15 kills on 32 swings and two blocks. Outside hitter Logan Eggleston (Franklin, Tennessee, Alliance VBC) chipped in 16 points with nine kills on 34 swings along with team-highs of four blocks and three aces. Middle Kendall Kipp(Newport Beach, California, Momentous VBC) charted 10 points on five kills on 19 attacks, three blocks – including the final two points of the match – and two aces.

Dominican Republic gained a 7-2 margin in the fourth set and led 13-5. However, Team USA stormed back to take a 20-18 lead on a 16-5 run and had a 24-21 advantage before finishing it at 25-23. In the fifth set, GYNT scored the first two points and went up 5-2 on an Eggleston ace. However, Dominican scored the next three points to tie the set at 5-all and went up 10-8 as part of an 8-3 run. After Dominican led 13-10, Team USA scored two straight to cut the gap to 13-12. Team USA saved two set points to tie it at 14-all with as outside hitter Allison Martinez (Montebello, California, San Gabriel Elite) came off the bench to serve an ace, then Kipp put up two blocks to give GYNT the match at 16-14.

Middle Sophia Dorsch-Summers (Beaverton, Oregon, Athena Volleyball Academy) contributed eight points in the victory with four kills on 11 attacks, three blocks and an ace. Outside hitter Brooklyn Schirmer (Long Beach, California, Mizuno Long Beach VBC) tallied five kills and a block for six points while starting the first four sets.

Skylar Fields (Missouri City, Texas, Houston Juniors), the opposite in the double-sub in all five sets, sparked the U.S. in fourth and fifth set comebacks as she contributed five kills on 12 errorless attacks. Mia Grunze (Waterford, Wisconsin, Milwaukee Sting) came off the bench in the fourth set and started the fifth set at outside hitter to chart three kills on seven errorless attacks. Rounding out the scoring were setter Ella Powell (Fayetteville, Arkansas, Ozark Juniors) and double-sub setter Erin O’Leary (Novi, Michigan, Legacy VBC) tallying a kill to go with Martinez’s crucial ace in the fifth set.

Dominican Republic built an early 10-5 lead in the opening set, but the U.S. closed to within one at 13-12 and leveled the set at 17-all and went in front at 19-18. The Americans sided out until scoring the final two points for a 25-23 victory. Dominican Republic jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the second set with three straight aces and reached a 16-6 advantage at the second technical timeout en route to a 25-14 victory. Dominican Republic used a 5-0 run in the third set to establish a 10-6 margin, only to have Team USA rally to level the score at 14-all and take the lead at 17-16 on a Warner block. After the U.S. took an 18-16 lead, Dominican Republic answered with four unanswered to regain the lead at 20-18 and went on to win 25-23.

Team USA converted 33.8 percent of its attacks for points with a .211 hitting efficiency (48-18-142) as Powell was credited with 13 running sets on 98 total set attempts. O’Leary chipped eight running sets on 28 set attempts.

Eggleston was credited with 23 excellent receptions on 38 total attempts and had 10 digs. Libero Brooke Nuneviller(Chandler, Arizona, Aspire VBC) handled 37 receptions with 20 excellent receptions to go with 12 digs.

Dominican Republic held advantages in kills (56-48) and aces (10-7), but Team USA’s 13-7 block margin with several coming in the final stages of the fifth set played the key role in deciding the match. Both teams committed several errors as the Americans had 37 to Dominican Republic’s 35. The GYNT defense limited Dominican Republic to a 35.9 kill percent and .224 hitting efficiency (56-21-156).

Dominican Republic was led by Natalia Martinez’s 33 points and Madeline Jazmin Guillen Paredes added 22 points.

The GYNT is comprised of 12 players born in 2000 or 2001 and all making their debuts in an international NORCECA or FIVB tournament.

The top team in each pool advances directly to the semifinals on Sept. 6, while the second- and third-place teams play crossover quarterfinals on Sept. 5. The biennial tournament concludes on Sept. 7 with the final classification matches, including the medal round matches. The top two teams will advance to next year’s age-group FIVB World Championship, and Team USA has won silver in each of the last two biennial age-group World Championship events.

USA Starters:
M – Sophia Dorsch-Summers and Kendall Kipp
OH – Logan Eggleston and Brooklyn Schirmer
OPP – Haley Warner
S – Ella Powell
L – Brooke Nuneviller

USA Scoring
Points – Haley Warner 17, Logan Eggleston 16, Kendall Kipp 10, Sophia Dorsch-Summers 8, Brooklyn Schirmer 6, Skylar Fields 5, Mia Grunze 3, Allison Martinez 1, Erin O’Leary 1, Ella Powell 1. TEAM USA 103, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 110.
Kills – Haley Warner 15, Logan Eggleston 9, Brooklyn Schirmer 5, Kendall Kipp 5, Skylar Fields 5, Sophia Dorsch-Summers 4, Mia Grunze 3, Ella Powell 1, Erin O’Leary 1. TEAM USA 48, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 56.
Blocks – Logan Eggleston 4, Kendall Kipp 3, Sophia Dorsch-Summers 3, Haley Warner 2, Brooklyn Schirmer 1. TEAM USA 13, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 7.
Aces – Logan Eggleson 3, Kendall Kipp 2, Sophia Dorsch-Summers 1, Allison Martinez 1. TEAM USA 7, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 10.

2016 U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team
Name (Position, Hometown, Height, HS Grad Year, Volleyball Club, Region)
4 – Sophia Dorsch-Summers (M, Beaverton, Oregon, 6-3, 2019, Athena Volleyball Academy, Columbia Empire)
5 – Logan Eggleston (OH, Franklin, Tennessee, 6-2, 2019, Alliance VBC, Southern)
6 – Skylar Fields (OH, Missouri City, Texas, 6-2, 2019, Houston Juniors, Lone Star)
7 – Serena Gray (M, San Gabriel, California, 6-3, 2018, San Gabriel Elite VBC, Southern California)
8 – Mia Grunze (OH, Waterford, Wisconsin, 6-2, 2018, Milwaukee Sting, Badger)
10 – Kendall Kipp (M, Newport Beach, California, 6-4, 2019, Momentous VBC, Southern California)
12 – Allison Martinez (OH, Montebello, California, 6-0, 2018, San Gabriel Elite, Southern California)
13 – Brooke Nuneviller (L, Chandler, Arizona, 5-10, 2018, Aspire VBC, Arizona)
14 – Erin O’Leary (S, Novi, Michigan, 5-10, 2018, Legacy VBC, Lakeshore)
17 – Ella Powell (S, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 6-0, 2018, Ozark Juniors, Delta)
20 – Brooklyn Schirmer (OH, Long Beach, California, 6-1, 2018, Mizuno Long Beach VBC, Southern California)
23 – Haley Warner (OH, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 6-1, 2018, Ozark Juniors, Delta)

Head Coach: Erin Virtue
Assistant Coaches: Stacy Sykora, Kayla Cole
Technical Coordinator: Nicki Holmes
Physiotherapist: Molly Mattea
Team Leader: Denise Sheldon