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Volleyball - 23. July 2007.

U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Sweeps Egypt at World Championship


Cassy Salyer
Intern, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: cassy.salyer@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 21, 2007)

Team captain Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), with 11 kills (.379) and three blocks, and Zoe Garrett (Laguna Beach, Calif.), with nine kills (.450) and five blocks, led the U.S. with 14 points apiece. Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.), who shared setting duties with Taylor Carico (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), had six kills, one block and three aces to contribute 10 U.S. points and Kimmee Roleder (Pasadena, Calif.) scored nine on six kills and three blocks. Libero Tara Mueller (Scottsdale, Ariz.) recorded 12 total digs in the win, four of which converted into immediate points.

"We played much better today,” said U.S. Head Coach Andy Banachowski. “I think my girls could overcome a shaky start in the previous match against Germany. I also praise Egypt for their improved game. Our attacking worked out pretty well today, while Egypt also had good blocking. We will take on Thailand tomorrow. It will be tough because we not only play their team, but we also battle their loud supporters.”

Banachowski used a different starting lineup for each set, opening the match with setter Carico, setter/opposite Murphy, setter/opposite Ashley Engle (Yorba Linda, Calif.), middle blockers Garrett and Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.), outside hitter Roleder and Mueller at libero. Both Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) and Klineman took to the floor after the first whistle.

The first set began with both teams performing well. A 4-4 early tie turned into a 15-9 Egyptian lead before the Americans steadied their attack. Improved offense, including a series of kills by Klineman, tied the score again at 23-23. Garrett scored a point for the United States as Egypt responded with one of its own. From 24-24, the two teams exchanged several set-points until an Egyptian hitting error ended the exchange, giving the U.S. Junior Women the 32-30 win.

In the second set, Engle sat out and Klineman started on the floor. Whitney Dosty (Tucson, Ariz.) also saw action in the game. Behind the offense of Roleder and Klineman, Team USA was off to a 14-8 lead. As the score increased to 17-9, Egypt found only three points to counter Team USA’s next eight, ending the set at 25-12.

Stepping onto the court for the first time in the match was U.S. middle blocker Jennifer Doris (Houston, Texas), replacing Gibbemeyer in the middle. A poised Egyptian squad fought hard in the third and final set, but the United States dominated the net on offense and blocking, sealing the victory with a 25-23 decision in front of 3,800 spectators.

The U.S.-Thailand match is at 4 p.m. (5 a.m. EST) on Sunday (July 22). Thailand is also 1-1, defeating Egypt on Friday but falling to China on Saturday. China and Germany both remain undefeated in Pool A.

The U.S. Women’s Junior National Team press kit is available at www.usavolleyball.org/highperformance/07wjntpresskit.pdf.

More information about the FIVB U-20 Junior World Championship, including live scores and photos, is available at www.fivb.org/EN/Volleyball/Competitions/Junior/women/2007/General/index.asp?sm=12.

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