COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 23, 2023) – The U.S. Women’s U21 Team avenged an earlier loss to Türkiye with a 3-1 (25-23, 16-25, 25-20, 25-21) win on Wednesday at the FIVB U21 World Championship in Aguascalientes, Mexico. On August 18, Türkiye handed the U.S. its only loss in the first round of pool play, also in four sets.
The U.S. (3-3) will have Thursday off before competing in the 5th- through 8th-place semifinals on Friday against Mexico at a time to be determined.
Kills and blocks were nearly even with the U.S. holding a 51-48 lead in kills and Türkiye leading in blocks, 9-6. It was a 9-2 advantage in aces and six fewer errors that keyed the U.S. victory.
Outside hitter Skyler Pierce made the most of being in the starting lineup with team-highs of 19 points and 18 kills. She registered a .325 hitting efficiency percentage, while adding 11 successful receptions and eight digs.
Three other U.S. players reached double digits in scoring. Captain and outside hitter Emerson Sellman totaled 12 points on nine kills, one block, and was one of three players with two aces. She paced the squad with 17 successful receptions. Opposite Abigail Mullen also served two aces to go with her seven kills and two blocks, and middle blocker Lizzy Andrew scored 11 points on 10 kills and a block.
Libero Ava Falduto put up her biggest numbers of the championship with 25 digs, nine more than the highest total for Türkiye, and added 13 successful receptions.
Middle blocker Taylor Harvey finished with seven points on four kills and a team-high three blocks. Setter Campbell Flynn contributed two kills, two aces, and eight digs.
For the second night in a row, the U.S. Women’s U21 scored the first five points, eventually taking a 7-1 lead. Türkiye responded with an 8-1 run of its own. With the score even at 18, the U.S. scored the next four points, including a kill by Flynn that clipped the net and an ace by Mullen, to take the lead for good.
Türkiye controlled the second set, going up 10-6 early, and stretching the lead until reaching its biggest with the final point of the set.
The U.S. regained the match lead in the third set, using a 3-0 run to turn a one-point deficit into a lead it never relinquished. A Kelly Kinney ace upped the lead to four points, 17-13. The lead hovered around five points for the rest of the set, including the final 25-20 score.
Trailing 13-10 in the fourth set, the U.S. went on a 7-1 run to turn the set. A Harvey block made it 19-15, but Türkiye scored three consecutive points to pull within one point. The U.S. lead was one point four times late in the set, but got a kill each time, twice by Pierce and once each by Mullen and Andrew. A Mullen ace and Sellman kill closed out the set and match.
U.S. Women’s U21 Roster for the 2023 FIVB World Championship
No. Name (Position, Height, Birth Year, Hometown, School, USAV Region)
1 Lizzy Andrew (MB, 6-5, 2005, Ridgefield, Wash., Ridgefield HS, Columbia Empire)
6 Campbell Flynn (S, 6-3, 2006, Rochester Hills, Mich., Mercy HS, Lakeshore)
8 Kaci Demaria (OH, 6-4, 2007, San Pedro, Calif., Palos Verdes HS, Southern California)
9 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 Brazil def. USA, 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-22)
Aug. 23 Türkiye def. USA, 3-1 (23-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-21)
Aug. 25 Classification playoffs
Aug. 26 Classification playoffs
Source: USA Volleyball