PRESS RELEASE 11.08.2003


U18 Girls World Championships - USA advance to Playoffs

PILA, Poland, August 11, 2003 – The USA girl’s youth national volleyball team cruised to an easy 3-0 win over Belarus at the FIVB Girl’s Under-18 World Championships at Mosir Hall on Monday to confirm their spot in the elimination playoff round.

Nicole Fawcett scored a match-high 12 points and Jordan Larson added nine in the 25-22, 25-22, 25-10 victory for the United States, which clinched the No. 2 spot in Pool D by finishing with a 2-1 win-loss record.

The top team in each of the four pools advances to the quarterfinals, while the bottom team in each pool is eliminated from the tournament. The four teams that are ranked No. 2 and the four teams that are ranked No. 3 in each pool will play crossover matches beginning on Wednesday, with the four winners advancing to the quarterfinals to compete against the top four seeds.

The schedule for the crossover matches will be announced on Tuesday.

"Obviously, we really needed to win this match to secure second place in our pool, which is very important," said Team USA head coach Shelton Collier. "I am pleased that we were able to play a variety of players and various lineups to win; this will make our team stronger as we progress through the tournament. We expect to draw a strong opponent in the crossover match, and winning today and being able to use all 12 players will really help prepare us for this."

Fawcett had a match-high 10 kills to go along with one block and one service ace in a balanced attack for the United States. Ten different players scored, and six players scored five or more points.

"It was a great win because everyone on the team contributed, which was a lot of fun for us," said Larson, who had eight kills and one block. "We bounced back strong from our Brazil loss, and are looking forward to the playoff match."