PILA, Poland (August 13, 2003) – Team USA set a goal to make it to the quarterfinal-round of the 2003 FIVB Girls’ Youth Volleyball World Championship and on Wednesday they met that goal with an easy 3-0 victory (25-12, 25-21, 25-18) over Venezuela in an elimination match.
The U.S. youth national team finished second in their four-team pool to survive the first elimination cut that narrowed the 16 team field to 12. Wednesday’s victory assured the team of a spot in the final eight.
U.S. middle blocker Nicole Britenriker dominated the match, scoring a match-high 16 points on 12 kills and four blocks. American Nicole Fawcett added 10 kills and two aces in the victory.
The USA youth national team provides a building platform for future junior and senior national teams. Advancing deep in to this tournament will provide the experience and exposure to these athletes that only a few in the world will have. The importance of the victory was not lost on USA head coach Shelton Collier.
“This was a very, very important win for USA Volleyball,” said Collier. “The next three days we are going to get to play against the best young teams in the world.”
While the team has met its initial goal of reaching the quarterfinals, it is hardly ready to rest on its accomplishments.
“Our goal was to get in the top eight and we were well prepared to do it,” explains team captain Sarah Florian. “Now that we are there we want to go as far as possible in the tournament.”
The tournament has a rest day on Thursday before resuming on Friday.