The United States is making its seventh appearance in the FIVB Volleyball Girls' Youth World Championship, including the four previous editions. The Americans finished a disappointing 12th place in 2009 after a 10th-place finish in 2007. The US had back-to-back medal-round appearances in 2003 and 2005, but the medals just escaped the players' grasp with fourth-place finishes. USA finished sixth in 1999 and ninth in the very first edition in 1989.
The 12-player US Girls’ Youth National Team for the upcoming 2011 FIVB Girls’ Youth (U-18) World Championship includes many new faces to the international volleyball scene."It is a pretty athletic group,” said US girls’ youth national team coach Jim Stone in reference to its strengths heading into this summer’s competition in Turkey. “However, they still need to learn the whole game – hit, pass, serve and dig – as the international game has limited subs. That part has to work out in a short period of training time. We have good athletes and I was impressed with their work ethic this weekend, so I think they will be fine and ready for World Championship.”
Burgess, Malloy, McCage and Palmer are repeat selections from last year. The foursome helped the US qualify for this year’s FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship by claiming the gold medal at the 2010 NORCECA Girls’ Youth Continental Championship held in Guatemala.
“Ideally, you would want 12 players all returning with international experience,” Stone said. “At the same time, you don’t want to preclude any athlete who does not have international experience.”
The U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team will compete in the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships (HPC) held July 26-30 in Tucson, Ariz., in preparation for the World Championships. At the completion of the HPC, the team will continue training at the US Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y., before departing for Turkey.
The U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team roster was determined through a second tryout session held from June 3 to 5 with 25 athletes participating at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.