Five Wildcat Jrs Compete in the 2015 European Global Challenge!

Date Posted: 7/22/2015

Congratulations to Taylor Tashima and the USA Junior National Team for bringing home the championship of the 2015 European Global Challenge! The USA Junior National Team defeated the Italian Junior National Team in 5 sets, winning 15-12 in the final set!  Read the Full Article from USA Volleyball Below

Two other Wildcat Jrs alumni competed in the tournament for the BIP Midwest team, coached by Eric Schulze and Wildcat Jrs coaches Karen Sonders and Evelyn Kim. Outside hitter Brittani Steinberg (Wildcat Jrs. Class of 2013) and middle hitter Gabri Olhava (Wildcat Jrs. Class of 2015) competed for BIP Midwest, who finished the tournament in 4th place. BIP Midwest faced off against the Italian Junior National team in the semi-finals, but lost 3-1. Congrats to all of our Wildcat Jrs. Alumni!


Full Story on the USA JNT from USA Volleyball

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 16, 2015) -- The USA Volleyball Women’s Junior National Team earned the U-22 division gold medal in the 2015 European Global Challenge today in Pula, Croatia, defeating the Italian Junior National Team, 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 20-25, 25-21, 15-12).

"Tonight's Championship win was a complete team effort," U.S. Women's Junior National Team Head Coach Tom Hogan said. "The team played aggressive, smart and with passion. Being down in the fifth set and then battling back exemplified the American fighting spirit, and I am extremely proud to be a part of this staff and team."

The WJNT went 6-1 in the tournament with it's only loss being dealt by the Italian squad (July 13). Despite the previous three losses to Italy (July 5, 7, 13), the U.S. squad rallied to take gold in the finals.

Team USA was led in scoring by outside hitter Adnora Anae (Laie, Hawaii, University of Utah), who tallied 18 points, 15 on attacks; middle blocker Orie Agbaji (Kansas City, Mo., Oak Park High School) had 17 points via 13 kills, three blocks and one ace, and opposite Audriana Fitzmorris (Overland Park, Kan., St. James Academy) scored 12.

In addition to her match-high points, Anae handled a team-best 38 receptions for a 50 percent positive reception rate and outside hitter Hayley Hodson (Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford University) added 22 receptions for a 68 percent positive reception rate. Hodson also added 11 points via nine kills and two blocks. 

Danielle Cuttino (Indianapolis, Ind., Purdue University) tallied seven points while Jordyn Poulter (Aurora, Colo., University of Illinois), Carli Snyder (Macomb, Mich., University of Florida) and Rhamatt Alhassan (Glenarden, Md., University of Florida) each registered five. 

Both teams registered 13 blocks in the match, but Team USA's serve netted 9 aces on 107 attempts to the Italian's four aces. The U.S. WNJT also held a 58-54 margin in kills.

The U.S. defeated the Junior National teams from Hungary and Slovenia, as well the Falconara Juniors from Italy, heading into the semifinals where they met and defeated the Mountain West Conference All-Stars.

In addition to the Global Challenge, the WJNT trained and played matches from July 4-12 in Trieste, Italy and Maribor, Slovenia, with matches against the senior national teams for Croatia and Israel.

The U.S. qualified to participate in the 2015 FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship by winning gold at last year’s NORCECA Women’s U20 Continental Championship. However, this year’s World Championship event changed locations from Cyprus to Puerto Rico, along with the dates of the competition from early July to Sept. 9-21. With the lack of available athletes during September due to academic concerns and the collegiate and prep volleyball seasons, USA Volleyball opted to pull out of the World Championship and compete in the Global Challenge.

Tom Pingel, senior director at USA Volleyball, believes the planned alternative training and competition schedule in Europe this summer will help fill a the void left by the World Championship changing dates and location.

“The primary goal of the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team is to prepare the top players at the junior level for the National Team and the Olympics through high-level training and international competition,” Hogan said. “We will teach and train the U.S. Women’s National Team system and concepts in our gym, and we will compete against some of the top junior national teams in the world. We think this trip has the potential to create an Olympic impact on some of the players on our roster, and we look forward to seeing them develop through this high level experience.”

2015 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Roster
Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College/High School, Youth Club, Region)
1 - Jordyn Poulter (S, 6-0, Aurora, Colo., University of Illinois, Front Range, Rocky Mountain)
2 - Audriana Fitzmorris (OPP, 6-4, Overland Park, Kan., St. James Academy, Invasion VBC, Heart of America)
3 - Hayley Hodson (OH, 6-2, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford University, Tstreet, Southern California)
4- Carli Snyder (OH, 6-0, Macomb, Mich., University of Florida, Michigan Elite, Lakeshore)
5 - Adora Anae (OH, 6-1, Laie, Hawaii, University of Utah, Imi Ike, Aloha)
6 - Molly Sauer (L, 5-7, Louisville, Ky., University of Louisville, KIVA, Pioneer)
7 - Danielle Cuttino (MB, 6-4, Indianapolis, Ind., Purdue University, Circle City, Hoosier)
8 - Caroline Knop (L, 5-8, Pasadena, Calif., University of Michigan, San Gabriel Elite, Southern California)
9 - Lauryn Gillis (OH, 6-1, New Castle, Ind., University of Wisconsin, Munciana, Hoosier)
10 - Taylor Tashima (S, 6-0, Wilmette, Ill., Northwestern University, Wildcat Juniors, Great Lakes)
11 - Orie Agbaji (MB, 6-3, Kansas City, Mo., Oak Park High School, Club North, Heart of America)
12 - Rhamat Alhassan (MB, 6-4, Glenarden, Md., University of Florida, Metro American, Chesapeake Region)

Head Coach: Tom Hogan (University of Denver)
Assistant Coaches: Erin Virtue (University of Michigan), Stacy Sykora (USA Volleyball High Performance)
Technical Coordinator: Jared Goldberg (Morehead State University)
Team Leader: Denise Sheldon

Pre-Global Challenge Tour Schedule
July 5: Italy JNT def. USA, 3-0 (20-25, 21-25, 18-25) | Recap 
July 7: Italy JNT def. USA, 3-1 (12-15, 16-25, 25-20, 21-25) | Recap | Watch Replay
July 8: USA def. Israel, 4-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-19, 29-27, 15-9) | Recap | Watch Replay
July 10: USA def. Nova Katrem Branik, 4-0 (25-13, 28-26, 25-11, 25-22) | Recap | Watch Replay

European Global Challenge Schedule
July 12: Opening Ceremonies | Watch Replay
July 13: USA def. Hungary A, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-12) | Recap 
July 13: Italy JNT def. USA, 2-1 (19-25, 20-25, 27-25) | Recap 
July 14: USA def. Falconara, 3-0 (25-14, 25-11, 25-18) | Recap 
July 14: USA def. Slovenia, 3-0 | Recap 
July 15: USA def. BIP Southeastern, 3-0 
July 16: Semifinals - USA def. Mountain West, 3-0 
July 16: Championship - USA def. Italy JNT, 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 20-25, 25-21, 15-12) | Watch Replay 

U22 Division Standings After Pool Play
1. U.S. Junior National Team
2. BIP Midwest
3. Mountain West Conference All-Star Team
4. Team BIP
5. BIP Southeastern
6. NCVA U22 (Northern California)
7. BIP/USA Development Team

1. Italian Junior National Team
2. Nova KBM Branik Juniors (Slovenia)
3. Israel National Team
4. Slovenia Select
5. Hungary Junior A National Team
6. Hungary Junior B National Team
7. BFTM-Falconara Juniors (Italy)