Wednesday, 22 May 2024

CNT-Europe Advances to Global Challenge Semi

The U.S. Collegiate National Team-Europe showcased their dominance in the pool play of the European Global Challenge. Outblocking Northumbria 11-4, they secured a hard-fought victory with a 25-18, 22-25, 26-24 match against the English team. With a 10-5 set record, they advanced to the semifinals to face Northumbria once again.

Head coach Dani Busboom Kelly commended her team’s resilience and determination, stating, “Fatigue is starting to set in and this is a long trip, but that’s why these players came here – to learn how to play overseas and to learn how to grind through a long trip. They did a great job of battling through that match and ending on a real strong note.”

In the second set, Northumbria presented a formidable challenge, taking an early lead. However, the U.S. team showcased their determination by clawing their way back into the game, eventually tying the set at 9-9. The English team pulled ahead to win the set, breaking a 22-22 tie with two kills and a block.

Despite trailing for much of the third set, the U.S. team displayed their resilience once again. Team blocks and stellar performances from players like Audriana Fitzmorris helped them stage a comeback, securing a thrilling victory.

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Fitzmorris, with eight kills, led the U.S. team, closely followed by Taylor Mims with seven kills. Fitzmorris also made an impact with three consecutive service aces in the third set. Kirstie Hillyer shone on the defensive end, tallying three block points, while Leah Edmond and Danielle Hart added two blocks each.

Reflecting on the match, Hillyer noted the familiarity of the American style of volleyball played by Northumbria, which allowed the U.S. team to find their rhythm and perform at their best.

Looking ahead to the semifinals, Busboom Kelly expressed excitement about facing the same team once again, as it presents an opportunity to make adjustments and further challenge themselves.

In the other semifinal match, the Croatian U23 Select Team will face off against the Mountain West Conference All-Star team. The winners of both matches will advance to the final, scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. ET.

As they prepare for the upcoming matches, the U.S. team aims to improve their defense, ensuring their blocks are solid and their positioning allows them to make effective digs. Their focus is on maintaining a scrappy and competitive mindset.

Set Breakdown:

  • Set 1: The U.S. team fought back from a deficit and managed to maintain the lead to secure the set win.
  • Set 2: Despite a strong comeback, the U.S. team fell short as Northumbria capitalized on key plays to secure the set.
  • Set 3: A closely contested set resulted in multiple ties, but the U.S. team’s momentum, fueled by powerful blocks and key kills, ultimately led them to victory.
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Starters: The U.S. team started with Jessica Schaben and Leah Edmond as outside hitters, Danielle Hart and Berkeley Oblad as middle blockers, Taylor Mims as the opposite, Katie Oleksak as the setter, and Alexis Dirige as the libero.

FAQs

Q: How did the U.S. Collegiate National Team-Europe perform in the European Global Challenge pool play?
A: The U.S. Collegiate National Team-Europe performed exceptionally well in the pool play of the European Global Challenge, finishing with a 10-5 set record.

Q: Who did the U.S. Collegiate National Team-Europe face in the pool play?
A: The U.S. Collegiate National Team-Europe faced Northumbria in the pool play of the European Global Challenge.

Q: What was the result of the match between the U.S. Collegiate National Team-Europe and Northumbria?
A: The match between the U.S. Collegiate National Team-Europe and Northumbria ended with a hard-fought victory for the U.S. team, winning with a score of 25-18, 22-25, 26-24.

Summary

The U.S. Collegiate National Team-Europe showcased their dominance in the European Global Challenge pool play, securing a hard-fought victory over Northumbria. With a 10-5 set record, they advanced to the semifinals. Head coach Dani Busboom Kelly praised her team’s resilience and determination. The U.S. team faced a strong challenge from Northumbria in the second set but made a thrilling comeback in the third set. Audriana Fitzmorris and Taylor Mims made significant contributions to the team’s success. Looking ahead, the U.S. team aims to improve their defense and maintain a competitive mindset.