Tuesday, 28 May 2024

WCNT Wraps up Group Play with a Match Against Japan

The U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team – World University Games (WCNT-WUG) concluded the group phase of the 2019 Summer Universiade with a match against Japan. The game took place at PalaSele in Eboli, Italy. While Japan emerged victorious with a 3-0 win, the WCNT-WUG showed improvement throughout the match, pushing Japan to their limits in the third set. Let’s take a closer look at the game and the team’s performance.

A Competitive Battle:

In the first two sets, Japan took a significant lead over the U.S., but in the third set, the U.S. managed to stay in close contact. The team was tied or leading until a three-point run from Japan resulted in the first lead change at 15-14 in favor of Japan. Although the U.S. fought back and closed the gap to one point at 24-23, Japan ultimately claimed victory with a 3-0 scoreline.

Learning from the Match:

Coach Keegan Cook acknowledged Japan’s strong performance and expressed his team’s progress throughout the game. He mentioned that it took the team some time to adjust to Japan’s attack combinations, which they hadn’t encountered before. Cook also praised Japan’s service pressure and highlighted the contributions of Meghan McClure, Adanna Rollins, and Audriana Fitzmorris in serve reception. Their efforts, along with the flexibility of Stephanie Samedy playing on the outside in the final set, allowed the team to have a chance to win.

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Individual Performances:

Stephanie Samedy was once again the top scorer for the U.S. team, recording nine kills and two blocks for a total of 11 points. Kara Bajema, an outside hitter from Washington, contributed eight points through her attacks, while Audriana Fitzmorris scored seven points. In total, seven different players from the U.S. team achieved at least one kill, and six players scored through blocking.

Group Stage Results:

With a 1-2 record and three points, the U.S. ends the group stage in third place in Group D. They will now proceed to the 9-16 Quarterfinals, where they will face Ukraine, the fourth-place team from Group B. The match will take place at PalaCoscioni in Nocera, Italy, on Tuesday, July 9, at 2:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. Eastern time).

Looking Ahead:

Assistant coach Beth Launiere expressed the team’s excitement for the upcoming matches and their commitment to training and improvement. The team has a day off to rest before a 90-minute training session to prepare for the next stage of the tournament.


1. How did the U.S. team perform in the group stage?
The U.S. team finished the group stage with a 1-2 record and three points, placing them in third position in Group D.

2. Who will the U.S. team face in the next round?
The U.S. team will face Ukraine, the fourth-place team from Group B, in the 9-16 Quarterfinals.

3. When and where will the next match take place?
The upcoming match against Ukraine will be held at PalaCoscioni in Nocera, Italy, on Tuesday, July 9, at 2:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. Eastern time).

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Although the U.S. team suffered a defeat in their final group stage match against Japan, they showed improvement throughout the game. With their sights set on the 9-16 Quarterfinals, the team is eager to continue training and striving for success. Stay tuned for more updates on the WCNT-WUG journey in the 2019 Summer Universiade. For more information about the team, visit Alpinetgheep.