Volleyball: Poulter, U.S. WJNT win pool at Global Challenge in Croatia

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Jordyn Poulter and the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team won its pool at the European Global Challenge volleyball tournament in Pula, Croatia, Tuesday.

The U.S. Women's Juniot National Volleyball Team “leans in” after they punch their ticket to semifinals of the European Global Challenge in Pula, Croatia. (Picture by slosport)
The U.S. Women’s Juniot National Volleyball Team “leans in” after they punch their ticket to semifinals of the European Global Challenge in Pula, Croatia. (Picture by slosport)

Poulter, an Eaglecrest High School graduate and future University of Illinois setter, and her teammates blanked both Falconara Juniors and the Slovenian National Team by 3-0 counts to earn themselves an automatic berth in the U-22 division semifinals, scheduled for 1 p.m. MT Wednesday.

“We had a complete team effort tonight and secured the top position in our pool,” U.S. Women’s Junior National Team Head Coach Tom Hogan said in a release from USA Volleyball. “There are many high level teams in the European Global Challenge tournament with various styles of play. We are looking forward to the next phase of the tournament as our team continues to improve and develop with every match.”

The U.S. WJNT — one of several American teams in the field, including Team BIP (Bring It Promotions), BIP Midwest, BIP Southeastern, BIP/USA Development Team, Mountain West Conference All-Stars and NCVA U22 (Northern California) — split its first two matches on July 13 with a sweep of Hungary and a loss in three sets to the Italian WJNT.

The Italian WJNT leads a pool of seven European teams in the field and could again face the U.S. WJNT in the championship match, scheduled for 11 a.m. MT July 16.

In pre-Global Challenge play in Italy and Slovenia, the U.S. team finished 2-2, suffering a pair of losses to the Italian WJNT and posting wins over the Israeli National Team and Nova Katrem Branik.

USA’s GLOBAL CHALLENGE VOLLEYBALL RESULTS

July 13-16 in Pula, Croatia

July 13: USA def. Hungarian JNT 25-20, 25-22, 25-12; Italy WJNT def. USA 25-19, 25-20, 25-27

July 14: USA def. Falconara Juniors 25-14, 25-11, 25-18; USA def. Slovenia JNT 3-0

July 15: USA vs. BIP Southeastern, 7 a.m. MT; USA vs. TBD (semifinals), 1 p.m. MT

July 16: TBD