Volleyball: Poulter voted top setter at World Championships as U.S. takes silver

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FIVB Girls U18 World Championship, Awarding Ceremony
Eaglecrest High School junior-to-be Jordyn Poulter receives her award as the top setter in the FIVB Girls U18 World Championship volleyball tournament on Aug. 4, 2013, in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. Poulter and the U.S. team won the silver medal. (Conny Kurth/2013 FIVB)

NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Thailand | The first medal won by the United States at the FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championships volleyball tournament is silver.

With Eaglecrest High School junior-to-be Jordyn Poulter and several others playing at a high level, the U.S. team captured a medal at the tournament — held every two years — for the first time in eight tries.

The Americans fell in three sets to China — which won its record fourth gold medal of the tournament — in Sunday’s championship match by a score of 25-16, 25-21, 25-23 at Chatchi Hall.

FIVB Girls U18 World Championship, Awarding Ceremony
Eaglecrest High School junior-to-be Jordyn Poulter, second from right, and U.S. teammates show off silver medals. (Conny Kurth/2013 FIVB)

Poulter, a 6-foot-1 setter who started all but one of the eight matches for the United States, stood out in the second set as she tried to rally her team, but China had too much at the net and took advantage of several errors in serve receive to control the match.

Among two U.S. players to receive awards, Poulter — a University of Illinois commitment who turned 16 during the trip — was voted the top setter of the tournament. American Audriana Fitzmorris also earned a nod as one of the tournament’s two top middle blockers.

The U.S. team’s best previous finish in the tournament came in 2003 and 2005, when it placed fourth.

Regis Jesuit graduate Janae Hall (2011) and Grandview graduate Erica Denney (2009) also played for the U.S. team in previous FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship tournaments.

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected]entinel.com or 303-750-7555. Follow @aurorasports on Twitter and find the Aurora Prep Sentinel page on facebook.

2013 FIVB U-18 GIRLS’ WORLD YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP VOLLEYBALL

Final standings

1. China; 2. UNITED STATES; 3. Brazil; 4. Peru; 5. Japan; 6. Serbia; 7. Poland; 8. Dominican Republic; 9. Turkey; 10. Italy; 11. Chinese Taipei; 12. Greece; 13. Slovenia; 14. Puerto Rico; 15. Egypt; 16. Thailand; 17. Argentina; 18. Mexico; 19. Tunisia; 20. Algeria

Final match results

Gold medal match: China def. UNITED STATES 25-16, 25-21, 25-23; Bronze medal match: Brazil def. Peru 25-29, 25-12, 25-23, 25-12; Fifth-place match: Japan def. Serbia 14-25, 23-25, 25-20, 25-15, 15-13; Seventh-place match: Poland def. Dominican Republic 25-11, 19-25, 25-27, 25-16, 25-14; Ninth-place match: Turkey def. Italy 25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 18-25, 15-12; 11th-place match: Chinese Taipei def. Greece 25-23, 25-18, 14-25, 25-22; 13th-place match: Slovenia def. Puerto Rico 25-17, 27-25, 24-26, 26-24; 15th-place match: Egypt def. Thailand 20-25, 25-21, 25-20, 18-25, 15-8

Best players

MVP: Xinyue Yuan (China); Best Setter: JORDYN POULTER (UNITED STATES); Best Opposite: Angela Leyva (Peru); Best Outside Hitters: Elizabeth Martinez (Dominican Republic) & Yunlu Wang (China); Best Middle Blockers: Xinyue Yuan (China) & AUDRIANA FITZMORRIS (UNITED STATES); Best Libero: Minori Wada (Japan)