Incoming Stanford freshman Kendall Kipp earned a spot on the 12-player U.S. women's junior national volleyball team that will compete at the FIVB Women's U20 World Championship, which begins Friday in Léon Guanajuato and Aguascalientes, Mexico.
The Americans open pool play against Italy at 10:30 a.m. Friday and will also play Mexico on Saturday and Cuba on Sunday.
Kipp, a 6-foot-6 opposite, is one of just two players from California, perhaps a sign of the continued parity in women's volleyball at all levels.
"Our staff has been very busy since camp started July 5," said USA's Jerritt Elliott, who coaches Texas. "We started out with 19 players and had to select our final 12. From the moment the girls came together their personalities clicked and became a committed group very fast. Our staff has really enjoyed this talented group's personalities."
Elliott said the players made the task of cutting from 19 players to 12 a challenging task based on their work ethic and skills brought to the court.
"All the athletes made the cuts very difficult for our staff," Elliott said. "It's was hard but I'm proud of all the girls who came in and gave us great energy."
The U.S. will be looking to reach the FIVB Women's U20 World Championship podium for the first time after two fourth-place finishes, the most recent in 2011.
"I know all of us are excited to represent USA against the best teams in the world," Elliott said. "This is this age group's Olympic Games and I'm confident this group will compete and represent our country with pride. We have had very little time to train but are excited to build over the next two weeks and gel as a team."