After spending 10 days training with the 16-player U.S. Women’s Junior National Training Team, Kentucky volleyball players Leah Edmond and Gabby Curry made the cut for the 12-player squad that will represent the USA in the U20 World Championships in mid-July.
“It’s a tremendous honor for these two to represent the USA at the U20 World Championships,” Kentucky head coach Craig Skinner said. “They have elite talent and are great competitors. In May, Madison (Lilley) helped this team qualify in Costa Rica and now these two are going to Mexico. Kentucky fans everywhere should be proud of their Wildcats.”
Edmond, a Paul Laurence Dunbar graduate, finished her impressive freshman campaign at Kentucky with a third-team All-America honor. She was the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Region Freshman of the Year and Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year. During the season, she earned SEC freshman of the week honors eight times and SEC player of the week twice.
Curry, an incoming freshman, arrived at Kentucky as the No. 46 recruit in the nation. The Buford, Georgia, native was an Under Armour All-American and two-time Georgia Gatorade player of the year in high school. She helped win two Georgia state championships, en route to winning two Georgia player of the year awards.
The World Championship event will be staged July 14-23 in Boca Del Rio and Cordoba, Mexico. The USA U20 Squad qualified for the event by winning the 2017 U20 Pan American Cup in San Jose, Costa Rica. Fellow UK newcomer Madison Lilley was part of the team that won the Pan-Am Cup.
In the World Championships, the USA is in pool C with Brazil, Cuba and Serbia. Sixteen countries are divided into four pools of four teams and will play a round-robin tournament within their pool. The top two teams in each pool will then be spilt into two new pools. The top two teams in the new pools will play in the semifinals and the finals, while the remaining teams will compete for fifth-eighth. Full pools and more information on the distribution of teams can be found here.
Edmond and Curry continue an impressive of summer of Wildcats suiting up for the Red, White and Blue. Olivia Dailey competed on the U.S. Collegiate National Team-Minneapolis, where her squad, USA CNT Blue, won the championship portion of the event. Kaz Brown represented the USA in the Thailand Tour on May 19-30, where the squad took on the Thailand National Team, the Thailand U23 Team and Bangkok Glass, the top team in the Thai professional league. Lilley was a vital member of the U20 team that qualified for the U20 World Championships earlier this spring.
USA at U20 World Championships
July 15, 10 p.m.: USA vs. Brazil
July 16, 9 p.m.: USA vs. Cuba
July 17, 7 p.m.: USA vs. Serbia
Online: Full schedule