Crawford, Team USA conclude pool play at U20 World Championships, miss semis

Jason Brown
The Leavenworth Times
Caroline Crawford and Team USA's U20 women's volleyball team will play for 5th-8th place at the U20 World Volleyball Championship in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Caroline Crawford and Team USA volleyball capped a stretch of six matches in seven days Thursday at the FIVB U20 World Championships that began July 9 in Belgium and the Netherlands. 

Crawford, a former standout at Lansing and sophomore at the University of Kansas, is with Team USA for a second time after competing with the U18 squad at the 2019 World Championships in Egypt.

The Americans opened the tournament 4-0 but ran into trouble in a rematch with Russia for their first loss of the tournament. They needed to beat the Netherlands 3-0 or 3-1 Thursday in order to challenge for a semifinal spot but fell behind 2-0 to the host team and eventually lost 3-2, erasing their hopes of medalling. They will now have an opportunity to play for fifth through eighth place when matches resume Saturday. 

Team USA opened the tournament in Pool C and went 3-0 with wins against Russia (25-20, 23-25, 25-14, 25-17), Thailand (25-15, 25-8, 25-13) and Turkey (25-18, 27-25, 25-22). They were then reseeded into Pool E where they defeated Brazil (25-22, 27-29, 25-20, 25-14), fell in a rematch with Russia (13-25, 22-25, 30-28, 23-25) and lost to the Dutch (15-25, 22-25, 25-21, 25-21, 10-15).

Crawford's best match of the tournament so far came in the opener against Russia where she was the squad's second-leading scorer with 15 points, including six blocks.