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Mendelson leads USA Volleyball past Romania at World Championship; Spiers inducted into Utah Sports Hall of Fame

By Patrick Carr - | Sep 22, 2021

PATRICK CARR, Standard-Examiner

Fremont's Maggie Mendelson (right) hits the ball during a 6A volleyball state tournament match against Bingham on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020 at Fremont High School.

Maggie Mendelson led USA Volleyball to a four-set win Wednesday against Romania in the 2021 Girls U18 World Championship in Mexico.

Mendelson, a junior at Fremont High, hit 11 kills with four blocks and won three points on her serve, leading the American team with 18 total points.

Mendelson got a block to go down for a 13-7 lead in the first set and made consecutive kills from the middle to make it 15-9. The Americans’ lead was sliced to one point, 20-19, before they got the first set 25-21.

Team USA then ripped off a 25-11 second set and lost the third set 25-18 before unloading in the fourth set, winning 25-16.

In Tuesday’s opening match of the tournament, the US swept Thailand (25-18, 25-20, 25-23). Mendelson had 11 kills with two blocks, ranking second on the team with 13 points.

Team USA faces Puerto Rico at 1 p.m. MDT Thursday as Pool C play continues. The match will be streamed live on the “Volleyball World” YouTube page.

The American team, comprised of 12 girls from across the country, faces Nigeria at 10 a.m. Friday to complete pool play.

SPIERS INDUCTED INTO UTAH SPORTS HOF

Teri Okelberry Spiers, a Weber High and Weber State alumna, was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame on Monday night during the organization’s yearly induction banquet.

Spiers, currently an administrator at Bonneville High, played volleyball and was a track athlete at WSU from 1986-89.

“It’s an incredible honor to be associated with an amazing association … to be alongside some incredible inductees Monday night was just, I don’t know, a great maybe final chapter to my hard work and athletic career that I had,” Spiers told the Standard-Examiner on Wednesday.

Ben Dorger, Standard-Examiner Teri Spiers poses for a portrait on the track at Stewart Stadium on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, at Weber State University. Spiers ran track and plaid volleyball at WSU and her javelin throwing got her to three US Olympic trials. She was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame.

When her WSU track career was over, she held school records in the javelin, triple jump, 400-meter hurdles and heptathlon. She still holds the javelin record, set in 1988 with a throw of 177 feet, 1 inch, and ranks in the top 10 for the heptathlon and triple jump.

Spiers found out about the honor last year spring, but the banquet itself was delayed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spiers said she was happy that her mother, Betty Okelberry, was able to attend.

“So that was fun. She was really nervous, but she did great,” Spiers said.

Betty and Spiers’ daughter, Bailie, were Teri’s flag bearers during the ceremony.

Many of Teri’s family and coworkers were at the banquet, as were her javelin coaches in high school and college, Jan Keim and Dan Walker, respectively.

Sports editor Brett Hein contributed to this report.

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