COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The USA Volleyball Beach High Performance department has named two coaches to its staff for the 2017 FIVB Beach U21 World Championships.

Marcio Sicoli and Jose Loiola will serve as head coaches of the U21 team that will travel to Nanjing, China, June 13-18, 2017. Trials for the U.S. team will take place Dec. 20-23 in Chula Vista, Calif., for athletes born in 1997 or later.

Sicoli, the assistant coach of beach volleyball at Pepperdine University, brings a wealth of knowledge to the High Performance program. As the Olympic coach for 2016 bronze medalists April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings, the Brazilian native has been coaching full-time on the beach since 2012. Prior to an Olympic gold-medal run with Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor in 2012, and Pepperdine’s first season of beach, Sicoli was an assistant coach with the Waves’ indoor program for six seasons.

“I am excited to be part of the youth development led by Megan Burgdorf [USAV’s Manager of High Performance], who is revamping the youth pipeline,” said Sicoli. “I look forward to being a part of the big change concepts.”

His expertise also helped his native Brazil from 2000-04, coaching his first beach team at the Olympics, that time to silver.

“Based on my experience with top teams, I am looking forward to bringing that and the support of scientific data to grow the sport at the youth level and put us on the same level we have been on in the past,” Sicoli continued. “The Tokyo Olympics are around the corner and the quad development process has already started. I’m also looking forward to 2024 and hopefully having the Olympics here in our backyard and this is a great start to that development.”

Loiola most recently coached 2016 Olympic hopefuls Jennifer Kessy and Emily Day during the 2015-16 FIVB World Tour. A former player himself, Loiola finished ninth at the 2000 Olympics for his home country Brazil.

At the last Under 21 World Championships, the U.S. qualified two teams in both genders during the 2016 edition that took place in Switzerland. Top finishers were Sarah Sponcil and Torrey Van Winden, who placed fourth.

This is the 16th edition of the U21 event. The United States has competed in the youth World Championship series since 2011, sending a men’s team in each consecutive year, while the women have played in each with exception to 2006 and 2007. The U.S. medaled last in 2014, bronze by current USC student-athletes Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes. Prior to that, USA’s other medal came as gold in 2010 from the team of Summer Ross and Tara Roenicke.

Past Under 21 World Championship USA finishes
2016 – M 25th, 27th; W 4th, 17th
2014 – M 9th, 25th; W 3rd (Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes), 9th
2013 – M 9th, 41st; W 9th, 25th
2012 – M 5th, 9th; W 4th, 17th
2011 – M 9th, 19th; W 5th, 25th
2010 – M 5th, 5th; W 1st (Summer Ross/Tara Roenicke), 29th
2009 – M 19th, 25th; W 5th, 29th
2008 – M 9th, 29th; W 9th, 29th
2007 – M 5th, 29th
2006 – M 9th
2005 – M 19th, 29th; W 17th
2004 – M 19th, W 17th
2003 – M 19th; W 9th
2002 – M 9th; W 5th
2001 – M 5th; W 9th