Sean Kelly with one of his seven kills vs. Costa Rica
Sean Kelly with one of his seven kills vs. Costa Rica

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (August 3, 2023) – The U.S. Boys U19 National Team started strong at the FIVB Boys U19 World Championship in San Juan, Argentina on Thursday, defeating Costa Rica, 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-15).


The U.S. Boys U19 play again on Friday at 5 p.m. PDT against Egypt, which also won its first match.

The U.S. recorded significant advantages in kills (39-28), blocks (12-5), and aces (6-0). Ten U.S. players scored with five totaling six points or more. Opposite Finn Kearney led the way with 14 points on 10 kills, two blocks, and two aces. Outside hitter Sterling Foley also reached double digits with 11 points on 10 kills and one block.

“It was a great team effort,” head coach Charlie Sullivan said. “You know the first match always involves a bit of chaos, and working some kinks out. So I thought we were doing that a little bit at times. I thought the group played well together, and had some good focus and good intent, and played a good match.”

Outside hitter Sean Kelly finished with nine points on seven kills with a .583 hitting efficiency percentage, and two aces. Setter Tread Rosenthal (four kills, two blocks) and middle blocker Tristan Whitfield (three kills, two blocks, one ace) each contributed six points.

Libero Kellen Larson started the championship in style with 21 digs and 14 successful receptions.

Neither team could put together more than two consecutive points for most of the first set. That changed late in the set when the U.S., trailing 18-16, came charging out of a Sullivan timeout with a 6-0 run, keyed by two aces from Kearney.

Another 6-0 run keyed the U.S. in the second set, turning a one-point deficit into a five-point lead at 12-7. Two blocks helped give the U.S. its biggest lead up to that point with a 16-8 advantage. Back-to-back Whitfield kills made it 21-12. Flynn recorded six kills and hit at a .556 eclipse in the set.

In the third set, the U.S. Boys U19 led 12-11 before going on a 9-1 run to take a 21-12 lead and control of the set.

Twenty teams are competing in the championship. Sullivan gave his thoughts on Friday’s match against Egypt.

“We’ve been watching a little bit on them,” he said. “They’re a big, strong, physical team, so they have a lot of experience. Got some big arms on the pin, so how we’re going to defend them is going to be important.  Probably have some rough patches we’ll have to get through, so be prepared for things not to be perfect but still be able to maintain our system and play a good match.

Boys U19 Roster for the World Championship

Name (Position, height, birth year, hometown, school, USAV Region)
1 Kellen Larson (L, 5-10, 2005, Irvine, Calif., Woodbridge High School, Southern California)
5 Marek Turner (Opp, 6-5, 2006, Long Beach, Calif., Woodrow Wilson High School, Southern California)
6 Victor Loiola (OH, 6-4, 2005, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Mira Costa High School, Southern California)
7 Trent Taliaferro (S, 6-5, 2005, San Clemente, Calif., JSerra Catholic High School, Southern California)
11 Finn Kearney (OPP, 6-5, 2006, Phoenix, Ariz., Sandra Day O’Connor High School, Arizona)
12 Sterling Foley (OH, 6-6, 2005, Newport Beach, Calif., Corona del Mar High School, Southern California)
13 Sean Kelly (OH, 6-6, 2005, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Loyola High School, Southern California)
14 Sebastiano Sani (OH, 6-8, 2005, Bethesda, Md., Walter Johnson High School, Chesapeake)
15 Josh Aruya (MB, 6-7, 2005, Mission Viejo, Calif., Mission Viejo High School, Southern California)
16 Tread Rosenthal  (S, 6-7, 2006, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Mira Costa High School, Southern California)
17 Tristan Whitfield (MB, 6-7, 2005, Virginia Beach, Va., Cape Henry Collegiate, Old Dominion)
19 Kaumana Carreira (MB, 6-8, 2005, Mission Viejo, Calif., Tesoro High School, Southern California)

Head Coach: Charlie Sullivan (Head Coach, Springfield College)
Assistant Coach: Lindsay Brown (Assistant Coach, Loyola of Chicago)
Assistant Coach: Jonah Carson
Performance Analyst: Evan Metzger (Performance Analyst, Springfield College)
Athletic Trainer: Rachel Menze (CSUN)
Team Leader: Sam Shweisky (Head Coach, Princeton)

2 Roan Alviar (L, 5-11, 2006, Hayward, Calif., Bishop O’Dowd High School, Northern California)
3 Cole Hartke (OH , 6-10, 2006, Barrington, Ill., Barrington High School, Great Lakes)
4 Caleb Sapp (Opp, 6-8, 2006, Upland, Calif., Claremont High School, Southern California)
8 Ryan Gant (S, 6-5, 2006, Newport Beach, Calif., Corona del Mar High School, Southern California)
9 Jack Mally (OH, 6-6, 2005, Geneva, Ill., Geneva High School, Great Lakes)
10 Isaiah Preuitt (MB, 6-8, 2005, Portland, Ore., Central Catholic High School, Columbia Empire)
18 Gaige Gabriel (MB, 6-8, 2005, Birdsboro, Pa., Exeter Township High School, Keystone)
20 Grant Lamoureux (OH, 6-9, 2007, Clemmons, N.C., West Forsyth High School, Carolina)

U.S. Schedule for the 2023 FIVB Boys U19 World Championship
Matches will be shown on the Volleyball World YouTube channel
All times PDT

Aug. 3 USA def. Costa Rica, 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-15)
Aug. 4 at 5 p.m. USA vs Egypt
Aug. 5 at 5 p.m. USA vs Argentina
Aug. 6 at 2 p.m. USA vs Serbia
Aug. 8 Round of 16 and classification playoffs
Aug. 9 Quarterfinals, Round of 16, classification playoffs and
Aug. 10 Semifinals and classification playoffs
Aug. 11 Finals and classification matches