Opposite Finn Kearney scored 13 points as the U.S. defeated Belize 3-0 in the first match of the NORCECA U19 Boys Pan Am Cup.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 14, 2023) – The U.S. Boys U19 National Team earned its second victory at the 2023 NORCECA U19 Pan American Cup in Guatemala on Tuesday with a four-set win over Mexico, 23-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-20.
Match Stats (PDF)
Up 16-8 to begin the match, the U.S. failed to withstand a comeback bid from Mexico, dropping the first set by two points. Outside Hitter Sean Kelly explained how the team rebounded after allowing Mexico to go on a serving run in the first set.
“We came back from that in the next couple sets and started connecting and playing some better defense,” Kelly said. “We were struggling with defense and serve receive and I think we picked up both of those toward the end.”
Kelly led the charge offensively with back-to-back aces in the second set, including the set winner to tie the match. The outside hitter accounted for 14 of the team’s 98 total points and finished with a final tally of 10 kills, one block, and three aces. Sterling Foley and Finn Kearney both earned high point honors with 16 each for the match. Kearney earned his points on 13 kills and three blocks, while Foley did on 15 kills and one block. Their efforts helped to win the second and third set both by the same score, holding Mexico to 19 points.
“We picked it up together and played hard,” Kelly said. “Defense, blocking – we elevated in every aspect of the game.”
A block by Gaige Gabriel in the fourth sealed the deal at 25-20. The U.S. led 53-39 in kills, 9-6 in blocks and 4-3 in serves. Mexico had fewer errors (32-25). After the match, Head Coach Matthew Fuerbringer was impressed with the level of play from the opponent.
“We had a high-level match, Mexico was really good and in the first two sets we weren’t,” said Fuerbringer. “Mexico digs a lot of balls, they kept everything in play, a well-coached team, a very smart team and that’s a great win for us today. They made us compete at a high level the entire match.”
With two wins now under its belt, the U.S. will next face Costa Rica on Wednesday at 1 p.m. Pacific.
2023 U.S. Boys U19 NORCECA Continental Championship Roster
Player (Pos., Height, Birth Year, Hometown, School, USAV Region)
1 Kellen Larson (L, 5-10, 2005, Irvine, Calif., Woodbridge HS, Southern California)
5 Marek Turner (Opp, 6-5, 2006, Long Beach, Calif., Woodrow Wilson HS, Southern California)
6 Victor Loiola (OH, 6-4, 2005, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Mira Costa HS, Southern California)
7 Trent Taliaferro (S, 6-4, 2005, San Clemente, Calif., JSerra Catholic HS, Southern California)
10 Isaiah Preuitt (MB, 6-8, 2005, Portland, Ore., Central Catholic HS, Columbia Empire)
11 Finn Kearney (Opp, 6-5, 2006, Phoenix, Ariz., Sandra Day O’Connor HS, Arizona)
12 Sterling Foley (OH, 6-6, 2005, Newport Beach, Calif., Corona del Mar HS, Southern California)
13 Sean Kelly (OH, 6-6, 2005, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Loyola HS, Southern California)
14 Sebastiano Sani (OH, 6-8, 2005, Bethesda, Md., Walter Johnson HS, Chesapeake)
15 Josh Aruya (MB, 6-7, 2005, Mission Viejo, Calif., Mission Viejo HS, Southern California)
16C Tread Rosenthal (S, 6-7, 2006, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Mira Costa HS, Southern California)
18 Gaige Gabriel (MB, 6-8, 2005, Birdsboro, Pa., Exeter Township HS, Keystone)
Roan Alviar (L, 5-11, 2006, Hayward, Calif., Bishop O’Dowd HS, Northern California)
Kahale Clini (OH, 6-3, 2005, Honolulu, Hawaii, Punahou School, Aloha)
Cole Hartke (OH, 6-10, 2006, Barrington, Ill., Barrington HS, Great Lakes)
Trevell Jordan (MB, 6-8, 2006, Mesa, Ariz., Desert Ridge HS, Arizona
Parker Tomkinson (MB, 6-10, 2006, Carlsbad, Calif., Carlsbad HS, Southern California)
Peter Zurawski (S, 6-6, 2005, Oak Park, Ill., Oak Park River Forest HS, Great Lakes)
U.S. Schedule for the 2023 NORCECA Boys U19 Continental Championship
All times PT
Matches will be streamed on Facebook at Fnvg Voleibol Guate.
View the full schedule on the NORCECA website.
March 13: USA def. Belize, 3-0 (25-11, 25-21, 25-22)
March 14: USA def. Mexico, 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-20)
March 15 at 1 p.m.: USA vs Costa Rica
March 16 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.: Quarterfinals
March 17: Classification matches and semifinals
March 18: Final classification matches and medal matches