FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (July 23, 2019) – USA Volleyball has selected the 12 players who will compete on the Boys Youth National Team at the FIVB Boys U19 World Championship on Aug. 21-30 in Tunisia.
Seven players on the team return from the 2018 Boys Youth National Team that took second at the NORCECA U19 Continental Championship: setter Joe Karlous, opposite James Hartley, outside hitters Alex Knight, Clarke Godbold and Joe Deluzio, middle blocker Ethan Hill and libero Mason Briggs.
Newcomers for 2019 are setter Kevin Kauling, opposite Klistan Lawrence, outside hitter Francesco Sani and middle blockers Rico Wardlow and Gavin Julien.
“These are a lot of really good athletes,” Head Coach David Hunt said. “They are really good volleyball players. They are a combination of guys we think can compete in the tournament in a month and guys who will hopefully represent our country in the future.”
Five players on the team are from the Southern California Region. Two players are from Florida and there is one player each from the Great Lakes, Badger, Old Dominion and Carolina regions.
The 24-man Boys Youth National Training Team was split into two squads to compete at the USAV High Performance Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with the Red team finishing first and the White team placing fifth in the Boys Youth International Division.
Karlous said all 24 players were a tight-knit group who talked through any struggles they were having.
“It’s a brotherhood,” he said. “I’ve known these guys forever. I’ve played against them forever. If you bring them all together, you’ll figure it out.”
The team bonded over meals at Panera and walks to and from the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center.
“I’ve had random, deep conversation with every single guy on this team,” Karlous said. “It’s not even about volleyball. It’s about life.”
2019 U.S. Boys Youth National Training Team
Name (Pos., Height, Hometown, Region, College commit)
1 Kevin Kauling (S, 6-8, Naperville, Ill., Great Lakes, committed to Lewis)
3 Mason Briggs (L, 5-11, Valencia, Calif., So Cal, signed with Long Beach State)
4 Joe Karlous (S, 6-0, Costa Mesa, Calif., So Cal, signed with Pepperdine)
9 Clarke Godbold (Opp, 6-5, San Pedro, Calif., So Cal, committed to Long Beach State)
10 James Hartley (OH, 6-6, Waxhaw, N.C., Carolina, signed with Princeton)
11 Rico Wardlow (MB, 6-5, Bolingbrook, Ill., Great Lakes, signed with Purdue University Fort Wayne)
12 Alex Knight (OH, 6-6, Culver City, Calif., So Cal, signed with UCLA)
13 Ethan Hill (MB, 6-7, San Clemente, Calif., So Cal, signed with UCLA)
14 Francesco Sani (OH, 6-8, Bethesda, Md., Old Dominion, committed to UC Irvine)
15 Joe Deluzio (OH, 6-6, Windermere, Fla., Florida, committed to Pepperdine)
16 Klistan Lawrence (OH, 6-7, Ocala, Fla., Florida, Uncommitted)
17 Gavin Julien (MB, 6-8, Whitefish Bay, Wis., Badger, signed with BYU)
Head Coach: David Hunt (Pepperdine men’s volleyball head coach)
Assistant Coach: Nick MacRae (Long Beach State men’s assistant coach)
Assistant Coach: Colin McMillan (Penn State men’s associate head coach)
Assistant Coach: Kevin Burch (Ohio State men’s head coach)
Technical Coordinator: Mitch Lush (Ohio State men’s director of operations)