U.S. Men's U21 celebrating point against Bahrain.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 15, 2023) – The U.S. Men’s U21 National Team earned its first victory at the World Championship with a 3-1 (25-18, 25-22, 22-25, 25-21) win over host Bahrain on Saturday in Manama.

The U.S. will play against Mexico in the 13th place match Sunday at 3 a.m. PT. The teams met on Thursday with Mexico prevailing in four sets.

Outside hitter Dillon Klein continued his strong play in the tournament, leading the U.S. with 18 points on 16 kills and two blocks, while hitting at .303 efficiency percentage. Outside hitter Zach Rama scored 16 points on 12 kills, one block, and a team-best three aces. He hit at a .320 clip and led the team with nine successful receptions.

Middle blocker Marc Smith totaled 11 points on six kills and a team-high five blocks as the U.S. held a 12-7 advantage in blocks. Outside hitter Alex Rottman scored eight points on five kills, one block, and two aces. Setter Island Doty, in addition to leading the team to a .223 hitting percentage, contributed six points on two kills, two blocks, and two aces. The U.S. recorded seven aces to Bahrain’s one.

Middle blocker Owen Rose registered three kills and one block, one of six U.S. players to record at least one block. Libero Ryan Merk led the team with nine digs with Rottman finishing with six and Klein adding five.

The U.S. never trailed in the first set, jumping out to a 9-5 lead and eventually stretched the advantage to seven points, 19-12. The second set was tied 17-17 before the U.S. scored four consecutive points. A Klein kill clinched the set when Bahrain had pulled back within two points.

Bahrain led most of the third set, never relinquishing the lead after taking a four-point lead at 15-11, though the U.S. squad did narrow the advantage to one point on two occasions. A Rottman ace gave the U.S. an early four-point lead, 9-5, in the fourth set, but Bahrain went on a 7-2 run to take the lead. A Rama ace capped a 6-2 run that gave the U.S. team the lead for good and his kill ended the match to give the U.S. Men their first win of the championship.

Outside hitter Sayed Hashem Ali led Bahrain with 14 kills.

U.S. Men’s U21 Roster for the 2023 FIVB World Championship
No. Name (Position, Height, Birth year, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
Ryan Merk (L, 6-0, 2003, Chicago, Ill., Penn State, Great Lakes)
Dillon Klein (OH, 6-4, 2003, Pacific Palisades, Calif., Univ. of Southern California, Southern California)
6 Island Doty (S, 6-5, 2003, Colorado Springs, Colo., Long Beach State, Rocky Mountain)
12 Andrew Rowan (S, 6-7, 2003, Trabuco Canyon, Calif., UCLA, Southern California)
13 Shane Wetzel (Opp, 6-7, 2004, Wekiwa Springs, Fla., Ohio State, Florida)
16 Nyherowo Omene (MB, 6-8, 2003, South Holland, Ill., Princeton, Great Lakes)
17 Trent Moser (OH, 6-8, 2003, Gilbert, Ariz., BYU, Arizona)
20 Zach Rama (OH, 6-8, 2004, Phoenix, Ariz., UCLA, Arizona)
22 Owen Rose (MB, 6-8, 2003, Long Island, N.Y., Penn State, Garden Empire)
21 Wesley Smith (MB, 6-11, 2004, Encinitas, Calif., Univ. of Southern California, Southern California)
23 Alex Rottman (OH, 6-7, 2004, Santa Barbara, Calif., Stanford, Southern California)
25 Theo Snoey (OH, 6-8, 2004, Berkeley, Calif., Stanford, Northern California)

Head Coach: Andy Read (Long Beach State)
Assistant Coach: Chris Seiffert (Concordia-Irvine)
Assistant Coach: Rory Prager (Univ. of Southern California)
Performance Analyst: Alex Hurlburt
Team Doctor: Dr. Chris Cornell
Team Lead: Donovan Martinez (USAV NTDP)

U.S. Men’s U21 Schedule for the 2023 FIVB World Championship
Live stream on VolleyballWorld.tv
(All times PT)
July 7 Argentina def. USA, 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-23)
July 8 Belgium def. USA, 3-1 (25-23, 16-25, 25-22, 25-20)
July 9 Czechia def. USA, 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-23, 25-22)
July 11 Egypt def. USA, 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 22-25, 25-20)
July 12 Czechia def. USA, 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-17)
July 13 at 1 a.m. Mexico def. USA, 3-0 (25-18, 26-24, 20-25, 25-22)
July 15 Consolation playoffs USA def. Bahrain, 3-1 (25-18, 25-22, 22-25, 25-21)
July 16 13th place match 3 a.m. USA vs. Mexico