The U.S. Men's U21 National Team earned a 3-0 victory over Nicaragua (25-15, 25-14, 25-8) in the first pool match of the 2023 Pan American Cup in Havana, Cuba.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 6, 2023) – The U.S. Men’s U21 National Team improved to 2-0 at the NORCECA U21 Pan American Cup on Wednesday with a 3-0 (32-30, 27-25, 25-21) victory over Guatemala in Havana, Cuba.
“They (Guatemala) are a very good float serving team, and they gave us some difficulties,” U.S. head coach Andy Read said. “Our guys adjusted and battled through it. [The key is] win the next point and win the critical moments.”
Opposite Shane Wetzel led all scorers with 18 points, collecting 15 kills, one block and two aces (.500 hitting efficiency). He had eight points in the marathon first set.
Playing in just his first international tournament (and second match), outside hitter Alex Rottman scored 12 on nine kills and three aces.
“Guatemala battled hard,” Rottman said. “It was a lot of fun; we had to put it all out there. It was a great match all around.”
Fellow outside hitter Kyle Teune notched 11 points with 10 kills and an ace. Middle blocker Micah Wong Diallo added nine points (eight kills, one block), and middle Owen Rose had eight points on four kills, three aces and one block. Opposite George Bruening had three kills, and setter Gabe Dyer had an ace.
Libero Ryan Merk was credited with eight digs. Setter Tyler Morgan had four points with two kills and two aces, and he and Dyer set the team to a .395 hitting efficiency. The U.S. led Guatemala in kills (51-30) and aces (12-4). Guatemala had four blocks to the Americans’ three.
The U.S. plays home team Cuba on Wednesday, June 7, at 1 p.m., and Read expects an exciting atmosphere.
“The drums will be even louder tomorrow night with the whistles and bells and sirens and who knows what. It will be great,” he said. “We look forward to it. I would love to see a big crowd. It’s their home team playing, [and] a chance to play a team at home in an international match is always great. Both teams love it.”
The match will be streamed live on Facebook.
U.S. Roster for the 2023 Men’s U21 NORCECA Pan American Cup
No. Name (Position, Height, Birth year, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
1 Ryan Merk (L, 6-0, 2003, Chicago, Ill., Penn State, Great Lakes)
4 Dane Hillis (OH, 6-2, 2003, San Clemente, Calif., Long Beach State, Southern California)
7 Gabe Dyer (S, 6-5, 2003, San Clemente, Calif., UC San Diego, Southern California)
8 Kyle Teune (OH, 6-6, 2003, Downers Grove, Ill., Ohio State, Great Lakes)
10 Tyler Morgan (S, 6-7, 2003, Dike, Iowa, Lewis, Iowa)
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)
19 George Bruening (Opp, 6-10, 2004. Newport Beach, Calif., UCSB, Southern California)
22 Owen Rose (MB, 6-8, 2003, Long Island, N.Y., Penn State, Garden Empire)
23 Alex Rottman (OH, 6-7, 2004, Santa Barbara, Calif., Stanford, Southern California)
24 Micah Wong Diallo (MB, 6-9, 2004, Los Angeles, Calif., UCLA, Southern California)
Head Coach: Andy Read (Long Beach State)
Assistant Coach: Rory Prager (University of Southern California)
Assistant Coach: Taylor Hammond (UC San Diego)
Performance Analyst: Michael Bouril (Purdue)
ATC: Cherryl Bueno
Team Lead: Donovan Martinez (USAV NTDP)
International Referee: Michelle Prater (Southern Region)
2 Christopher Connelly (L, 5-10, 2003, Naples, Fla., Long Beach State, Florida)
3 Jacob Reilly (L, 6-0, 2003, Cypress, Texas, Concordia University-Irvine, Aloha)
6 Island Doty (S, 6-5, 2003, Colorado Springs, Colo., Long Beach State, Rocky Mountain)
9 Ben Putnam (OH, 6-5, 2004, Needham, Mass., Ohio State, New England)
14 Nicodemus Meyer (MB, 6-10, 2003, Franklin, Wis., Loyola of Chicago, Badger)
15 Markus Olsson (MB, 6-8, 2003, Cupertino, Calif., Univ. of Southern California, Southern California
18 Patrick Rogers (OH, 6-7, 2004, Rutherford, N.J., St. Francis College, Garden Empire)
25 Theo Snoey (OH, 6-8, 2004, Berkeley, Calif., Stanford, Northern California)
U.S. Schedule for the 2023 Men’s U21 NORCECA Pan American Cup
All Times PDT
June 5 USA def. Nicaragua 3-0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-8)
June 6 USA def. Guatemala 3-0 (32-30, 27-25, 25-21)
June 7 at 1 p.m. USA v Cuba
June 8 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Quarterfinals
June 9 at 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Classification matches
at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Semifinals
June 10 at 7 a.m. Seventh-place match
at 9 a.m. Fifth-place match
at 11 a.m. Bronze-medal match
at 1 p.m. Gold-medal match