COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (December 18, 2021) – Two U.S. Beach U21 teams finished in the top 10 at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships on Saturday in Phuket, Thailand.

The U.S. men’s team of Matt Gentry/Phillip Catanzaro and the women’s team of Nicole Nourse/Maddie Anderson each ended in a tie for ninth. In the Round of 16, Gentry/Catanzaro fell to Italy’s Gianluca Dal Corso/Marco Viscovich, the tournament’s No. 3 seed, in two sets. Nourse/Anderson pushed the third-seeded Russian duo of Mariia Bocharova/Elizaveta Gubina to three sets.

“[Italy] came out really strong against us, and we didn’t have an answer in the first set,” Gentry said of their Round of 16 contest. “We came back and really battled in that second set. It was a much better example of our recent performance. It was a great match. We just couldn’t close out and force a third set.”

Gentry/Catanzaro reached the Round of 16 after winning Pool G and earning a bye past the first round of elimination matches. Ranked seventh overall, they won six of seven sets in pool play.

Nourse/Anderson finished among the top 10 after overcoming a first-match injury. They retired from their opener, but won the next two group matches to reach the knockout rounds. In the Round of 24, they swept Australia’s Alisha Stevens/Stefanie Fejes and advanced to face Bocharova/Gubina.

The U.S. women’s team of Caitlin Godwin/Raelyn White also faced an Australian pair in the Round of 24. The duo from Florida State lost their first two pool play matches before sweeping a pair from Chile to finish third in their pool. In the Round of 24, they were matched against Aussies Jasmine Fleming/Kayla Mears. Only two points separated the teams, but Fleming/Mears won, 2-1 (25-23, 20-22, 15-13).

Rounding out U.S. involvement were Carson Barnes/Ayden Keeter. Playing in their first international tournament, the pair of high schoolers competed hard in pool play, forcing extra points in a pair of sets, but went 0-3 in the main draw.

This is the third consecutive time the U.S. ended the Beach U21 World Championships with two teams ranked among the top 10. In 2019, Isabelle Bauman/Teagan DeFalco and Tim Brewster/Adam Wienckowski each tied for ninth, and in 2017, Wienckowski/Clay Messenger took ninth while Kathryn Plummer/Mima Mirkovic won bronze.


They Said It: Quotes from the Beach U21 National Team

  • “This was my first time playing internationally and having to play against a ton of different styles of volleyball was a great learning experience. However, my favorite part was meeting players from other countries. This trip was everything I could have asked for, and I am very thankful for the opportunity with USA Volleyball” – Maddie Anderson
  • “As an alternate, Ayden and I were blessed to be in this tournament. It was a great learning experience and we got to play with and against the best U21 competition in the world. For a week, we were surrounded by great players, coaches, and organizers of USAV.” – Carson Barnes
  • “It was an incredible experience representing the United States. Both Matt and I grew a lot off and on the court. It was a huge confidence booster knowing we can hang with some of the best up-and-coming teams in the world. Above all, I’m excited to implement the things I learned from playing and watching high level teams moving forward.” – Phil Catanzaro
  • “This experience has been absolutely unbelievable. I have learned so much and have been so blessed to be part of this team. I’ve learned to have confidence in myself and in my abilities, and to be confident in Phil, as we hung with some of the top teams in the world.” – Matt Gentry
  • “Being a part of the National Team Development Program and getting the opportunity to compete internationally has taught me how to adapt and appreciate the curve balls that will be thrown your way. It has been an honor to compete with USA on my jersey. This opportunity has been something that I will never forget, and I am grateful for getting to experience it with this group of people.” – Caitlin Godwin
  • “It was a great experience and I learned so much this weekend. Playing at this high level – especially being this young – showed me a huge difference in the physicality and size of the players.” – Ayden Keeter
  • “This international tournament has been unique and gratifying. With a new partner, we faced a lot of challenges and a lot of ups and downs. Overall, I’m just thankful to be able to play this sport not only for the opportunity to compete internationally, but also for the experience in meeting new players and teams from across the world. After this tournament, I’m thankful to be a part of such a supportive and caring beach volleyball community. I’m excited to build on what was accomplished here and get back to work!” – Nicole Nourse
  • “I am forever grateful for the chance to travel and play internationally. This trip has allowed me to meet and play against many people from different countries with different styles of play. It has sparked a new love for beach volleyball and has motivated me more than ever to find holes in my game and strive to get better. I’ll never forget this trip and the people I got to experience it with.” – Raelyn White

U.S. Beach U21 National Team Travel Roster

Women

Name (Hometown, USAV Region, School)
Maddie Anderson (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Florida Region; Florida State)
Caitlin Godwin (St. Petersburg, Florida; Florida Region; Florida State)
Nicole Nourse (Newport Beach, Florida; Southern California Region; USC)
Raelyn White (Austin, Texas; Lone Star Region; Florida State)

Men

Name (Hometown, USAV Region, school (if applicable))
Carson Barnes (Chesapeake, Va.; Chesapeake Region; Indian River HS)
Phillip Catanzaro (Cleveland Heights, Ohio; Ohio Valley Region)
Matt Gentry (Hudson, Ohio; Ohio Valley Region; Lincoln Memorial)
Ayden Keeter (Yorktown, Va.; Old Dominion Region; Tabb HS)