Tristan Whitfield attacks

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 6, 2023) – The U.S. Boys U19 team dropped its first match of the FIVB World Championship on Sunday, losing to Serbia 3-1 (25-22, 18-25, 25-21, 25-13) in San Juan.

Despite the loss, the U.S. Boys (3-1) won their pool and have qualified for the round of 16 on Aug. 9. They will play Puerto Rico, fourth-place finishers in Pool C, at 5 p.m. PT.


The U.S. was off from the start of the match, falling behind early to Serbia (2-2) in the first set. They regained momentum but were not able to close that early gap, falling 25-22.

All cylinders were firing in the second set, as the U.S. appeared to be back in top form, winning 25-18. Outside hitter Sterling Foley was on fire with six points in the set, while opposite Finn Kearney had four, and middle blocker Josh Aruya scored three off the bench.

But the wheels came off in set three, especially at the service line, where the U.S. had seven of its 15 service errors in the match. Again, the U.S. made a late run, but it wasn’t enough to take the third set. The fourth set was all Serbia, 25-13.

All 12 U.S. players saw action in the match. Kearney led the U.S. with 16 points on 14 kills and two blocks. Outside hitter Sean Kelly had 14 points on 12 kills, one ace and one block. Foley also finished in double figures with 12 points (10 kills, two blocks). Aruya collected six points (five kills, one block), as did setter Tread Rosenthal (three kills, one block, two aces).

Outside hitter Sebastiano Sani had four points on four kills. Middle blocker Tristan Whitfield had a kill and a block, and middle blocker Kaumana Carreira had two blocks. Opposite Marek Turner picked up a kill.

The USA led Serbia in kills (50-43), but Serbia had the edge in blocks (13-10) and aces (4-3). Serbia scored 33 points off of USA errors, while the USA scored just 18 off of Serbia errors.

Libero Kellen Larson led the defense with 17 digs and nine successful receptions.

Boys U19 Roster for the World Championship

Name (Position, height, birth year, hometown, school, USAV Region)
1 Kellen Larson (L, 5-10, 2005, Irvine, Calif., Woodbridge High School, Southern California)
5 Marek Turner (Opp, 6-5, 2006, Long Beach, Calif., Woodrow Wilson High School, Southern California)
6 Victor Loiola (OH, 6-4, 2005, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Mira Costa High School, Southern California)
7 Trent Taliaferro (S, 6-5, 2005, San Clemente, Calif., JSerra Catholic High School, Southern California)
11 Finn Kearney (OPP, 6-5, 2006, Phoenix, Ariz., Sandra Day O’Connor High School, Arizona)
12 Sterling Foley (OH, 6-6, 2005, Newport Beach, Calif., Corona del Mar High School, Southern California)
13 Sean Kelly (OH, 6-6, 2005, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Loyola High School, Southern California)
14 Sebastiano Sani (OH, 6-8, 2005, Bethesda, Md., Walter Johnson High School, Chesapeake)
15 Josh Aruya (MB, 6-7, 2005, Mission Viejo, Calif., Mission Viejo High School, Southern California)
16 Tread Rosenthal  (S, 6-7, 2006, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Mira Costa High School, Southern California)
17 Tristan Whitfield (MB, 6-7, 2005, Virginia Beach, Va., Cape Henry Collegiate, Old Dominion)
19 Kaumana Carreira (MB, 6-8, 2005, Mission Viejo, Calif., Tesoro High School, Southern California)

Head Coach: Charlie Sullivan (Head Coach, Springfield College)
Assistant Coach: Lindsay Brown (Assistant Coach, Loyola of Chicago)
Assistant Coach: Jonah Carson
Performance Analyst: Evan Metzger (Performance Analyst, Springfield College)
Athletic Trainer: Rachel Menze (CSUN)
Team Leader: Sam Shweisky (Head Coach, Princeton)

2 Roan Alviar (L, 5-11, 2006, Hayward, Calif., Bishop O’Dowd High School, Northern California)
3 Cole Hartke (OH , 6-10, 2006, Barrington, Ill., Barrington High School, Great Lakes)
4 Caleb Sapp (Opp, 6-8, 2006, Upland, Calif., Claremont High School, Southern California)
8 Ryan Gant (S, 6-5, 2006, Newport Beach, Calif., Corona del Mar High School, Southern California)
9 Jack Mally (OH, 6-6, 2005, Geneva, Ill., Geneva High School, Great Lakes)
10 Isaiah Preuitt (MB, 6-8, 2005, Portland, Ore., Central Catholic High School, Columbia Empire)
18 Gaige Gabriel (MB, 6-8, 2005, Birdsboro, Pa., Exeter Township High School, Keystone)
20 Grant Lamoureux (OH, 6-9, 2007, Clemmons, N.C., West Forsyth High School, Carolina)

U.S. Schedule for the 2023 FIVB Boys U19 World Championship
Matches will be shown on the Volleyball World YouTube channel
All times PDT

Aug. 3 USA def. Costa Rica, 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-15)
Aug. 4 USA def. Egypt, 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 26-24
Aug. 5 USA def Argentina, 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-20)
Aug. 6 Serbia def. USA, 3-1 (25-22, 18-25, 25-21, 25-13)
Aug. 9 Round of 16 vs. Puerto Rico, 2 p.m. PT
Aug. 9 Quarterfinals, Round of 16, classification playoffs and
Aug. 10 Semifinals and classification playoffs
Aug. 11 Finals and classification matches