COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 22, 2021) – The U.S. Men’s National Team will play for fifth place at the NORCECA Continental Championship after beating Guatemala on Sunday in a classification match, 3-1 (23-25, 25-22, 25-19, 33-31). The young U.S. team (3-2) of mostly college players will take on Dominican Republic (2-3) for the second time...
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 23, 2021) – The U.S. Men’s National Team finished fifth (4-2) at the NORCECA Continental Championship after defeating the Dominican Republic, 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-21).
“We wanted to play hard because it was our last opportunity here,” U.S. Setter Josh Tuaniga said. “It was a rocky start, but the guys played good volleyball for a longer period of time; we tried to play better and more consistently today. Kudos to the guys, we learned a lot and having this experience was helpful.”
U.S. Head Coach Andy Read started Tuaniga at setter, Spencer Olivier and Brett Wildman at the outsides, Keenan Sanders and Merrick McHenry at middle, Jake Hanes at opposite and Kyle Dagostino at libero.
The U.S. led the Dominican Republic in kills (52-38) and blocks (15-7) but gave up 38 points on unforced errors while Dominican Republic committed 25. Dominican Republic led in ace serves (7-4).
“Dominican Republic is a very strong team, with very good athletes that play high-level volleyball and they forced us to play a level within,” Read said. This was a very high-level tournament, with several good teams. We had six grueling matches and the guys played hard every single one of them, which international volleyball requires you to do.”
Hanes led all scorers (21) followed by Olivier and Henry Antonio Lopez Capellan of the Dominican Republic (17). Olivier led all blockers (5) followed by Hanes, McHenry and Dawilin Ramill Mendez Jose of the Dominican Republic (4).
Among other U.S. scorers, Wildman scored 15 points on 14 kills and one block. McHenry scored 11 points on six kills, four blocks and one ace. Sanders scored six points on four kills, one block and one ace. Hanes also recorded two aces.
The U.S. Men had control of the first set after back-to-back kills from McHenry gave the team a 17-13 lead. However, blocking and a strong four point serving run gave the Dominican Republic momentum to take set one.
The U.S. Men had a comfortable 13-8 lead early on in set two, but the Dominican Republic closed the gap and got within one point later in the set. It looked like the Dominican Republic was about to make another comeback, but the U.S. Men never gave up the lead and took set two.
The Dominican Republic was resilient again in set three scoring three straight points after the U.S. Men took a commanding 24-19 lead. Ultimately, the deficit was too much to overcome for the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Men took set three and the match lead.
The U.S. Men jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in set four after McHenry recorded two blocks and Olivier got one of his own. The Dominican Republic stayed on theme, storming back into the match and kept it close until the end. Olivier took over at the end with two straight kills and another kill from Hanes put the match away for the U.S. Men.
2021 U.S. Men’s NORCECA Championship Roster
No Name (Pos, Height, Hometown, College, Region)
3 Spencer Olivier (OH, 6-6, Tustin, Calif., Long Beach State, So. Cal.)
5 Camden Gianni (OH, 6-5, Carlsbad, Calif., Grand Canyon, So. Cal.)
6 Samuel Kobrine (S, 6-3, Newport Beach, Calif., USC, So. Cal.)
7 Will Rottman (OH, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., Stanford, So. Cal.)
8 Tyler Mitchem (MB, 6-11, Bolingbrook, Ill., Lewis, Great Lakes)
9 Jake Hanes (OP, 6-10, Orland Park, Ill., Ohio State, Great Lakes)
12 Brett Wildman (OH, 6-5, Virginia Beach, Va., Penn State, Old Dominion)
13 Merrick McHenry (MB, 6-7, Bedford, Texas, UCLA, North Texas )
15 Jalen Penrose (OP, 6-8, Cambridge, Mass., Penn State, New England)
16 C Josh Tuaniga (S, 6-3, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State, So. Cal.)
19 Keenan Sanders (MB, 6-6, San Diego, Calif., UCSB, So. Cal.)
20 Austin Wilmot (MB, 6-10, Valley Village, Calif., Pepperdine, So. Cal.)
24 Kyle Dagostino (L, 5-9, Tampa, Fla., Stanford, Florida)
25 Mason Briggs (L, 6-0, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State, So. Cal.)
Head Coach: Andy Read
Assistant Coach: Keith Smith
Assistant Coach: Galen Dodd
Athletic Trainer: Jackie Chan
Team Manager: Jon Parry
USA def Guatemala, 3-2 (24-26, 25-23, 23-25, 25-20, 15-10)
Puerto Rico def Canada, 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-19)
Cuba def Dominican Republic, 3-1 (25-17, 29-31, 25-21, 25-19)
Mexico def Trinidad & Tobago, 3-0 (25-11, 25-13, 25-8)
Canada def Trinidad & Tobago, 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-14)
Cuba def Guatemala, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-19)
USA def Dominican Republic, 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-18, 26-24)
Mexico def Puerto Rico, 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-18)
Puerto Rico def Trinidad & Tobago, 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-18)
Dominican Republic def Guatemala, 3-1 (29-31, 25-16, 25-19, 25-19)
Cuba def USA, 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-20)
Mexico def Canada, 3-0 (25-21, 28-26, 25-21)
Canada def USA, 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 25-15, 22-25, 15-10)
Puerto Rico def Dominican Republic, 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-16, 25-23)
Classification 5-8: Dominican Republic def Trinidad & Tobago, 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-20)
Classification 5-8: USA def Guatemala, 3-1 (23-25, 25-22, 25-19, 33-31)
Semifinal: Puerto Rico def Cuba, 3-1 (25-16, 19-25, 26-24, 31-29)
Semifinal: Canada def Mexico, 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-18)
Classification 7-8: Guatemala def Trinidad & Tobago, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-21)
Classification 5-6: USA vs Dominican Republic, 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-21)
4 p.m. Third-place match: Cuba vs Mexico
6 p.m. First-place match: Canada vs Puerto Rico