ARIANO IRPINO, Italy (July 13, 2019) – The U.S. Men’s Collegiate National Team – World University Games (MCNT – WUG) squad wrapped up the 2019 Summer Universiade Saturday, falling 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-20) to Argentina during the tournament’s 15-16 Final at Palazetto dello Sport.
“Very disappointing end to the World University Games after starting 2-0,” said MCNT – WUG head coach Ryan Perrotte. “Too many errors. We were really fatigued, and we just couldn’t make plays happen when we needed to. I thought our guys tried to grind and push through their fatigue, but they just couldn’t make it happen. We had great contribution from lots of guys, which was really immense for this type of tournament. I hope they can take this into their university careers or professional careers, maybe even potentially coaching careers, because this has been an unbelievable experience for all of us here in Napoli. Hopefully they took something from it.”
Argentina led the entire first set for the early match lead, but MCNT – WUG held slight early leads in both the second and third sets. The beginning of the second set was tightly contested as there were 10 tie scores in the first 26 points, but Argentina won 12 of the next 14 to clinch the frame. In the third, the teams were also last tied at 13-all before Argentina took a permanent lead and clinched the match.
“A tough way to end the tournament,” said setter Garrett Zolg from Loyola Chicago. “We had a great group of guys together, but in the end, things just didn’t work out for us. We played against a solid Argentina team, and they just kept finding ways to get runs on us and we were unable to really produce any points and stop their runs. It was a great experience and a great time with this coaching staff. We were able to see some cool things, bond with some other teams, and it was overall a great experience.”
Penn State outside hitter Brett Wildman agreed. “Tough loss, but all the guys tried to give their best energy, everything we had left in our tank. It wasn’t enough, but it was a great group of guys to play with. I’m sad to see our run end here, but I look forward to playing against these guys in the future and hopefully with them in the future.”
Middle blocker Blake Leeson led MCNT – WUG with 10 points Saturday, nine from the attack and one off a service ace. He tallied his nine kills in 12 swings for a .667 attack percentage (9-1-12). Outside hitter Raymond Barsemian landed eight attacks, and Wildman finished with seven. Barsemian also led the squad with 25 receptions, 10 of them rated as excellent, and Wildman had 19. Libero Michael Simmons added 15 to the American cause.
With the loss, USA Team finished the 2019 World University Games with a 2-4 record and in 16th place. Host country Italy won the gold medal, Poland took silver, and Russia finished with the Bronze medal.
The closing ceremonies will take place Sunday, July 14, in Napoli, the host city for the 2019 Summer Universiade.
2019 MCNT – World University Games Roster
- No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
- 1 Jaylen Jasper (Opp, 6-7, Annapolis, Md., Stanford)
- 2 Brett Wildman (OH, 6-5, Virginia Beach, Va., Penn State)
- 3 Garrett Zolg (S, 6-3, Huntington Beach, Calif., Loyola Chicago)
- 4 Brandon Rattray (Opp, 6-5, San Diego, Calif., UCLA)
- 5 Parker Dixon (OH, 6-6, Dallas, Texas, Princeton)
- 6 Michael Simmons (L, 6-4, Aurora, Ill. Lewis)
- 7 Ethan Siegfried (OH, 6-1, Honolulu, Hawaii, Long Beach State)
- 8 Raymond Barsemian (OH, 6-6, La Crescenta, Calif., Concordia University Irvine)
- 9 Chandler Gibb (S, 6-2, Huntington Beach, Calif., Concordia University Irvine)
- 10 Tyler Mitchem (MB, 6-11, Bolingbrook, Ill., Lewis)
- 11 Kyler Presho (MB, 6-8, San Clemente, Calif., Stanford)
- 12 Blake Leeson (MB, 6-7, Mequon, Wis., Ohio State)
- Head Coach: Ryan Perrotte (Purdue Fort Wayne)
- Assistant Coach: Morteza Shiari