United States controls Chile at U19 Pan Am Cup

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, May 23, 2022. - United States controlled Chile 3-0 (26-24, 25-16, 25-11) on day one of the fourth edition of the Boys’ U19 Pan American Cup, a qualifying tournament to the FIVB U19 World Championship.

United States dominated Chile with strength in pool B, finishing with an overwhelming advantage of 40-20 in attacks, 7-0 in blocks and 10-0 in serves. The U.S. scored 31 points from opponent errors and limited to 19 their own.

Opposite hitter Finn Kearney from USA scored a match-high of 19 points, leading serves with 8 points; outside hitter Sterling Foley contributed with 18 points and team captain Sean Kelly registered 14 points. Outside hitter Ian Gei led Chile with 8 points.

On day two of the event, United States (1-0) meets Costa Rica (0-1) and Chile (0-1) plays against Mexico (1-0).

Sean Kelly, Captain United States: “Me and my team had never played internationally, it feels great, it’s surreal, a crazy experience. It was a team effort, we started off a little slow in the first set, but our energy was great to pull off with the victory; and then the next two sets we played much better volleyball”.

Charles Sullivan, Head Coach United States: “In the first set we were maybe overanxious and Chile played really well, but we remained focused and made some adjustments; still Chile paused us to raise our game and take every rally very seriously”.

Felipe Valenzuela, Captain Chile: “They beat us well, mostly because of what we showed, failing in passing and in controlling our anxiety. Now we have to think about the next match, think of winning because we will battle for second place”.

Ivan Villarreal, Head Coach Chile: “It was a complicated match, on paper we knew the United States was superior, they showed it and overcame us. I think we could have done a bit more in the first set, but our lack of experience was a factor and we must grow emotionally”.