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USA beats Barbados 3-0 in men's U21 Group A opener


GATINEAU, Canada, July 5, 2016 – Utilizing their entire roster, the United States posted a straight-sets 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-16) victory against Barbados in the opening Group A match of the U21 NORCECA Men's Continental Championship.


The USA received eight points apiece from outside hitters Reese Devilbiss (seven kills plus the match's only ace) and Austin Matautia (seven kills, one block). Michael Wexter also had five. The victors also had an 8-4 edge in blocks.


Carlos Cyrus led Barbados with nine points (seven kills, two blocks). Andriy Stapleton scored six, all through kills.


“That is a better Barbados team than we have seen, so hats off to them,” USA coach Jay Hosack said. “We felt fairly confident coming in and it was just a matter of cleaning stuff up on our side.”


“Compared to some recent years when I have been involved [with the American team], we are a little bit bigger and a little bit cleaner. But Canada and Cuba [who are each in Group B] are really good teams and we have to fight hard to get through this thing.”


The Americans did not allow Barbados to reach double digits before the second technical timeout of each set.


“We had some good rotations and got several guys taking some good swings [on attacks],” said USA captain and setter Joshua Tuaniga. “We've all put in a lot of work to get here and compete for a bid [to the 2017 FIVB world championship].”


Barbados has their bar set at cracking the semifinal. They have a quick turnaround before they face Saint Vincent and the Grenadines at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.


“Our passing was not that good and the attack was so-so,” Barbados coach John Stuart said. “We had too many net calls. As the tournament goes on, that can only get better.”


Stapleton noted that having USA in the first match might help Barbados understand the challenge they're facing in the tournament.


“The service reception, we have to work on that,” Stapleton said. “I would say it was good to get our toughest match out of the way first. We'll have to work to defeat Saint Vincent, but I know we can do it.”


The USA is off Wednesday and will face Saint Vincent at 4 p.m. on Thursday.