USA wins Group A at U21 Men's Championship
GATINEAU, Canada, July 7, 2016 – A focused Team
USA sailed through a straight-sets 3-0 (25-11, 25-12, 25-10)
victory against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines at the U21
NORCECA Men's Continental Championship on Thursday.
The win sends Team USA (2-0) directly to the
second semifinal at 8 p.m. on Saturday at Centre Sportif de
Gatineau. Jack Cole had a match-high 10 points (including six
kills on seven attacks, plus four aces), while Reese Devilbiss
added nine and Jordan Ewert chipped in seven. Marcus Thomas,
with five points, was the top shot for Saint Vincent (0-2).
Team USA ran off 10 points in a row to close out
the first set. The most impressive sequence involved middle
blocker George Huhmann laying out for a dig to sustain a rally
that he finished with a kill.
“If you hustle after balls, you are going to
inspire your teammates to do the same thing and help you do
better overall,” said the six-foot-nine Huhmann. “We know the
next game is going to be pretty tough, so if we have the mindset
of working hard every day, I think that will help us do better.”
Dylan Missry also had an efficient effort, going
6-for-6 on attacks.
“The focus for us today was about our side of the
net and we wanted to control what we could control,” USA coach
Jay Hosack said. “I thought our guys did a good job of that.
[Saint Vincent] is obviously a team that is getting better and
better every year and they have some work to do, but we thought
we'd just focus on that.”
Saint Vincent, which was playing USA for the
first time at the U21 level, will be in the quarterfinal on
Friday against either Canada or Cuba.
“I'm very proud of my guys, for how we fought,”
Saint Vincent captain Delshun Welcome said. “It was our first
time playing USA. They're very strong, they have top players and
very good experience.”
The benefit of being in the three-team pool is
that Saint Vincent will have exposure to another higher-strata
opponent in the quarter-final, along with playing in the
“We have come here for the experience,” Saint
Vincent coach Vance Andrews said. “Today was a fun time. It was
exciting for them to play against USA, they are the top-ranked
Barbados (1-1), as Group A's second-place
finisher, will face the Guatemala-Trinidad and Tobago winner
Friday's 8 p.m. quarter-final. Their match will determined third
place in Group B.