USA Volleyball Writer
U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team Downs El Salvador to Earn NORCECA Semifinal Berth
MIAMI, Fla. (August 5, 2008) – Weston Nielsen (Corona del Mar, Calif.) scored a match-high 14 points as the U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team picked up a commanding 25-8, 25-9, 25-22 win over El Salvador to close pool play in the preliminary round of the NORCECA Boys' Youth Continental Championship in Miami, Fla., on Tuesday evening.
With the victory, the U.S. improves to 2-0 in pool play and automatically advances to Thursday’s semifinals, along with Puerto Rico who finished preliminary play atop Pool B with a 3-0 mark.
El Salvador (0-2) will play in Wednesday’s quarterfinals versus Mexico (2-1), who finished second in Pool B, at 4 p.m. Guatemala, who went 1-1 in Pool A play to finish second, will take on Pool B’s third-placing Costa Rica (1-2) at 6 p.m.
“I like how we served, especially Connor Olbright and Dylan Davis. They served really well, and Weston Nielsen played really well,” said Team USA head coach Andy Read. “El Salvador came out and played a very fast game one and we had to make an adjustment passing. The guys have trained really hard for three weeks, and when we play in the semifinals, they have to realize it’s for an opportunity to play in the world championships. I guarantee we will play with great focus, great attention and that we will play very well.
“We practice tomorrow and we’ll continue to work on ourselves. We know we have to go hard, we have to play all the points. We’ll have a great practice because we have some guys competing for starting spots. They’re all very good players and start all the time on their own teams, so they’re very good for us. But I think we will play very hard and very well in the semifinals, and if we do that I always like our results.”
Team USA took advantage of its considerable height advantage versus El Salvador, and used a 20-1 run – including four kills from Nielsen (Corona del Mar, Calif.) and a pair of service aces from Olbright (Orange, Calif.) over that span – en route to a commanding 25-8 set one win.
Multiple errors from El Salvador helped contribute to an early 9-1 lead for Team USA in set two. However, the U.S. didn’t need to rely on its opponents’ mistakes and used strong play from Nielsen, Dalton Ammerman (Parker, Colo.) and Michael Dye (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) to power to the 25-9 set two victory.
El Salvador scored five-straight points to take the 8-4 lead in set three, however the U.S. battled back and used an 8-2 run for the 16-12 advantage. Team USA would lead by as many as five points over the remainder of the set and went on to claim the match with a 25-22 set three win.
Nielsen finished with a match-high 12 kills and two services aces for his 14 points, while Maurice Torres (Riverside, Calif.) added nine points on eight kills and a block. Olbright had a match-high three aces for Team USA – who had the 8-1 advantage in service aces – and added 15 assists, a pair of blocks and a kill for six points.
Scott Kevorken (Westlake Village, Calif.) posted eight points on six kills and a pair of aces, while Dye finished with six kills and one block for seven points. Ammerman recorded a team-high five digs and five kills for Team USA, while Oliver Deutschman (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) registered a match-high 17 assists.
In addition to building the advantage in service aces, the U.S. also out-blocked El Salvador 4-1 and hit 61 percent, while keeping El Salvador to just 19 percent.
The U.S. started Olbright at setter, Dye and Davis at middle and Ammerman, Nielsen and Torres at outside hitter. Evan Mottram (Leona Valley, Calif.) – who finished with four digs – was Team USA’s designated libero.
Carlos Serrano led El Salvador with five points on four kills and one ace.
2008 U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team
# - Name (Pos, Grad Year, Hometown, Club, Region)
1 - Dalton Ammerman (OH, 2009, Parker, Colo., Front Range VC, Rocky Mountain)
4 - Dylan Davis (MB, 2009, Corona Del Mar, Calif., Balboa Bay VC, Southern California)
5 - Oliver Deutschman (S, 2009, Pacific Palisades, Calif., Pacific Palisades, Southern California)
6 - Michael Dye (MB, 2009, Manhattan Beach, Calif., SCVC, Southern Cal) 7 - Scott Kevorken (MB, 2009, Westlake Village, Calif., Pacific Palisades, Southern California)
8 - Jake Kneller (OH, 2009, Westlake Village, Calif., Pacific Palisades, Southern California)
10 - Evan Mottram (L, 2009, Leona Valley, Calif., Pacific Palisades, Southern California)
11 - Weston Nielsen (OH, 2010, Corona del Mar, Calif., Balboa Bay VC, Southern California)
12 - David Connor Olbright (S, 2010, Orange, Calif., Balboa Bay VC, Southern California)
15 - Taylor Sander (OH, 2010, Norco, Calif., Orange Coast VB, Southern California)
16 - Ian Satterfield (OH, 2009, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Pacific Palisades, Southern California)
18 - Maurice Torres (OH, 2009, Riverside, Calif., OC Riptides VC, Southern Cal)
Head Coach: Andy Read
Assistant Coach: John Hawks
2008 NORCECA Boy Youth Continental Championship U19
Pool A: El Salvador, Guatemala, USA
Pool B: Costa Rica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
United States 2-0
El Salvador 0-2
Puerto Rico 3-0
Costa Rica 1-2
Virgin Islands 0-3
Pool Play Matches
August 3: Mexico def. Virgin Islands, 25-8, 25-13, 25-9
August 3: Puerto Rico def. Costa Rica, 25-12, 25-12, 25-11
August 3: USA def. Guatemala, 25-16, 25-15, 25-16
August 4: Puerto Rico def. Virgin Islands, 25-17, 25-21, 25-11
August 4: Mexico def. Costa Rica, 25-13, 25-14, 25-10
August 4: Guatemala def. El Salvador, 25-19, 25-13, 25-20
August 5: Costa Rica def. Virgin Islands, 25-6, 25-19, 25-16
August 5: Puerto Rico def. Mexico, 21-25, 28-26, 20-25, 32-30, 22-20
August 5: USA def. El Salvador, 25-8, 25-9, 25-22
August 6: El Salvador (3A) vs. Mexico (2B), 4 p.m.
August 6: Guatemala (2A) vs. Costa Rica (3B), 6 p.m.
August 7: Losers of August 6 matches, 2 p.m.
August 7: Puerto Rico vs. Quarterfinal winners, 4 p.m.
August 7: USA vs. Quarterfinal winners, 6 p.m.
August 8: Classification 5 Losers vs. Virgin Islands, 2 p.m.
Classification 3-4 August 8: Semifinal Losers, 4 p.m.
August 8: Semifinal Winners, 6 p.m.