U.S. Men's Junior National Team Surges to Semifinals

July 04, 2008, 1:41 a.m. (ET)

B.J. Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org  

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 3, 2008) – The U.S. Men’s Junior National Team persevered through a marathon night and day of volleyball on Wednesday and Thursday to qualify for Friday’s semifinals of the 2008 NORCECA Continental Men’s Junior Championship.

After a leaky roof forced the stoppage of their final pool-play match against Puerto Rico on Wednesday night with the score tied at one set apiece, the U.S. Junior Men had to start over on Thursday morning. But the delay didn’t seem to hurt as Team USA took a 22-25, 27-25, 25-18, 25-22 victory over Puerto Rico.

The win gave Team USA a 2-1 record in Pool A, good for second place. Canada won the pool with a 3-0 record.

On Thursday evening, it was on to the quarterfinals, where the U.S. Junior Men defeated Guatemala, the third-place team from Pool B, 25-22, 25-12, 25-23.

Things won’t get any easier in the semifinals, however, as the United States will play Cuba, the first-place team from Pool B, at 7 p.m., MDT. Mexico will face Canada in the other semifinal match.

“Looking toward Cuba, we look forward to a rematch of our NORCECA semifinal at the youth level two years ago,” U.S. Head Coach Shawn Patchell said. “They are a talented team that will challenge our block.  We look forward to the challenge.”

In Thursday’s first match against Puerto Rico, Kyle Caldwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) each scored 22 points in leading the U.S. Junior Men to the four-set victory. Caldwell had a match-high 19 kills, a match-high two aces and one block. Troy scored on 18 kills and four blocks.

Tri Bourne (Honolulu, Hawai’i) scored 11 points on nine kills and two blocks. Austin Ellis (Corona del Mar, Calif.) added eight points on six kills and two blocks. Tyler Jaynes (Granite Bay, Calif.) tallied seven points on five kills and two blocks. Joe Kauliakamoa, Jr. scored five points on four blocks and one kill.

Libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu, Hawai’i) was credited with 15 “excellent” digs on 22 attempts and with 28 “excellent” serve receptions out of 30 attempted.

Setters Kauliakamoa and Kasey Crider (Granite Bay, Calif.) helped the U.S. team convert 46 percent of its attack attempts. Puerto Rico converted 40 percent. The United States out-blocked Puerto Rico 16-11.

Patchell started Troy and Bourne at outside hitter, Jaynes and Ellis at middle blocker, Caldwell at opposite and Crider at setter. Shoji played libero.  Brian Muesenfechter (Florissant, Mo.) played as a substitute.

After losing the first set and trailing in the second, Patchell brought Kauliakamoa in for Crider at setter. The switch worked and the U.S. Men went on to win.

A few hours later it was back to the court to play Guatemala. Patchell started the same group that had ended the match against Puerto Rico. In the middle of a lackluster first set, he substituted Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) for Caldwell at opposite. Sunder gave the team the spark it needed and he finished as the leading scorer with 16 points on 11 kills, four blocks and one ace.

Every U.S. player ended up starting at least one set, except for Brad Lawson (Honolulu, Hawai'i) who suffered a sprained ankle on the first day of the tournament and has not played since. Every player scored except for Lawson and Shoji.

Bourne and Jaynes each finished with nine points. Muesenfechter added seven. Troy totaled four points. Srdjan Nadazdin (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and Kauliakamoa each scored three points. And Crider, Caldwell and Ellis each finished with one.

Team USA out-blocked Guatemala 17-2 and had three aces while Guatemala had none.  No player for Guatemala scored more than eight points. The evening match was delayed briefly by rain.

The NORCECA Men's Junior Continental Championships is a qualifier for the 2009 FIVB Men's Junior World Championship.

No. First Last (Position, City, State, Club or University, USAV Region
1. Kasey Crider (S, Granite Bay, Calif., Pepperdine Univ., Northern Cal)
2. Tri Bourne (OH, Honolulu, Hawai'i, USC, Aloha)
4. Kyle Caldwell (Opp, Newport Beach, Calif., Balboa Bay VC, Southern Cal)
5. Brian Muesenfechter (OH/OPP, Florissant, Mo., Lewis Univ., Gateway)
7. Austin Ellis (MB, Corona del Mar, Calif., Balboa Bay VC, Southern Cal)
8. Srdjan Nadazdin (OH/MB, Los Alamitos, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern Cal)
10. Tyler Jaynes (MB, Granite Bay, Calif., Pepperdine Univ., Northern Cal)
11. Joe Kauliakamoa Jr. (S, Las Vegas, Nev., Brigham Young Univ., Southern Cal)
12. Brad Lawson (OH, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Outrigger Canoe Club, Aloha)
15. Erik Shoji (L, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Outrigger Canoe Club, Aloha)
17. Murphy Troy (OH, St. Louis, Mo., Univ. of Southern Cal, Gateway)
18. Joe Sunder (OH/Opp, Greensburg, Pa., Penn State Univ., Keystone)

Head Coach - Shawn Patchell, Brigham Young Univ.
Team Manager - Tom Pingel, USA Volleyball
Asst. Coach - Craig Dyer, Penn State Univ.
Asst. Coach - Dan Friend, Lewis Univ.

Pool A
Canada 3-0
United States 2-1
Dominican Republic 1-2
Puerto Rico 0-3

Pool B
Cuba 3-0
Mexico 2-1
Guatemala 1-2
El Salvador 0-3

Pool A

June 30: Dominican Republic def. Puerto Rico, 18-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-13 
June 30: Canada def. United States, 27-25, 25-15, 25-21
July 1: Canada def. Puerto Rico, 22-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-19, 15-11
July 1: United States def. Dominican Republic, 25-15, 25-20, 25-20
July 2: Canada def. Dominican Republic, 25-20, 25-10, 25-21 
July 2: United States def. Puerto Rico, 22-25, 27-25, 25-18, 25-22

Pool B
June 30: Cuba def. Mexico, 25-16, 25-19, 25-12
June 30: Guatemala def. El Salvador, 27-25, 25-18, 25-19
July 1: Cuba def. Guatemala, 25- 8 25-15 25-14
July 1: Mexico def. El Salvador, 25-20, 25-18, 25-11
July 2: Mexico def. Guatemala, 25-27, 25-23, 25-16, 23-25, 15-5.
July 2: Cuba def. El Salvador, 25-12, 25-10, 25-9

July 3: Quarterfinals
Mexico def. Dominican Republic, 25-21, 25-15, 25-20
USA def. Guatemala, 25-22, 25-12, 25-23