U.S. Men's Junior Team Tops Tunisia

Aug. 01, 2009, 7:08 a.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 1, 2009) - The U.S. Men's Junior National Team came back from a first-set loss to defeat Tunisia 3-1 (21-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-21) on Saturday at the FIVB Men's Junior (U-21) World Championships at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune, India.

The U.S. Men's Junior Team improved its record to 2-0 in Pool A. It is schedule to play host India (1-1) in its final first-round pool match on Sunday at 5:30 a.m. PT. Tunisia falls to 0-2 in pool play.

The top two teams from each first-round pool advances to second round 1-8 classification matches to be held Aug. 4-6. The bottom two teams in each first-round pool fall to the second-round 9-16 classification matches.

The United States' Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) and Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) led all scorers with 17 points each. Sunder had 14 kills, two blocks and one ace. Troy added a match-high 15 kills and two blocks.

Ismail Moalla paced Tunisia with 16 points and Ahmed Kadhi added 10 points in the loss.

 "Tunisia played well. They served us tough and kept us out of system," U.S. Head Coach Shawn Patchell said. "In the first set, we did not play poorly. Tunisia just beat us. But we got better throughout the match. This was a good win for us against a good team.

"Tomorrow's match is very important for us. India is a strong team and looks like they have been training together for a long time. We have only trained as a team for two weeks."

Team USA out-hit Tunisia 53-35 and out-blocked it, 13-6. Both teams had five aces. The U.S. Men converted 46.9 percent of their kill attempts into points while Tunisia converted 36 percent.

Tony Ciarelli (Huntington Beach, Calif.) scored 14 points on 12 kills, one block and one ace. Nick Vogel (El Cajon, Calif.) totaled 11 points on four kills, a match-high six blocks and one ace. Rusty Lavaja (St. Charles, Ill.) tallied eight points on six kills and two blocks.

Joe Kauliakamoa (Las Vegas, Nev.) had three points on one kill and two aces. Tom Amberg (El Cajon, Calif.) had one point on one kill.

Libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu, Hawai'i) was credited with eight digs and two faults on 22 attempts and seven excellent receptions with one fault on 20 attempts. Ciarelli had seven excellent receptions and no faults on 20 attempts. Kauliakamoa was credited with 19 running sets and one fault on 82 attempts.

U.S. Head Coach Shawn Patchell started Ciarelli and Troy at outside hitter, Lavaja and Vogel at middle blocker, Sunder at opposite, Kauliakamoa at setter and Erik Shoji (Honolulu, Hawai'i) at libero. He stayed with that starting lineup throughout the match. Amberg and Tri Bourne (Honolulu, Hawai'i) both played as substitutes.

Tunisia grabbed an 8-5 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO) of the opening set and extended the margin to 15-11. Team USA rallied to close to within one at 16-15, but Tunisia held off the challenge and took a 20-17 lead en route to the 25-21 victory.

Tunisia led 11-8 in the second set, only to have the U.S. come back to tie the set at 12-all. The Americans grabbed the lead at 14-13. After holding a 16-15 lead at the TTO, the United States ran off five of the next six points for a 21-16 advantage. Team USA went on to win the set 25-19.

The United States opened with a 5-3 lead in the third set and pushed its advantage to four points at 13-9. However, Tunisia battled back to within two at 15-13. The U.S. responded by scoring nine of the next 10 points for a 24-14 lead en route to its 25-15 victory.

USA built an 11-7 advantage in the fourth set, only to have Tunisia tie the score at 12-all. The American returned to a three-point advantage at 17-14. After Tunisia whittled the score to 17-16, the U.S. turned in a 7-2 scoring run to take a 24-18 lead. Tunisia saved three match points before the U.S. won 25-21.

Live scoring, photos and other information are available on the FIVB web site by clicking here.

2009 FIVB Men's Junior World Championships
July 31-Aug. 9 in Pune, India

U.S. Men's Junior National Team Roster

Name (Position, Height, City, State, School, Region)
1. Thomas Amberg (OH, 6-7, El Cajon, Calif., UCLA, Southern California)
4. Tyler Jaynes (MB, 6-9, Granite Bay, Calif., Pepperdine, No Cal)
5. Joseph Kauliakamoa (Setter, 6-5, Las Vegas, Nev., BYU, No Cal)
6. Brad Lawson (OH, 6-7, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Stanford, Aloha)
7. Erik Shoji (Libero, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawai'i, Stanford, Aloha)
8. C Murphy Troy (OH, 6-8, St. Louis, Mo., USC, Gateway)
9. Tri Bourne (OH, 6-5, Honolulu, Hawai'i, USC, Aloha)
10. Tony Ciarelli (OH, 6-6, Huntington Beach, Calif., USC, So Cal)
13. Rusty Lavaja (MB, 6-7, St. Charles, Ill., BYU, Great Lakes)
17. Joseph Sunder (Opp., 6-7, Greensburg, Pa., Penn State, Keystone)
18. Nick Vogel (MB, 6-9, El Cajon, Calif., UCLA, So Cal)

Head Coach: Shawn Patchell (BYU men's head coach)
Assistant Coach: JT Wenger (UCLA men's assistant coach)
Team Manager: Tom Tait (former Penn State men's head coach)
Therapist / trainer: Giuseppe Vinci (BYU technical coordinator)
Team Doctor: Julie Chuan

Pool A Standings
USA 2-0 4 points
India 1-1 3 points
Belarus 1-1 3 points
Tunisia 0-2 2 points

Pool A Schedule (All times PT) and Results
July 30
USA def. Belarus, 32-30, 21-25, 25-18, 30-28

July 31
India def. Tunisia, 25-11, 25-15, 25-13

Aug. 1
USA def. Tunisia, 21-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-21
Belarus def. India, 25-21, 22-25, 25-23, 20-25, 15-11 

Aug. 2
1:30 a.m. Belarus vs. Tunisia
5:30 a.m. India vs. USA