USAV Names Men's Jr. Training Team

By BJ Evans | April 25, 2014, 11:32 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 25, 2014) – USA Volleyball has announced the 21-player roster for the 2014 U.S. Men’s Junior National Training Team (MJNTT).

The team will be cut down to 12 before competing at the NORCECA Under-21 Continental Championship on July 28-Aug. 3 in El Salvador. The team will begin training together on July 13 at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y.

“There are so many different ways we can put together this team,” said Men’s Junior Team Head Coach Bill Ferguson. “It will be very difficult (to make any cuts).”

Seven members of the MJNTT played on the 2013 U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team that competed in the FIVB World Championship: setters Christy Blough (Ontario, N.Y.), Soren Dion-Kindem (Agoura Hills, Calif.) and Curtis Stallings (Chesapeake, Va.); outside hitter Jacob Arnitz (Yorba Linda, Calif.); middle blocker Matt Walsh (Chicago, Ill.) and liberos Kyle Dagostino (Tampa, Fla.) and Evan Enriques (Pahala, Hawaii).

Newcomers to the team are outside hitters Jackson Bantle (Pacific Palisades, Calif.), Hayden Boehle (Westchester, Calif.), Storm Faagata (Long Beach, Calif.), Kupono Fey (Honolulu, Hawaii), Christian Hessenauer (Laguna Niguel, Calif.), David Martin (Woodland Hills, Calif.), George Perinar (Channahon, Ill.), Ben Plaisted (Wauwatosa, Wis.), Brenden Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Lucas Yoder (San Clemente, Calif.; middle blockers Andy Benesh (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.), Jeff Jendryk (Wheaton, Ill.) and Kevin Rakestraw (Newport Beach, Calif.) and setter Cole Fiers (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.).

“I was looking at guys who would be good right now to help qualify at NORCECA and guys who could develop in a year to help us win worlds,” Ferguson said of picking the players. “I wanted skilled, refined players at setting and outside hitter positions. I wanted athleticism in the middle and opposite.

“I would venture to say our middle blocking core is strongest position on the roster right now.”

Ferguson, who is the head coach of the men’s volleyball team at the University of Southern California, will be assisted by Lewis men’s Head Coach Dan Friend and Penn State men’s Assistant Coach Jay Hosack.

“I’m excited to part of the Junior National Team and its coaching staff,” Friend said. “It’s always an honor to represent your country and I also get to work with some of the best young players in the United States.”

Hosack added: “To wear USA on the back of your uniform is an honor, and a privilege. Each time I get a chance to do it, I take it with great pride and responsibility. Being a part of numerous USA teams over the years has given me great experiences to draw from.”

First Last Position HS Grad Year City State Club or School USAV Region
Jacob Arnitz Outside  2014 Yorba Linda CA Balboa Bay VC Southern Cal
Jackson Bantle Rightside 2013 Pacific Palisades CA UCLA Southern Cal
Andy Benesh Middle 2013 Rancho Palos Verdes CA Univ. of Southern California Southern Cal
Christian Blough Setter 2013 Ontario NY Ohio State Univ. Western Empire
Hayden Boehle Outside 2014 Westchester CA MB SURF Southern Cal
Kyle Dagostino Libero 2014 Tampa FL Tampa Bay Invaders Florida
Soren Dion-Kindem Setter 2013 Agoura Hills CA Pepperdine Univ. Southern Cal
Evan Enriques Libero 2014 Pahala HI Ka Ulukoa VBC Aloha
Storm Faagata Leftside 2014 Long Beach CA SCVC Southern Cal
Kupono Fey Outside 2013 Honolulu HI Univ. of Hawaii Aloha
Cole Fiers Setter 2013 Palos Verdes Estates CA Stanford Univ. Southern Cal
Christian Hessenauer Rightside 2014 Laguna Niguel CA Biodynamax VC Southern Cal
Jeff Jendryk Middle 2014 Wheaton IL Sports Performance VC Great Lakes
David Martin Outside 2013 Woodland Hills CA UCLA Southern Cal
George Mitch Perinar Rightside 2014 Channahon IL Ultimate VBC Great Lakes
Ben Plaisted Rightside 2014 Wauwatosa WI Milwaukee VC Badger
Kevin Rakestraw Middle 2013 Newport Beach CA Stanford Univ. Southern Cal
Brenden Sander Leftside 2014 Huntington Beach CA Balboa Bay VC Southern Cal
Curtis Stallings Setter 2013 Chesapeake VA Long Beach State Old Dominion
Matthew Walsh Middle 2014 Chicago IL Ultimate VC Great Lakes
Lucas Yoder Leftside 2013 San Clemente CA Univ. of Southern Cal Southern Cal

Head Coach: Bill Ferguson (University of Southern California)
Assistant Coach: Dan Friend (Lewis University)
Assistant Coach: Jay Hosack (Penn State University)