Youth Olympic Team Athletes Announced

By Tyson Rodgers | Aug. 11, 2014, 10:08 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 11, 2014) – USA Volleyball has announced the beach athletes that will be members of the 2014 U.S. Youth Olympic Team and will compete at the upcoming Youth Olympic Games from Aug. 16-28 in Nanjing, China.  

Torey “T.J.” DeFalco (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Louis Richard (Redondo Beach, Calif.) will compete in the men’s competition while Skylar Caputo (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Suzanne “Zana” Muno (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) will play in the women’s bracket.

The first Youth Olympic Games was held in Singapore in 2010. Nanjing will host the second summer edition of the  Youth Olympic Games. This is the first time that beach volleyball has been included on the program. It has taken the place of indoor volleyball, where the U.S. won the silver medal in the women’s event in 2010.

Muno qualified the United States for a spot at the Youth Olympic Games when she and partner Sarah Sponcil (Phoenix, Ariz.) won the NORCECA Central Zone Girls’ Qualification Tournament in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, in December 2013. However Sponcil was not available to compete in Nanjing so Caputo was chosen as the replacement.

DeFalco and Richard qualified by winning the final NORCECA qualifying event in August.

The Youth Olympic Games are an international multi-sport event held in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee that take place every year consistent with the current format of the Olympic Games. There is an expected 3,800 athletes from 204 nations competing in the event.  The United States will be represented by 93 athletes in 22 disciplines across 20 sports.

MEN

TOREY (T.J.) DEFALCO
Event: Men’s tournament                        
Height: 6-5
Age: 17
Hometown: Huntington Beach, Calif.
High School: Huntington Beach High School (Huntington Beach, Calif.) ‘15
High School Sports: Volleyball
Athletic Honors

  • 2013 U19 World Championships, 3rd (beach)
  • 2014 U19 World Championships, 9th (beach)
  • MVP - U16 and U18 Junior Nationals (indoor)
  • Member of the 2014 U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team and MVP of the 2014 Boys’ U19 NORCECA Championship (indoor)

Personal
Born in Springfield, Missouri…Son of Torey and Gina Defalco...Admires Casey Patterson for his work ethic…Will attend California State University (Long Beach) to study business management.

Road to Nanjing
Torey Defalco earned a spot on the 2014 Youth Olympic Team by winning the NORCECA qualifying tournament held in Carolina, Puerto Rico, alongside teammate Louis Richard. The U.S. team went 5-0 and defeated Trinidad & Tobago in in two sets during the final round to qualify.

LOUIS RICHARD
Event: Men’s tournament                        
Height: 6-2            
Age: 18
Hometown: Redondo Beach, Calif.
High School: Redondo Union High School (Redondo Beach, Calif.) ‘14
High School Sports: Volleyball
Athletic Honors

  • Three-time Redondo Union High School MVP, indoor volleyball
  • Redondo Union High School Rookie of the Year
  • 2014 Bay League Championship, 1st
  • 2014 U19 World Championships, 9th (beach)

Personal
Born in Torrance, California…Son of Louis and Shawn Richard...Has one older sister, Ariel…Will attend California State University (Long Beach) to study broadcast.

Road to Nanjing
Louis Richard claimed his spot on the 2014 Youth Olympic Team by winning the NORCECA qualifying tournament held in Carolina, Puerto Rico, alongside teammate Torey Defalco. The U.S. team went 5-0 and defeated Trinidad & Tobago in in two sets during the final round to qualify. Richard has started all four years on the Redondo Union High School varsity indoor volleyball team, leading the team in kills with 315, has 52 blocks, 28 aces and 128 digs.

WOMEN

SKYLAR CAPUTO
Sport Discipline: Women’s team tournament                                     
Height: 5-10          
Age: 18
Hometown: Manhattan Beach, Calif.
High School: Mira Costa High School (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) ‘15
High School Sports: Volleyball
Athletic Honors

  • CIF 1AA Honors
  • Bay League Honors
  • 2013 Cal Cup Women's AA, 1st
  • 2013 FIVB U19 World Beach Volleyball Championship, 9th
  • 2012 International Global Challenge, 4th
  • 2011 Junior Indoor Volleyball Nationals, 2nd
  • 2009 Junior Indoor Volleyball Nationals, 1st


Personal
Born in Torrance, California…Daughter of Michael and Lisa Caputo...Has one younger sister, Hayley…Admires beach volleyball player, Sara Hughes…Also enjoys stand up paddle boarding, surfing, snowboarding and yoga…Will attend Pepperdine University.

SUZANNE (ZANA) MUNO
Event: Women’s tournament                   
Height: 5-10          
Age: 18
Hometown: Sherman Oaks, Calif.
High School: Notre Dame High School (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) ’15
High School Sports: Soccer, Track & Field and Volleyball
Athletic Honors

  • 2014 U19 World Championships (beach), 5th
  • 2013 Los Angeles Daily News All-Area Player of the Year
  • 2013 Prep Volleyball Top 25 National Juniors List
  • 2013 Prep Volleyball National Junior of the Year
  • 2013 NORCECA Central Zone YOG Qualifier, 1st
  • 2012 AAU Junior National Championships, 1st
  • 2012 AAU Junior Olympics, 1st
  • 2012 Best of the Beach, 1st

Personal
Born in Torrance, California…Daughter of Lawrence and Kimberly Muno...Has one older brother, JJ…Considers Mike Dodd to be her role model…Also enjoys paddle boarding, track, soccer and reading.

Road to Nanjing
Zana qualified to participate in the Youth Olympic Games after winning the NORCECA Central Zone Qualification Tournament, held December 6-8, 2913, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Zana, alongside teammate Sarah Sponcil, edged the Canadian team in three sets, 21-19, 19-21, 16-14.

           

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