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MJNT Cruises in NORCECA Opener

By Jessica Hall | July 30, 2014, 12:55 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 29, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s Junior National Team handled Nicaragua in a straight-set victory, 25-13, 25-12, 25-20, on Tuesday afternoon, to open the U-21 NORCECA Continental Championship in San Salvador, El Salvador.

“It was a great first match for the guys,” U.S. Head Coach Daniel Friend said. “We found a good rhythm and were able to get used to the gym and environment.”

Team USA dominated in every aspect of the match, leading in kills (38-19), blocks (5-1) and aces (5-1).

Outside hitter Brenden Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) had a total of nine points to lead the U.S. in scoring with six kills, two aces and one block. Storm Faagata (Long Beach, Calif.), outside hitter, was right behind Sander in kills with five, on 12 attempts.

Libero Evan Enriques (Pahala, Hawaii) had one dig and had a total of five excellent receptions on 10 attempts. Faagata had three excellent receptions on six serve receptions.

Kyle Dagostino (Tampa, Fla.) added two offensive points for team USA with two aces on six service attempts. Middle blocker Jeff Jendryk (Wheaton, Ill.) had one ace on six attempts.

Setters Soren Dion-Kindem (Agoura Hills, Calif.) and Christian Blough (Ontario, N.Y.) had a combined 15 running sets on 49 attempts with two faults for the match. Dion-Kindem converted eight running sets on 32 attempts, while Blough added seven on 17 attempts.

Cuba is next on the United States’ schedule, as the two teams face off at 8 p.m. CT on Wednesday night.

“We’re looking forward to playing a physical Cuba team tomorrow,” Friend said. 

The two pool winners with the highest ranking at the end of prelims will advance directly to the semifinal round, while pool winners with the lowest ranking will join the second placed teams in the quarterfinals.

2014 U.S. Men’s Junior National Team

No. First Last Position HS Grad Year City State Club or School USAV Region
2 Andy Benesh Middle 2013 Rancho Palos Verdes CA Univ. of Southern Cal Southern Cal
3 Christian Blough Setter 2013 Ontario NY Ohio State Univ. Western Emp.
5 Kyle Dagostino Libero 2014 Tampa FL Tampa Bay Invaders Florida
6 Soren Dion-Kindem Setter 2017 Agoura Hills CA Pepperdine Univ. Southern Cal
7 Evan Enriques Libero 2014 Pahala HI Ka Ulukoa VBC Aloha
8 Storm Faagata Leftside 2014 Long Beach CA SCVC Southern Cal
9 Kupono Fey Outside 2013 Honolulu HI Univ. of Hawaii Aloha
12 Jeff Jendryk Middle 2014 Wheaton IL Sports Perf. VC Great Lakes
13 George Perinar Rightside 2014 Channahon IL Ultimate VBC Great Lakes
14 Ben Plaisted Rightside 2014 Wauwatosa WI Milwaukee VC Badger
15 Kevin Rakestraw Middle 2013 Newport Beach CA Stanford Univ. Southern Cal
16 Brenden Sander Leftside 2014 Huntington Beach CA Balboa Bay VC Southern Cal

Head Coach: Dan Friend
Team Leader: Tom Tait
Assistant Coach: Jay Hosack
Assistant Coach: Sam Shweisky
Team Doctor: Jodi Pelegrin
Statistician: Tyler Adams

Schedule and Results for the 2014 NORCECA Men’s U21 Continental Championship
(All times CT)
July 29
2 p.m. USA v Nicaragua (Pool C)- 25-12, 25-13, 25-20
4 p.m. Puerto Rico v St. Lucia (Pool B)- 25-10, 25-15, 25-12
6 p.m. Mexico v Cuba (Pool C)- 17-25, 13-25, 25-23, 16-25
8 p.m. Barbados v El Salvador (Pool A)- 25-21, 15-25, 25-17, 25-20

July 30
2 p.m. Mexico v Nicaragua (Pool C)
4 p.m. St. Lucia v Canada (Pool B)
6 p.m. Honduras v Barbados (Pool A)
8 p.m. USA v Cuba (Pool C)

July 31
2 p.m. Cuba v Nicaragua (Pool C)
4 p.m. Canada v Puerto Rico (Pool B)
6 p.m. USA v Mexico (Pool C)
8 p.m. El Salvador v Honduras (Pool A)

Aug. 1
3 p.m. Ninth-place match
5 p.m. Quarterfinal
7 p.m. Quarterfinal

Aug. 2
3 p.m. Seventh-place match
5 p.m. Semifinal
7 p.m. Semifinal

Aug. 3
3 p.m. Fifth-place match
5 p.m. Bronze medal match
7 p.m. Gold medal match