U.S. Boys Qualify for Youth Olympics

By BJ Evans | April 14, 2014, 10:17 a.m. (ET)

HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. (April 14, 2014) – The U.S. boys beach volleyball team of T.J. DeFalco and Louis Richard qualified for the Youth Olympic Games at the NORCECA qualifying event on Saturday and Sunday in Carolina, Puerto Rico.

T.J. DeFalco receives the ball as Louis Richard gets ready for a play
   T.J. DeFalco receives the ball as Louis Richard watches.

The 2014 Youth Olympic Games will take place on Aug. 14-28 in Nanjing, China. The United States already qualified a girls’ team for the event when Suzanne (Zana) Muno and Sarah Sponcil won the NORCECA Central Zone Qualification Tournament in Puerto Rico last December.

DeFalco (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Richard (Redondo Beach, Calif.) just needed to reach the final of the event to qualify, which they did by going 4-0 without losing a set.

On Saturday, DeFalco and Richard took a 21-10, 21-9 win over Bahamas’ Gage Smith and Rajahl Moxey and continued with a 21-7, 21-7 victory over Andre Marquis and Jerrelle Pierre of St Lucia.

In their final two matches on Sunday, DeFalco and Richard beat Nicaraguan brothers Denis and Luis Lopez, 21-11, 21-11. They got the pass to Nanjing following a 21-11, 21-13 over Kareem Thomas and Marlon Phillips of Trinidad & Tobago.

Puerto Ricans Sergio Figueroa and Daniel Rivera also qualified for the Youth Olympic Games by reaching the tournament final. The two teams did not play each other in a final match.

Coach Jon Aharoni and medical provider Edward Stansilawski served as support staff for Richard and DeFalco in Puerto Rico.