Boys' Youth Team Secures NORCECA Silver

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | June 10, 2018, 10:30 p.m. (ET)
A screen shot of the U.S. Boys' Youth Team with their second-place NORCECA trophy
A screen shot of the U.S. Boys' Youth National Team with their second-place trophy. 
 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 10, 2018) – The U.S. Boys’ Youth Team won the silver medal on Sunday at the NORCECA U19 Championship in San José, Cost Rica.

The final saw Cuba (5-0) defeat the United States (4-2), 25-17, 25-17, 25-20. Puerto Rico beat Guatemala for the bronze medal.

Both the United States and Cuba qualified for the 2019 FIVB World Championship by making it to the final.

The U.S. Boys fought hard and Head Coach Brad Keller used every player on his roster, frequently double-subbing starting setter Aidan Knipe and starting opposite Scott Solan for setter Joe Karlous and opposite Clarke Godbold.

Cuba had defeated the U.S. 3-0 in pool play and proved to be a powerful foe once again, leading in kills (34-25), blocks (13-4) and aces (1-0).

Godbold led the U.S. Boys in scoring with seven points on six kills and one block. Outside hitter Alex Knight added six points on five kills and one block.

Cuba was led by opposite Alexei Ramirez, who was named the tournament’s Best Opposite, with 12 points. Outside hitter Jose Gutierrez, who was named the tournament’s Best Spiker, finished with 11.

U.S. players did not receive any individual awards.

Libero Mason Briggs finished second among all receivers with a 55.5 efficiency percentage. He also finished third among all liberos.

Knipe finished second among all setters with an average of 3.83 running sets per set. Karlous finished fifth with 3.22 running sets per set. Together, they helped the U.S. team finished first in setting.

Knight finished fourth in scoring with 49 points on 37 kills, six blocks and six aces. Outside hitter Akhil Tangutur and Solan finished tied for ninth among all scorers.

Tangutur finished fourth in kills with a 47.83 success percentage.

The U.S. finished with the most kills of any team in the tournament, but its success percentage was lower than Cuba’s, 52. 6 vs. 46.1.

The United States also finished first in receiving with a 50.34 success percentage.

FINAL RANKINGS: 1. Cuba, 2. United States, 3. Puerto Rico, 4. Guatemala, 5. Nicaragua, 6. Costa Rica, 7. Honduras

U.S. STARTERS VS CUBA
Outside Hitters: Alex Knight and Akhil Tangutur
Middle Blockers: Ethan Hill and Nathaniel Gates
Opposite: Scott Solan
Setter: Aidan Knipe
Libero: Mason Briggs
Substitutes: Clarke Godbold (Opp), Joe Karlous (S), Joe Deluzio (OH), Ethan Smith (MB), James Hartley (OH)

U.S. STATISTICS VS CUBA
Kills: Godbold 6, Knight 5, Tangutur 5, Solan 3, Smith 2, Hill 2, Gates 1, Karlous 1
Blocks: Knight 1, Godbold 1, Solan 1, Gates 1
Digs: Knight 3, Briggs 3, Karlous 1

NORCECA U19 Continental Championship
Boys’ Youth National Team – Click here for bios
2. Joe Karlous (S, 6-0, Costa Mesa, Calif., So Cal)
3. Mason Briggs (L, 5-11, Valencia, Calif., So Cal)
4. Aidan Knipe (S, 6-2, Huntington Beach, Calif., So Cal)
5. Akhil Tangutur (OH, 6-4, Pacific Palisades, Calif., So Cal)
10. Ethan Smith (MB, 6-7, Laguna Niguel, Calif., So Cal)
12. Joseph Deluzio (OH, 6-6, Windermere, Fla., Florida)
13. Alex Knight (OH, 6-6, Culver City, Calif., So Cal)
14. James Hartley (OH, 6-6, Waxhaw, N.C., Carolina)
15. Ethan Hill (MB, 6-7, San Clemente, Calif., So Cal)
16. Clarke Godbold (Opp, 6-5, San Pedro, Calif., So Cal)
18. Scott Solan (Opp, 6-8, Las Vegas, Nev., So Cal)
19. Nathaniel Gates (MB, 6-8, La Jolla, Calif., So Cal)

Head Coach: Brad Keller (UCLA men’s volleyball assistant coach)
Assistant Coach: Nick MacRae (Long Beach State men’s volleyball associate head coach)
Assistant Coach: Colin McMillan (Penn State men’s volleyball associate head coach)
Team Leader: Gabby Lutjen (USA Volleyball)
Technical Coordinator: Kevin Burch (The Ohio State University men’s volleyball assistant coach)

Schedule and Results (All times PT)
Pool Play
June 6
United States def Guatemala, 25-23, 25-14, 25-18
Cuba def Honduras, 25-9, 25-10, 25-10
Puerto Rico def Nicaragua, 25-12, 25-11, 25-20

June 7
Cuba def Guatemala, 25-13, 25-12, 25-18
United States def Honduras, 25-16, 25-15, 25-14
Costa Rica def Nicaragua, 25-21, 23-25, 25-14, 27-25

June 8
Guatemala def Honduras, 25-21, 23-25, 25-18, 25-11
Cuba def United States, 25-19, 25-19, 28-26
Puerto Rico def Costa Rica, 25-13, 25-16, 25-12

June 9
QF: Guatemala def Costa Rica, 25-23, 22-25, 18-25, 27-25, 15-13
QF: United States def Nicaragua, 25-21, 25-14, 25-13
SF: Cuba def Guatemala, 25-10, 25-15, 25-17
SF: United States def Puerto Rico, 25-17, 25-19, 25-20

June 10
5th place: Nicaragua def Costa Rica, 19-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-9
3rd place: Puerto Rico def Guatemala, 20-25, 25-19, 25-13, 25-17
1st place: Cuba def United States, 25-17, 25-17, 25-20