USAV to Host Champions Cup in Colo. Springs

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | Aug. 14, 2019, 5:15 p.m. (ET)

Cody Kessel

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 13, 2019) – Colorado volleyball fans can see an international tournament for free on Aug. 22-24 when USA Volleyball hosts the NORCECA Champions Cup at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center.

Women’s teams from the United States, Canada, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico will compete. Men’s teams will be from the United States, Canada, Cuba and Puerto Rico.

Teams will compete in a round-robin format, with each squad playing the other three once. The U.S. Women will play their matches at 5 p.m. MT each day, while the U.S. Men will follow at 7 p.m.

Colorado Springs native Cody Kessel (see photo), an outside hitter, highlights the roster that the U.S. Men will send to the competition. The U.S. Women will announce their squad on Friday (Aug. 16).

Kessel played boys volleyball at Palmer High School before playing at Princeton.

Most of the players on the team finished their college volleyball careers in 2019 or earlier. Kessel and teammate Greg Petty, an outside hitter, have both played for professional teams overseas.

There are two collegians on the men’s team: Middle blocker Patrick Gasman, who will be a redshirt senior at Hawaii in 2019-20, and setter Garrett Zolg, whohas two years left at Loyola of Chicago.

Outside hitters are Kessel, Petty, Corey Chavers and David Wieczorek. Opposites are Michael Wexter and Ryan Moss.

Middle blockers are Nick Amado, Blake Leeson, Matthew August and Gasman.

Setters are Zolog and Matthew Yoshimoto. Liberos are Josh Ayzenberg and J.T. Hatch.

Matt Werle, head men’s volleyball coach at Grand Canyon University, will coach the U.S. Men’s squad.

“My first experience with USA Volleyball took place more than 10 years ago as a player on the Junior National Team,” Werle said. “We spent nearly a month in Colorado training prior the NORCECA Championships in Mexico. Things have come full circle with the return to this amazing complex and having the honor to coach this group of young men.”

Spencer McLachlin, men's assistant coach at UCLA, will assist Werle.

U.S. Men’s Roster for the NORCECA Champions Cup
1 Josh Ayzenberg (L, 5-8, Long Beach, N.Y., Sacred Heart)
2 J.T. Hatch (L, 6-1, Mesa Ariz., UCLA)
3 Garrett Zolg (S, 6-3, Huntington Beach, Calif., Loyola Chicago)
4 Corey Chavers (OH, 6-4, Downey, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
5C Cody Kessel (OH, 6-5, Colorado Springs, Colo., Princeton)
6 Matt Yoshimoto (S, 6-5, Ventura, Calif., Lewis)
7 Nick Amado (MB, 6-6, Aliso Niguel, Calif., Long Beach State)
8 Greg Petty (OH, 6-6, Downers Grove, Ill., Lewis)
9 Michael Wexter (Opp, 6-6, New Lenox, Ill., Pepperdine)
10 Blake Leeson (MB, 6-8, Mequon, Wis., Ohio State)
11 Ryan Moss (Opp, 6-8, Corona Del Mar, Calif., USC)
12 David Wieczorek (OH, 6-8, Chicago, Ill., Pepperdine)
13 Matthew August (MB, 6-7, San Clemente, Calif., Irvine Valley College)
14 Patrick Gasman (MB, 6-10, Clovis, Calif., Hawaii)

Head coach: Matt Werle
Assistant coach: Spencer McLachlin
Physiotherapist: Melanie Luck
Team manager: Kimmie Beach
Statistician: Michael Gee

Champions Cup Schedule (All times MDT)
All matches in SportsCenter 1 at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center

Aug. 22
1p Men: Cuba vs Canada
3p Women: Puerto Rico vs Dominican Republic
5p Women: Canada vs USA
7p Men: Puerto Rico vs USA

Aug. 23
1p Men: Canada vs Puerto Rico
3p Women: Canada vs Dominican Republic
5p Women: Puerto Rico vs USA
7p Cuba vs USA

Aug. 24
1p Men: Puerto Rico vs Cuba
3p Women: Canada vs Puerto Rico
5p Women: Dominican Republic vs USA
7p Canada vs USA