Boys Youth Training Team Brings Talent and Experience

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | June 05, 2019, 5:32 p.m. (ET)

Boys Youth National Training Team

The 2018 Boys Youth National Team won silver medals at the NORCECA U19 Continental Championship.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 5, 2019) – USA Volleyball High Performance has selected the 24 athletes who comprise the Boys Youth National Training Team.

Twelve players will be chosen from the team to compete at the 2019 FIVB Under-19 World Championship on Aug. 21-30 in Tunisia.

All 12 players from the 2018 Boys Youth National Team that placed second at the NORCECA U19 Championship and qualified for the World Championship are on the training team.

Those players are outside hitters Joe Deluzio, James Hartley Alex Knight and Akhil Tangutur; middle blockers Nathanial Gates, Ethan Hill and Ethan Smith; opposites Clark Godbold and Scott Solan; setters Joe Karlous and Aidan Knipe and libero Mason Briggs.

They are joined by outside hitters Luke Benson, Klistan Lawrence, Sebastian Rodriguez and Francesco Sani; middle blockers Gavin Julien, Gavin Leising and Rico Wardlow; opposite Akin Akinwumi; setters Kevin Kauling, Nathan Lietzke and Henry Wedbush and libero Cole Power.

The team will train at the USAV High Performance Championships on July 13-22 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Pepperdine Men’s Volleyball Head Coach David Hunt will serve as the team’s head coach. His assistants will be Nick MacRae (Long Beach State) and Colin McMillan (Penn State). Kevin Burch (Ohio State) will work with the team during training while Mitch Lush (Ohio State) will take over as technical coordinator for the World Championship.

2019 U.S. Boys Youth National Training Team

Name (Pos., Height, Hometown, Region, College commit)
Akin Akinwumi (Opp, 6-6, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., So Cal, signed with Pepperdine)
Luke Benson (OH, 6-6, Newbury Park, Calif., So Cal, NA)
Mason Briggs (L, 5-11, Valencia, Calif., So Cal, signed with Long Beach State)
Joe Deluzio (OH, 6-6, Windermere, Fla., Florida, committed to Pepperdine)
Nathaniel Gates (MB, 6-8, La Jolla, Calif., So Cal, signed with Stanford)
Clarke Godbold (Opp, 6-5, San Pedro, Calif., So Cal, committed to Long Beach State)
James Hartley (OH, 6-6, Waxhaw, N.C., Carolina, signed to Princeton)
Ethan Hill (MB, 6-7, San Clemente, Calif., So Cal, signed to UCLA)
Gavin Julien (MB, 6-8, Whitefish Bay, Wis., Badger, NA)
Joe Karlous (S, 6-0, Costa Mesa, Calif., So Cal, signed with Pepperdine)
Kevin Kauling (S, 6-8, Naperville, Ill., Great Lakes, committed to Lewis)
Alex Knight (OH, 6-6, Culver City, Calif., So Cal, signed with UCLA)
Aidan Knipe (S, 6-2, Huntington Beach, Calif., So Cal, signed with Long Beach State)
Klistan Lawrence (OH, 6-7, Ocala, Fla., Florida, Uncommitted)
Gavin Leising (MB, 6-9, Newhall, Calif., So Cal, NA)
Nathan Lietzke (S, 6-4, Austin, Texas, Lone Star, signed with Stanford)
Cole Power (L, 5-10, Huntington Beach, Calif., So Cal, signed to UCLA)
Sebastian Rodriguez (OH, 6-4, Hermosa Beach, Calif., So Cal, Uncommitted)
Francesco Sani (OH, 6-8, Bethesda, Md., Old Dominion, committed to UC Irvine)
Ethan Smith (MB, 6-7, Laguna Niguel, Calif., So Cal, signed with Harvard)
Scott Solan (Opp, 6-8, Las Vegas, Nev., So Cal, committed to Pepperdine)
Akhil Tangutur (OH, 6-4, Pacific Palisades, Calif., So Cal, signed with UC Irvine)
Rico Wardlow (MB, 6-5, Bolingbrook, Ill., Great Lakes, signed with Purdue University Fort Wayne)
Henry Wedbush (S, 6-4, Manhattan Beach, Calif., So Cal, Uncommitted)

Head Coach: David Hunt (Pepperdine men’s volleyball head coach)
Assistant Coach: Nick MacRae (Long Beach State men’s assistant coach)
Assistant Coach: Colin McMillan (Penn State men’s associate head coach)
Assistant Coach: Kevin Burch (Ohio State men’s head coach)
Technical Coordinator: Mitch Lush (Ohio State men’s director of operations)