Sweep Sends U.S. Men Straight to Semis

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | Sept. 04, 2019, 11:05 p.m. (ET)

NORCECA Championship

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 4, 2019) – The U.S. Men’s National Team won its pool at the NORCECA Continental Championship on Wednesday with a 25-17, 25-21, 25-22 victory over Cuba in Winnipeg.

The U.S. Men (3-0) will have Thursday off and will play in the semifinals on Friday.

The U.S. battled back from deficits of 2-7 in the second set and 14-16 in the third.

“I knew that to play Cuba, we would have to fire these guys up a lot, so I give 100 percent credit to our guys,” U.S. Head Coach John Hawks said. “They executed their game plan. They came in focused and dialed in. We didn’t play great yesterday, so to rebound from that was really good to see.”

The U.S. Men led in kills (34-24) with a hitting efficiency of .424 behind setter Micah Ma’a. Cuba hit .092.

The U.S. Men led in blocks (9-2) while Cuba led in aces (9-8).

“I think they’re a really good serving team,” Ma’a said of Cuba. “That really motivated us to step our serving game up as well. We knew there were going to be a lot of bombs from the service line. We’re pretty happy with our serving and our receiving.”

Opposite Kyle Ensing and outside hitter T.J. DeFalco each finished with 12 points to lead the U.S. Men. Ensing scored on 10 kills and two blocks. DeFalco scored on eight kills, two blocks and two aces.

Outside hitter Brenden Sander scored 10 points on seven kills, one block and two aces. Middle blocker Jeff Jendryk had a match-high three blocks and Ma’a had a team-high three aces. BDeFalco and libero Kyle Dagostino were credited with three digs apiece.

U.S. STARTERS VS CUBA
Outside hitters: T.J. DeFalco and Brenden Sander
Middle blockers: Mitch Stahl and Jeff Jendryk
Opposite: Kyle Ensing
Setter: Micah Ma’a
Libero: Kyle Dagostino
Substitutes: Joe Worsley (S)

U.S. STATISTICS VS CUBA
Kills: Ensing 10, DeFalco 8, Sander 7, Stahl 5, Jendryk 2, Ma’a 2
Blocks: Jendryk 3, Ensing 2, DeFalco 2, Stahl 1, Sander 1
Aces: Ma’a 3, DeFalco 2, Sander 2, Stahl 1
Digs: DeFalco 3, Dagostino 3, Sander 1

U.S. Roster for the NORCECA Championship
Sept. 2-7 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
4 Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
5 Kyle Ensing (Opp, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State)
6 Mitch Stahl (MB, 6-8, Chambersburg, Pa., UCLA)
8 T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
11 Joe Worsley (S, 6-1, Moraga, Calif., Univ. of Hawaii)
12 Tommy Carmody (MB, 6-10, Orland Park, Ill., Pepperdine)
14 Micah Ma’a (S, 6-3, Kaneohe, Hawaii, UCLA)
15 Brenden Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)
18 Cody Kessel (OH, 6-5, Colorado Springs, Colo., Princeton)
19 David Wieczorek (OH, 6-8, Chicago, Ill., Pepperdine)
20 George Huhmann (MB, 6-11, St. Louis, Mo., Princeton)
22 Gage Worsley (L, 6-2, Moraga, Calif., Univ. of Hawaii)
24 Kyle Dagostino (L, 5-9, Tampa, Fla., Stanford)
25 Kyle Russell (Opp, 6-9, Loomis, Calif., UC Irvine)

Head Coach: John Hawks
Assistant Coach: Sam Shweisky
Assistant Coach: Joaquin Acosta
Team Manager: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Jackie Chan

U.S. Schedule/Results
(All times PT)
Pool Play


Sept. 2
Cuba def Guatemala, 25-13, 37-35, 25-14
USA def Dominican Republic, 25-14, 25-17, 25-14 

Sept. 3
USA def Guatemala, 25-22, 25-21, 26-24
Cuba def Dominican Republic, 25-20, 25-17, 25-15

Sept. 4
Dominican Republic def Guatemala, 29-27, 25-19, 25-27, 25-18
USA def Cuba, 25-17, 25-21, 25-22

Sept. 5
4 p.m. Quarterfinal: Mexico vs Dominican Republic
6 p.m. Quarterfinal: Cuba vs Puerto Rico

Sept. 6
Classification and semifinals

Sept. 7
Classification and finals