Alejandro Miguel González (Cuba) MVP at U21 Pan American Cup

LA HABANA, Cuba, June 10, 2023.- Alejandro Miguel González, of Cuba’s team, new champion of the U21 Men’ s Norceca Pan American Cup was named the Most Valuable Player and the best opposite hitter.

Also, from the host team were included in the honor roll José Ramón Gómez, second spiker; Alexis Wilson and  Jakdiel Cotreras, best blockers in that order, and Yonni Iglesias, the most outstanding setter.

Jacob Sargent, of Canada, bronze medal, took the first spiker award, Puerto Rico’s Fernand Albaladejo, best receiver, and Alex Meléndez, best server, and Dominicans Ronny Molina the best scorer and Angelkis Mesa, the distinguished digger and libero.

Cuba led the standings undefeated with five victories, joined by the United States with a record of 4 wins and 2 losses, and Canada (4-1). Followed by Puerto Rico (3-2), Nicaragua (3-3), Dominican Republic (3-3), Guatemala (1-4) and Haiti (0-5).    

Alejandro Miguel González MVP

Cuba is the new U21 Men’s Pan American Cup Champion

HAVANA, Cuba, June 10, 2023.- Cuba is the new U21 Men’s Norceca Pan American champion after beating defending champion United States in a sensational gold medal match 3-2 (21-25, 21-25, 30-28, 25-15, 15-11) in  heated two hours and 16 minutes in front of hundreds of fans at the city’s coliseum.

It seemed that the visitors would return home again with the title, the hosts reacted, they moved ahead winning the second and third sets to seal in the fifth, not before a great battle from both teams, in which the home team held advantage in kills  (52-47), but in blocks (17-16) and serves (9-8) it was by a slight margin.

Opposite hitter Alejandro Miguel González once again showed his leadership as the leading scorer with 26 points and was joined in the offense by outside hitters Bryan Camino (22) and José Ramón Gómez (10), and middle Jakdiel Contreras (10), while other middle, Alexis Wilson, added 8.

In the previous edition the United States defeated Mexico in the title match, who wasn’t in the event, while Canada took the bronze medal over Cuba. On this occasion, Canada finished in the same position, but beating Puerto Rico.

Cubans celebrate gold medal win

Jesús Cruz, host head coach said “first we achieved our goal of improving last year’s fourth place. We had a meeting to study that we weren’t going to lose today, we came to win, there was no need to reserve anything, nothing to take care of, it was only one match to give our best and if the opponent was successful, it was with the best version of Cuba. Things didn’t work in the first two sets, but we were able to recover, the best thing this group had in the tournament was the possibility for change. If the opponent changed its tactics we would as well and that’s how we kept the entire match. In the end it turned out better for everyone”.

The team leader, Alejandro Miguel González, expressed “we had the opportunity, and we took advantage of winning games in tie-break, we grew facing difficulties and that’s why we’re celebrating the gold medal match. From 2022 to now all the players have grown, before we were more dependent on each other, this time around we all pushed the same and deserved the awards. We played as a team”.

Veteran coach of the United States, Andy Read, said “we wanted to finish the match in the third set, which we almost did because we were up 2-0, but we didn’t. The crowd supported their team in their win. A close game was expected and the way it went it could have gone either way. I am glad to see how my players performed and how they faced the tournament”.

Nyerovwome Omene, U.S. captain expressed “facing Cuba and in Cuba is always good and fun. We also had the opportunity to meet in pool-play and we enjoyed both matches. We are happy about that, despite the loss. Now we must continue to the U21 World Championship”.

Dominican Ronny Molina, from Cibao, new scoring record at U21 Pan Am Cup

HAVANA, Cuba, 10 de junio de 2023.- “I didn’t play to break a record, I simply play for my team and that’s what I did, but I would have preferred to win the game and keep fifth place form last year, but this is a team effort”, said Dominican Ronny Molina, who scored 39 points against Nicaragua a new scoring record for a match at this age-group.

Outside hitter erased from the booked the 33 points from Estakend Beauvoir of Haiti, also against Nicaragua in 2022 here at Ciudad Deportiva.

He said before the clash against Nicaragua that his coaches told him to enjoy the game without thinking about individual awards, “that’s what I did, I wanted my team to win. When the match ended, assistant Francisco Lerebours confirmed the announcement of the new scoring record in a match and I was happy, of course I was happy”.

With his shiny eyes more than ever, Ronny smiled like a child with a new toy. “I was surprised and happy. I thank God, my coaches, my team, because without them this couldn’t be possible”.

This is the most outstanding performance for the Dominican player, who was here in Havana during the 2022 edition in September when he was 18 years old and being part of the junior team for a year, finishing in sixth among the best scorers.

“In our junior national championship, I used to score between 40 and 47 per match, in four days I totaled more than 200 points”, he shared, while saying that thanks to volleyball he won a scholarship at Universidad Evangélica of Santo Domingo, where he studies nutrition.

“I used to play basketball, but I was convinced to play volleyball and I was determined to be part of the junior national team which I did on June 22 of 2021. We are having good results, thanks to our coaches, especially to Alexander Gutiérrez, I have improved to this level of play”.

“My dream is to be in the senior team, play professional volleyball, help my family and always serve my country and for that you need discipline, that’s a must to reach our goals in life” he was excited to say while commenting he was born far from the capital at north of Dominican Republic, in Villa Los Almácigos, in the Cibao region.  

“Thank you to everyone who came to enjoy volleyball here at the Coliseum, I enjoy playing and will go on working for good performances and earn a spot at the U23 team and come back to Havana in July for the Pan American Cup. I will continue working to be in the senior team, I have lots of desire to continue training and give my best for this sport”.

Canada beat Puerto Rico to repeat the bronze medal at the U21 Pan American Cup

HAVANA, Cuba, June 10, 2023.- Canada defeated Puerto Rico 3-1 (25-15, 25-21, 21-25, 25-16) to stay at the U21 Men’s Norceca Pan American podium with the bronze medal just like last year here at Ciudad Deportiva in Havana.

The Northern team prevailed over Puerto Rico in every line to reach advantages in kills  (56-35), in blocks (10-5) and serves (7-4) but ended with more unforced errors (23-33).

Canada’s strong offense was led by opposite and team captain Jacob Sargent with 24 points, followed by Brendan Mills (19), Kaden Schmidt  and Jonah Dueck, both with 12 points.

For the Caribbeans, the only player that scored double digits was opposite hitter Gregory Torres, with 17 tallies.

Jacob Sargent CAN against Janluar Figueroa and Jamal Ellis PUR

Canada’s coach, German Arnd Ludwing, said “today we had a better match mostly in blocks, that was able to break our opponents defense and we managed tempo better. We are glad, but the key matches against the United States and Cuba are those to improve. We wanted more than bronze, but I’m happy”.

Jacob Sargent, the North captain, said “it was good to recover from our semifinal match against the United States yesterday. We had some mental mistakes, concentration, as well as serves and other technical elements and Puerto Rico took advantage of them. Havan is a good host and we have won two bronze medals here, we are glad, but honestly, we wanted to improve third place”.

Coach Carlos Rodríguez of Puerto Rico expressed “except the first set, we tried to battle more than we could, it’s possible our physical condition hurt us a bit, but we battled and despite the final score we gave a good performance and there was a good level of play”.

Gregory Torres, the most productive of Puerto Rico said “it turned out to be a good match, we started off a bit weak, but we adjusted and fell on occasions, and then we won the third set. In the fourth we came out short. They also played very well and we gave everything we have, and that’s what’s important”. 

Nicaragua snatched fifth place from Dominican Republic at U21 Pan Am Cup

HAVANA, Cuba, June 10, 2023.- Nicaragua snatched the fifth place to Dominican Republic in over two hours of an exciting five close win (27-25, 18-25, 29-31, 25-22, 23-21) on closing day of the U21 Men’s Norceca Pan American Cup.

Dominicans ended in front in kills (80-74) and serves (10-4), but the Central Americans were better in blocking (16-10) and with fewer errors (24-28) in Nicaragua’s best result in the history of this age-group.

The winners had a better-balanced offense between five players with double digits, led by Yesdy Pacheco (27). However, Dominican Republic has the new scoring record in a match with outside hitter Ronny Molina who produced 39 points to erase the 33 points scored by Estakend Beauvoir, in 2022 against Nicaragua.

From the winners, Evan Solis and Denis Espinoza added 16 each and Yader León as well as Rafael Hernández tallied 11. On the Caribbean side, Adrian Figueroa scored 25, Blendy Tavares 14 and Jeremy Pichardo 10.

In the 2022 edition of the event, here at the Havana Coliseum, Nicaragua lost every single match to finish at the bottom of the rankings, while Dominicans beat Chile in a tie-break for fifth place, but the history changed today after these two team’s performances.

Adrian Figueroa DOM against Rafael Hernandez-Cristhoper Castillo NCA

Jorge Luis Mena, Central American coach said “having character is a positive thing, I told my team that they had to believe that they could reach the fifth place, we did what we could and for us this feat is like winning the tournament. We worked mentally with the guys, so that they didn’t have to be scared of the Dominican Republic, and we made it”.

Outside hitter Yesdy Pacheco said “our goal was to be in the top five, it wasn’t easy, everyone had to work, and we trained for that, thank God it was a good result. We won the fifth set because we left our bodies on the court, we pushed back to every single ball, we were all better relaxed than our opponents until we scored point 23 for the victory. We are glad”.

Dominican coach Dante Mañón recalled “they say that being too confident is dangerous, Nicaragua believed in the win despite their short height, they defended more, they picked up every kill and the worse was that the libero sold the ball twice while trying to close the set. We committed simple errors and that cost us the match”.

Their productive captain Ronny Molina did not enjoy his performance. “We shouldn’t have lost, but Nicaragua picked up everything and our blocker didn’t help that much, our opponents scored everything. We also failed in receiving and that damaged us a lot. But we must continue, work and compete more, there will be other tournaments”.   

Guatemala seventh place at U21 Pan American Cup

HAVANA, Cuba, June 10, 2023.- Guatemala finished seventh place after beating Haiti in five sets (25-21, 22-25, 14-25, 25-23, 15-11) on the last day of the U21 Men’s Norceca Pan American Cup at Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.

The Central Americans were superior in kills (61-50) and in serves (5-1), while the Caribbeans produced more blocks (13-5). The winners committed fewer unforced errors (41-30).

Outside hitter Yeferson Zaval was the most productive for Guatemala with 26 points, while the leading scorer of the match was spirited Estakend Beauvoir of Haiti with 27.

Other players with double digits were outside hitter Daniel Delgado (16) and middle Leonardo Molina (12). From Haiti, outside hitter Steevenson Senat (16).

Head coach of Guatemala, Luis Castañeda considered that “we suffered, we began winning, but the opponent improved their play and moved forward. We came back in the fourth set and then we put pressure with our serves and won. We didn’t want to finish last, and seventh place is not bad because we are missing five athletes of this age-group and it’s always important to try improving in ranking”.  

Zavala, leader of the match, manifested “we came out to play with our all, it was our last chance of winning a match, we had ups and downs, we managed to control the fourth set by a considerable advantage, and we improved to come back and get the victory. We aren’t happy leaving in seventh place, but we are glad for our effort in every match”.

Dieulengy Relis, Caribbean captain was sad of not keeping the seventh place of 2022. “It was a match we should have won, we never imagined that the fourth set was going to get difficult, because we had a good third one, but Guatemala’s players have good defense and today they did it better than ever”.

Lesly Larrieux, coach of Haiti expressed “it has been a total disappointment, we had worked to win this match today, but my team lost energy in the third set and didn’t fight any more. It ‘s not been a year since we won the Caribbean championship, this tournament has been a fatality”.

USA will defend their title after beating Canada in semifinals at U21 Pan Am Cup

HAVANA, Cuba, June 9, 2023.- The United States will defend their title on Saturday after dominating Canada 3-1 (25-17, 25-21, 21-25, 25-16) in the second semifinal of the Men’s U21 Norceca Pan American cup at coliseo Ciudad Deportiva.

Tournament favorites managed to control their neighbors of the north, without despair after falling in the third set. In the next set they improved effectiveness and sealed the game to battle to keep their 2022 title like they did in this same venue against Mexico, absent in this edition.

Canada will battle once again for the bronze medal they won last year after beating Cuba. The local team, with evident progress on their team, will have the Americans on the other side of the net, who they previously beat in the tournament.

The Americans, with eight players with a height over two meters, held advantage over the Canadian team in kills (52-43) and in blocks (10-5), while the opponents dominated in serves (7-3), who committed more unforced errors (31-24).

Its best man, outside hitter Alexander Rottman, with 20 tallies, accompanied by opposite George Bruening (15), and outside hitter Trenton Mose (14). From the opponents with double digits Kaden Schmidt (12) and opposite hitter Brendan Mills (10).

United States celebrates against Canada

Andy Read, coach of the defending champion, said “we wanted every technical part to work out, but it was our blocking which stood out, I believe we have one of the best blockings in the world in this age-group. When you win two sets to a team, in the third they will always respond and that happened. We then responded in the fourth”.

George Bruening, one of the outstanding players of the winning team, said “this semifinal match was a perfect example of good volleyball, things turned out well and we came out to make it all positive in the match. We did a good job in passing and over the net with blocking, and of course the energy we do together as a team”.

German Arnd Ludwig, coach of Canada, said “United States had a good match, we played much better in the third, but our opponent knew how to close in the fourth and we couldn’t tie the match, despite trying. Tomorrow against Puerto Rico we will battle to win it, just like every match”.

Team captain Jacob Sargen said “we prepared for this match, but not always things turn out like you expect them to. We are aware that this wasn’t our best performance, but tomorrow we will try to prevail over Puerto Rico. We were hoping for a better match, we committed errors and against a team like the United States you pay the price”.

Cuba the first finalist at U21 Norceca Pan American Cup

HAVANA, Cuba, June 9, 2023.- Cuba became the first candidate to win the gold medal of the U21 Men’s Norceca Pan American Cup beating Puerto Rico in semifinals without setbacks in straight sets 25-20, 25-14 and 25-21.

Efficient blocking and a strong serve were the two lethal weapons used by the host against Puerto Rico, in a match where they were also better in kills (37-25) y blocks (15-5), and committed fewer unforced errors (19-22), a difficulty for this team. Puerto Rico was successful with 6 aces against one from their opponent.

The offence of the home team was balanced between its setter Yonni Iglesias and three players who scored double digits, outside hitters José Ramón Gómez (18) and Bryan Camino (12), and opposite hitter Alejandro Miguel González (10). The most productive player of Puerto Rico was opposite hitter Jamal Ellis with 14 tallies.

With this performance the host team improved that of 2022 when they finished fourth place after losing the bronze medal to Canada.

Gregory Torres of Puerto Rico against Alexis Wilson of Cuba

Jesús Cruz, Cuban coach, said that when playing a semifinal there is always tension y even more with young players, “but the match ended like we forecast during the meeting when we studied our opponent. The boys followed instructions, our blocking worked perfectly, and we committed fewer errors in serves”.

Outside hitter Gomez said “in the beginning we weren’t accurate,  while starting every set we were close, but then we moved forward and held the advantage we needed to stay calm. We followed the instructions of our coaching staff, and we carried out the tactical plan. We are satisfied and with all the energy to battle for the gold tomorrow”.

Puerto Rico’s coach Carlos Rodriguez said “we couldn’t control the emotions during the first set, we were 19-19. The emotion and lack of focus made us commit errors, after dominating the first set. I believe Cuba pushed in blocking and serves which hurt us a bit, we tried to keep adjusting and we were able to find something in the third set, but then again, their force damaged us. Now to fight for the bronze”.

Antonio Luis Feliciano, captain of Puerto Rico, said “we started well and with lots of energy, but we lost concentration at the end of the first set, and it followed the rest of the game. We were aware that Cuba is a tall team, very athletic and with strength, we prepared well, however our lack of focus made us get away from the match. Nevertheless, our heads are still high to battle for the bronze medal”.

Dominicans defeated Guatemala at U21 Pan American Cup

HAVANA, Cuba, June 9, 2023.- Dominican Republic took the best part after sweeping Guatemala 25-21, 25-22 and 25-23 in a classification match for the fifth place of the U21 Men’s Norceca Pan American Cup at Coliseo Deportivo.

Dominicans were superior in attacks (51-39) and serves (6-3) and tied in blocks (3-3).  Both teams committed 18 unforced errors.

Outside hitter Elixander Gómez led all scorers with 16 points. Also with double digits were outside hitter Ronny Molina (13) and opposite hitter Adrián Figueroa (12). On the opposing side, outside hitter Yeferson Zavala scored 14 for his team.

Adrian Figueroa of Dominican Republic spikes

Dominican coach Dante Mañón said “when my team got on court they were happy and I told them that was good, today you’re going to win and fortunately the blocks worked well, but in attacks we are at the same level as Guatemala”.

Team captain Ronny Molina was happy to express “it was because we came to win this game and we did thanks to a team effort, despite being overconfident once again and the opponent took advantage in the third set, but we came back. Tomorrow, against Nicaragua or Haiti, we can’t be too confident”.

Luis Castañeda, coach of the Central American team said “we always try to do things well, it wasn’t so today, we lacked in receiving and deciding in the last balls, the athletes lack experience, but we are going to continue to fight, we have one match left and I hope they will give their all and make it”.

Luis Mendizabal, Guatemalan middle blocker sadly said “we could have won the match, but we had to perform harder, and we didn’t. We had technical issues, and it was difficult to work. On Saturday we must come out for the win to not finish at the bottom”.

Haiti on this occasion couldn’t against Nicaragua at the U21 Pan American Cup in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, June 9, 2023.- Nicaragua battled for the win against Hait in five sets (25-23, 22-25, 25-14, 21-25, 15-11) in almost two hours a Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum and will play for the fifth place against Dominican Republic on the last day of competition of the U21 Men’s Norceca Pan American Cup.

The Central Americans were determined to not repeat what happened last year in this same venue when they fell twice against the spirited Caribbean team who did better in blocking (9-6), but not in serves (5-6), while in kills both ended with 56. Nicaragua added 40 unforced errors against 28 from their opponents.

Nicaragua’s offence was led by outside hitter Yesdy Pacheco (21), Denis Espinoza (13) and Evans Solís (10), however the leading scorer of the match was opposite hitter of the opponent team Estakend Beauvoir with 23 points, followed by outside hitters  Seraphin Antoine (16) and Relis Dieulengy (12).

Nicaragua celebrate against Haiti

Jorge Luis Mena, Nicaraguan coach said that in the past tournament here in Havana, “this team beat us twice, but this time we were determined to get the victory and not fall to the seventh or eighth place. I made some adjustments with the middles for them to improve the defense and it worked. Haiti has a powerful attack, reach and height which exceeds us”.

Central American Evans Antonio said “we knew it was going to be hard, they are an opponent that takes advantage if you let them. Their serves made our reception hard, but our coach was constantly guiding us where to stand and thanks to the teams’ job we were able to win”.

Lesly Larrieux, coach of Haiti, lamented “we always enter these matches with desire to perform and win, but we always have a percentage of the refereeing against us, I am aware of the errors, and they don’t correct them. It’s always the same with Haiti”.

Caribbean captain Relis Dieulengy said “Nicaragua is used to playing; they have more time to prepare, and they can play a five-set match easier than us. We are happy because we always learn something in these tournaments”.

Puerto Rico moves into semifinals over Nicaragua at U21 Pan American Cup

LA HABANA, Cuba, June 8, 2023.- Puerto Rico beat Nicaragua in straight sets 25-19, 25-15 and 25-21 to get into the semifinals of the U21 Men’s Norceca Pan American Cup at Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.

Puerto Rico was superior in every element of the game with a difference in attack 36-22, in block 10-7 and in service 13-3. The winners committed 33 unforced errors against 16 from their opponent.

Leading all scorers was Ramón Andrés Rosado with 12 tallies, escorted by teammates opposite Gregory Torres and outside hitter Axel Meléndez, both with 10, the only ones with double digits, and Nicaragua’s top scorer was outside hitter Denis Espinoza who collected eight.

Ramon Rosado (PUR) against Yader Leon (NCA)

Carlos Rodríguez, coach of Puerto Rico thanked Nicaragua’s players for the great game they offered.  «It was a match with some anxiety, but we knew how to take it and get the victory, which moves us into the semifinal where our opponent is the home team, who has a great level of play. We will go into the next stage with respect for the others, I think these are the four teams that should be in the finals”.

Puerto Rico’s captain, Antonio Luis Feliciano expressed “Nicaraguans are Warriors, they play with heart, it took us some time to adjust in the first set, but we focused and won. The incorporation of the two middles since yesterday helped us a lot on the court, in addition to what it means emotionally to the team”.

Outside hitter Dennis Espinosa recognized that “as every game we must work a lot, in the beginning we had good rhythm, but when they score us five or six points in a row, we lose concentration and we make mistakes that we shouldn’t commit, because it’s in basic things. Puerto Rico is a good team and it helped us because we learn from their players”.

The Central American coach, Jorge Luis Mena said “we were aware it was a hard game, but we gave our all, we were low only in the second set. Tomorrow, we face another difficult match and we are going to prepare mentally after this loss because we want to battle for fifth place”.

USA beat Dominican Republic, advance to U21 Pan American Cup Semifinals

HAVANA, Cuba, June 8, 2023.- Defending champion United States beat Dominican Republic 3-1 (22-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-10) and obtained a spot in Friday’s semifinals at the U21 Men’s Pan American Cup at Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.

Defending champions will meet with Canada on Friday, winner of pool A qualifying directly into the semis.

Dominicans came out aggressive and jumped to an early lead in the first technical time 16-10, which Americans couldn’t catch up.

However, the water calmed down and USA prevailed with their height and technical-tactical performance with difference in attack (47-34), block (10-3) and service (9-7).

Outside hitter Trenton Moser finished as the leading scorer with 22 points, while his teammates middle Owen Rose and outside hitter Alexander Rottman added 10 points each.

For the Dominicans, opposite Adrian Figueroa with 15 points and outside hitter Ronny Molina with 14 carried their team after a happy beginning but then giving up in the next three sets.

Micah Wong (USA) and Jeremy Pichardo (DOM) battle the ball

Veteran USA coach Andy Read valued that “Dominican Republic started better and played a good first set. We didn’t, but in the end of that same beginning we recovered and in the next we managed to keep up and win the game. Tomorrow we must face Canada in the semifinals, I will simply do my job on the table and my players will do the rest”.

Libero Ryan Merk spoke about the Dominican team “it was hard, they served well, mostly in the first set, the rest of the match we were better to finish with the win”.

Dante Mañón, the opponents’ coach, said “the team is made of young players with others with some experience, they can’t keep the rhythm of play, sometimes they can’t believe it, they play freely and fall in a hole, they get stuck and that’s when the others score consecutive points. We don’t have a setter that shows respect, I am the one who must call out the playa and that’s fatal. We must fix this problem”.

Captain Ronny Molina expressed that “despite losing I felt happy because the team began aggressive, I loved the first set, but as usual, we can’t keep the same focus, we don’t know how to keep up playing well and that is why we can’t win. It’s not lack of practice, we do it twice a day, sometimes three times a day, however when our opponents move away, we give up and that puts us out of system, it hurts us”.

Cuba defeated the USA and is the other semifinalist of the U21 Pan American Cup

HAVANA, Cuba, June 7, 2023.- The Cuban team took the sting out of the 2022 match against the United States by winning in five sets (22-25, 25-22, 25-22, 21-25, 15-11) to dominate group B undefeated and became the other semifinalist of Men’s U-21 NORCECA Pan American Cup. Before, Canada advanced in Pool A. 

The hosts showed a happy and confident game against a difficult rival who came to defend their crown with its quality of their game, although this time they could not smile despite beating the winners in blocking (16-10) and finishing balanced in aces (6-6) since the locals were superior in attacks (54-49).

In the 2022 edition, the clash also ended 3-2 (25-21, 25-14, 20-25, 24-26, 15-12), but the success went to the Americans and, like this Wednesday, the fans of the capital came to support the home team and returned home very happy after the victory.

Opposite Alejandro Miguel González was the top scorer of the game with 27 points, escorted by the outside hitters Bryan Camino and Jose Ramon Gomez, both with 14 points. For the Americans, outside hitter Trenton Moser added 26, followed by Owen Rose and Alexander Rottman, with 11 each.

In group B, Cuba (3-0),  United States (2-1), Nicaragua (1-2) and Guatemala (0-3).

Nyerovwome Omene of USA blocking Cuba

 Cuban coach Jesus Cruz considered that “the United States always has good volleyball, because of its population they can change players and not lose the competitive level. It continues to be a force, we have grown and arrived with more experience. We went to the Alba Games where they played to a full room, these are elements that help us be better in this cup. This year we made fewer mistakes than in 2022 and the defense improved, but we are not satisfied, the blocking stops balls, but when we are behind in score, they don’t always get up. That was what our opponent did.”

One of the main players, Gómez, assured that “the team went out to fight, we had been preparing since we found out that the United States was going to be in our group, we revealed the tactical plan and the guidelines of the technical group, and we went out with all the grit and strength to win”.

Andy Read, coach of the United States, stated that “I am very proud of my boys, they did different things as we had planned in preparation and of course enjoying the game, the fans and playing against the locals, which is a merit. Our opponents had a more consistent game and Alejandro Miguel played a pretty strong game. Ours [game] is evolving in the tournament, it is improving step by step”.

The outstanding player of United States, Moser, valued that “today we found a team that is always strong, but much more concentrated and focused, they did a lot of damage with defense and when it came to defining the decisive points. It was a good match. We are evolving as the event goes on, from less to more”.

Nicaragua claimed a spot in quarterfinals at the U21 Pan American Cup

HAVANA, Cuba, June 7 , 2023.- Nicaragua defeated Guatemala 3-0 (25-23, 26-24, 25-15) to claim a spot in the quarterfinal round of the U21 Men’s Norceca Pan American Cup, set for Thursday at Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.

 All the players put their effort into the victory. Their coach got the support of each member of the team to not let the dream victory escape, especially in the second set when they came back from 1-8.

They managed to win with an advantage in attacks (35-32), blocking (11-8) and service (4-2). With this win, the Nicaraguans concluded the preliminary round in third place of group B with a record of one win and two setbacks, while Guatemala finished fourth with a 0-4 record.

Outside hitter Evans Solis was the top scorer of Nicaragua with 12 points, followed by outside hitters Guzmán Pacheco and Yader Leon, both with 10 points.

Nicaragua celebrate scoring against Guatemala

Archila Delgado, Guatemala’s leading player, was the top scorer of the game with 14 points, followed by middle blocker Yeferson Zavala with 13.

Jorge Luis Mena, Nicaragua’s coach, said excited “we are very happy. The bench players did their job, they took the responsibility. We did adjustments with our setters and outside hitters, and it worked out. It’s almost a fact that we’ll meet again for fifth place, but we will battle once more to win”.

The team’s captain said  “it was a great match, we performed well, our coach knew how to move each  player, the bench players did their job, the plays that we needed, and we got the victory. Coming from behind 1-8 in the second set helped us”.

Canada reaches the U21 Pan American Cup semifinals undefeated

HAVANA, Cuba, June 7, 2023.- Canada beat Dominican Republic in straight sets 25-17, 25-14 and 25-22 to top pool A undefeated and advance directly into the semifinals of the U21 Men’s Norceca Pan American Cup, to be held on Friday at Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.

The North Americans didn’t give any chances to Dominican Republic with a strong serve that put their reception in difficulties, while they had good combinations in attacks. In this skill they held a 44-25 advantage, in blocking 7-5 and in aces 7-1, but committed too many errors  (22-17).

Opposite Brendan Mills and outside hitter Jacob Sargent were the top scorers of the match with 14 points each, followed by outside hitter Kaden Schmidt with 12. On the opponents’ side, only their team captain Ronny Molina tallied 10 points, the only one with double digits.

Canada’s German coach Arnd Ludwin said “we played well, in the middle of the set we had some problems, but we solved them. Dominicans are always battling. Tomorrow we will rest, that’s good for their recovery, and we will practice in the afternoon, while we wait to see who will be our opponent in Friday’s semifinal”.

Jacob Sargent, Canada captain, expressed “I am very happy for the match and finish first in our pool. Dominican Republic is a team that is always battling, we came out to give our all with good blocking and other actions to come out with the win”.

Dante Mañón, Dominican coach, said with happiness “this has been our best match, they were loose, without pressure and I gave bench players an opportunity in this last preliminary match. It was as we expected, we played stronger than yesterday. There is no doubt they did their best”.  

Dominican captain Ronny Molina said “we got together a little while ago, it’s the second time we played all together and I think we did it very well. We are anxious to reach our goals and we still haven’t, but I hope that we will adjust well. I like the way Canada plays, they are a great opponent, they fight, they have a tall block and make the match difficult. They are always good coaches”.

Puerto Rico secures second place in pool A at U21 Pan American Cup

HAVANA, Cuba, June 7, 2023.- Puerto Rico defeated Haiti in straight sets (25-23, 25-12, 25-15) and secured second place in pool A at the U21 Men’s Norceca Pan American Cup being held at Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.

Puerto Rico finished the preliminary round with two victories and one loss, while their neighbors had no wins in three games.

Nevertheless Haiti have shown a lot of fight during the tournament and against Puerto Rico it was no exception, mostly in the first set when they were ahead in the scores.

The difference was that Puerto Rico led (12-0) in serves, but in blocking they were close (7-5) but in attacks Haiti was behind (36-21) .

Opposite Gregory Torres was the top scorer with 13, joined by outside hitters Axel Meléndez (12) and Jamal Ellis (11). On the opponents’ side, opposite hitter Estakend Beauvoir scored the most with 8.   

Gregory Torres (PUR) aginst Haiti block

Carlos Rodríguez, coach of Puerto Rico, said “we cannot underestimate Haiti, they have many human resources, and if they keep on working, they will be a powerful team in some years. I had to ask my team to be patient because Haiti is a team that jumps a lot, they attack well long balls and when other team’s breakout the systems of others that are better in system, while adjusting there’s some controversy in the level of play, but we were able to do so and capitalize little by little”.

Team captain Antonio Luis Feliciano said, “it was a great match, Haiti came with a lot of energy for the win, defending well, with surprising attacks, but with perseverance and keeping relaxed we won”.

Relis Dieulengy, the leader of Haiti , regretted that as a country they don’t have the conditions to practice. “We practice under the sun and on cement, we try to keep up with the competition”

Cuba without difficulties against Nicaragua at U21 Pan Am Cup

HAVANA, Cuba, June 6, 2023.- The host team had no setbacks in beating Nicaragua 3-0 (25-16, 25-11, 25-16) and earning their second victory in pool B at the U21 Men’s Norceca Pan American Cup being held at the space full Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.

The stats are a reflexion of the easy win with significant differences kills (44-24), blocks (12-0) and serves (9-1). But Cuba committed much more errors (18-10).

Opposite Alejandro Miguel González, who made his debut during this season in the Brazilian league, was again the top scorer with 16 tallies, and was accompanied by middles Alexis Wilson (13) and Yusniel Martí (13).

From their opponents, outside hitter Evans Solís was the only one with double digits scoring 10 points.

Cuban Jose Gomez receives

Jesús Cruz, Cuban coach, described the match as “relaxed, the team was better than yesterday, mostly in the first two sets, we performed with little errors especially in serves, which have always been a problem. But it worked as we’ve been practicing, all is set for tomorrow’s match against the United States to determine first place of pool B”.

Middle Alexis Wilson gave his opinion saying “it turned out to be an easy match, Nicaraguans can play but they don’t hace the physical condition nor the strength we have. I felt relaxed, happy because last year I was on the bench and in this tournament I am a starter. Tomorrow we must be prepared to face the United States”.

Nicaraguan coach Jorge Luis Mena said “despite everything we played better today than yesterday, the boys weren’t scared of Cuba, a tall team, very hard to break their blocks because of their height and we do what we can. Guatemala is very important and the advantage is that they aren’t afraid”.

Denis Espinoza, outside hitter said, “for me it’s a great experience representing my country and play against a powerhouse like Cuba, I liked it a lot and it serves us to learn. At the end we weren’t able to coordinate well, but we started united and supporting one another, in which we must continue to work on, as well as in reception”.

Close USA win over Guatemala at U21 Pan American Cup

HAVANA, Cuba, June 6, 2023.- Despite not being able to dominate the United States, Guatemala was the surprise on the second day of competition at the U21 Men’s Norceca Pan American Cup forcing their opponents to close in three straight tight sets 32-30, 27-25 and 25-21.

The Central Americans were resistant from the start, which presumably was going to be easy for the Americans, without a doubt the tournament favorites.

However they used all their squad, but what most damaged did to Guatemala were serves, where USA held a 12-4 advantage, as well as a considerable difference in attacks

(51-30). Blocking was 3-4 in favor of the losers, who committed fewer unforced errors than the Americans (38-18).

Opposite Shane Wetzel led all scorers with 18 points, joined by outside hitters Alexander Rottman (12) and Kyle Teune (11).

For Guatemala, outside hitter Yeferson Zavala was the only player with double digits (15).

Yeferson Zavala of Guatemala, against Owen Rose and Tyler Morgan, of USA

Andy Read, coach of the winning team, praised Guatemala’s players. “They did well, but our players battled and needed to grow to win. The first thing we did was to win a point and try to win the next and secure at critical moments to close the win. Tomorrow against Cuba we are expecting the home crowd with their exciting support for the host and we like to perform in that atmosphere, we love a crowd, it was like that last year and I hope it will be again”.

Outside hitter Alexander Rottman expressed «I am really impressed with Guatemala’s performance, things weren’t coming out right for us, we had fun and I an glad for these marches I’d played in which are my international debut”.

Luis Castañeda, Guatemalan coach, said «the boys wanted to have a good match because yesterday it wasn’t that pretty, but we came out to battle no matter who the opponent was, all teams are strong here they prepare well. We were close to winning the first two sets, but that’s the way volleyball is. We worked well in serves, which was crucial for us as well as our outside hitters. We are proud of our boys».

Middle Leonardo Molina of the Central American team said to be glad “we did well, we performed at a very high level of play. We had difficulties in receiving because the American serves were difficult”.

Puerto Rico stopped Dominican Republic at U21 Pan American Cup

HAVANA. Cuba, June 6, 2023.- Puerto Rico defeated Dominican Republic in straight sets 25-10, 25-20 and 25-16 in their first success in pool A at the U21 Men’s Norceca Pan American Cup at the city capital wide Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.

Puerto Ricans prevailed in every element over a Dominican squad without their usual combative energy and who showed early in the game their poor passing and reception, which their opponents took advantage of.

Outside hitter Axel Meléndez with 13 pinta and 11 from middle Janlvar Figueroa were the most outstanding players of their team, while Dominican captain Ronny Molina tallied 12, despite no having his best day, just like his teammates.

Jamal Elis (1), Jose Vargas (3) and Axel Melendez (8) of Puerto Rico block Ronny Molina (DOM)

Carlos Rodríguez,Puerto Rican coach rated the match as refreshing and valued that “Dominican Republic is a group with many resources, with time they will improve their performance. We were able to establish our game on serves. Two of our middles will arrive today Tuesday. Against Canada we played only with one middle. We are improving our rhythm”.

Team captain Antonio Luis Feliciano said “today we had well elaborated game plan, because we were able to study Dominican Republic and we saw they don’t dominate their passing too much, so we needed to get them out of system”. We felt tired, yesterday the match lasted three hard, but after this win we will rest better”.

Ronny Molina, Dominican captain said “we wanted the victory but it wasn’t possible. We have much more to give and we didn’t and we committed too many technical errors which caused us the loss”.

Coach Dante Mañón regreted his team’s performance. “We didn’t attack as we should against an opponent who was tired from yesterday, but the tension took over them and they weren’t visible on court. Our reception was null, I had to switch the setter twice and both did bad. They are tall and it was hard to attack from the outside. Tomorrow’s match against Canada is crucial”. 

Canada controlled a resilient Haiti at the U21 Men’s Pan American Cup

HAVANA, Cuba, June 6, 2023.- Canada’s national team earned their second victory in pool A at the U21 Men’s Pan American Cup after controlling a resilient Haiti 25-19, 25-17 and 25-20.

The Caribbeans had more positive moments than they did on opening day because of their opponents exhaustion who less than 24 hours ago had an intense five-set battle against Puerto Rico. But the level of play, preparation and skills shown by the tall Canadian players to score on advantages are in attacks (46-25) and serves (7-2), and a slightly balanced block (5-4).

The two leading scorers with 11 points each, Canadian outside hitter Reeve Gingera and Hati’s opposite Estakend Beauvoir, the only ones with double figures.

Cory Schoenherr and Devin Cooney of Canada stopped Haiti’s attackers

Arnd Ludwing, coach of Canada said that yesterday that had a long game and his players were too tired “it was evident in the first set, but we recovered and won. Now we continue with the next match”.

Team captain Jacob complied with his coach. “Yesterday we played five intense sets, but today we overcame our opponents, we played focused and with the win we remain undefeated”.

Haiti’s coach, Junior Siole said, “I wanted to see my team’s performance against an opponent like Canada, and according to the results make a projection for tomorrow against Puerto Rico, another strong opponent”.

Dieulengy Relis, leading the Caribbeans said “we feel better today and we played with more quality than yesterday. We can put up a fight against the opponents because we play with love, unity and battling hard”.

Cuba dominated Guatemala at U21 Pan American Cup in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, June 5, 2023.- Host team, as expected, beat Guatemala in straight sets 25-12, 25-18 and 25-14 in the closing match of opening day at the U21 Men’s Volleyball Norceca Pan American Cup at Ciudad Deportiva.

Committed to not missing the podium in this edition, Cubans played with a visible difference in attacks (37-13), blocks (9-2) and serves (9-4), but in unforced errors they committed more than their inexperienced opponents (25-20).

Opposite Alejandro Miguel González was the best scorer of the match with 16, including three aces. With 10 points, he was accompanied by middle Alexis Wilson and outside hitter Bryan Camino.

For the Central Americans, Ferdinando Gonzalez and Fernando Delgado only added five points.

Cuba’s block overcomes Guatemala’s attack

Cuban coach Jesús Cruz, commented, “the first match is always difficult for us, but we took advantage that they are an opponent who demands little like Guatemala, for everyone to be on court and shake off the stress and pressure of playing at this venue. In the second set we committed more errors than we should’ve”.  

Team captain of the host, setter Yonni Jesús Iglesias opinion was “the match was comfortable, we relaxed and played like we are used to. This year during preparation we are set to reach the podium and come out to battle with our all for first place”.

Coach of the opponent, Luis Fernando Casteñeda, said “we are aware that Cuba is an excellent team, but what’s important for us is competing, it’s the only way for athletes to develop and even more for those who are here for the first time. We always take out the best of the match”.

Adolfo Rivas, Guatemala’s captain, was happy to say, “we resisted against Cuba, even if they are a strong team, but what’s important is to play and tomorrow we are waiting to see what happens”.

United States without setbacks against Nicaragua at U21 Men’s Pan Am Cup

HAVANA, Cuba, June 5, 2023.- Defending champions United States opened the U21 Men’s Volleyball Norceca Pan American Cup without setbacks against Nicaragua in pool B at the large multi sport coliseum in Ciudad Deportiva.

The numbers reflect the Americans superiority in attacks (43-16), blocks (6-3) and serves (6-1), however in which for a little over an hour they tried strategies for their future games, while for Nicaragua it represented a luxury for their improvement facing the tournament favorite.

The team with eight players with more than two meters of height had outside hitter Kyle Teune and middle Owen Rose as their leading scorers, both with 11 points, while for the Central Americans Denis Espinoza with 7 was the who scored the most for his team.

Trenton Moser of USA against Evans Solis of NCA

Teune said “it was a fun match, yesterday we prepared well, we worked on communication and things turned out well. We tried to give the best of ourselves, to follow the most we could, but we respect all our opponents equally. We will always come out to give our best. I love being once again in Havana, I enjoy the coliseum’s  atmosphere a lot”.

His coach Andy Read, considered that “it was a good match, it was the first time for many players, and we tried that everyone makes the most out of it. Yes, I saw Canada and Puerto Rico, they are both very good teams, and we will face one of them and we hope that all goes better”.

The Central American coach, Jorge Luis Mena expressed his satisfaction of having the opportunity to face teams with the level of play like the Americans. “The game was the way it had to be, and slowly the opponent took us to their rhythm, but we are here to take advantage of games like the one against Guatemala. We are preparing to defend our U23 Central American title that we won last year”.

Víctor Ariel Cruz, captain of Nicaragua, expressed “we had the opportunity to face the defending champion, and I am glad about my teammates’ performance because we win as a team in learning and to keep on developing in the sport”.

Canada won intense three-hour battle to Puerto Rico at U21 Pan American Cup

LA HABANA, Cuba, 5 de junio de 2023.- Canada defeated Puerto Rico in intense three hour battled five sets on the first day of the U21 Men’s Norceca Pan American Cup taking place at Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.

The North Americans dominated by a 26-28, 27-25, 22-25, 25-19 and 19-17 score in a challenge where they were superior in attacks (66-55), blocks (10-7) and serves (10-7), and surprisingly committed much more unforced errors than Puerto Rico (45-33).

After two and a half hours went by they showed a much more exciting closing in which both teams were one point away of winning, but neither on did until the Canadian team, bronze in 2022, not only took advantage of their height and skills, but they had the necessary balance to combine the plays that gave the win.

Outside hitter Jacob Sargent with a height of two meters, was the leading scorer of the match with 27 points, including two blocks and three aces. Followed by opposite Mills (15), middle Cory Schoenherr (14) and outside hitter Kaden Schmidt (11).

Standing out for the Caribbean team, opposite Gregory Torres (26), joined by outside hitters Antonio Luis Feliciano (14) and Axel Gabriel Meléndez (10).

Cory Schoenherr of Canada against Puerto Rico’s block

Arnd Ludwing, coach of Canada, I value that “it was a really good match to start off the tournament, hard because of the close scores, mostly the first sets. Puerto Rico moved forward, we got worried, and they took control again, but in the end, I believe we won because we played as a team. Our physical attribute wasn’t our best skill, nor many blocks, however because it’s high it helped our defense to move better”.

Jacob Sargent, captain of the North Americans, considered that “we started too soft, our opponents noticed it, but we went on improving little by little, and I believe we won because some of our passes weren’t too comfortable for them, and it was much easier for us to attack and score”.

Carlos Rodríguez, coach of Puerto Rico, considered “we lost a bit of concentration at the end of the match about deciding where the receiving was, but this is a team with little preparation, and gave a great performance because in the end it could’ve gone our way. I think we did a great job today and this is just starting”.

Arturo Luis Feliciano, team captain, said about Canada that they are a great team, with tall players and strength, with stability, but I think the key to the game was perseverance and focusing on serves and reception, and that pushed us to reach the tie-break. In the end we could’ve won, but those are errors that can happen to any team, errors to be analyzed and then they must not happen again”.

Dominicans beat Haiti in U21 Men’s Pan American Cup opening

HAVANA, Cuba, June 5, 2023.- Dominican Republic opened with a 3-0 victory over Haiti at the Men’s U21 Norceca Pan American Cup at the Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.

The score ended 25-13, 25-23 and 25-22 in which outside hitter Ronny Molina led all scorers with 17 points, followed by opposite Adrian Figuero who added 9. For the opponent team the most productive was Dieulengy Relis with 11 tallies.

Ronny Molina (DOM) against triple block of Haiti

Dante Mañón, Dominican coach, said “this match was to get in the rhythm of play, but I believe we can be more solid. On occasions we were superior, but suddenly in the third set we went one on one. We must improve in concentration”.

Molina, Dominican captain, said “we are focused on winning because all matches are important and today, we won. Now ouf goal is Puerto Rico, we must prepare on focusing better for tomorrow”.

Junior Sieole, coach of Haiti, spoke about the new rule proposed in March by the FIVB for the upcoming U19 and U21 world championships, and that the continental confederations must put in practice during these tournaments, the new rule is that the service reception is only permitted by a digging action or any action that does not involve overhand fingers.

“I think that uneven the team a bit, as well as some errors we committed in tactical plays, otherwise perhaps we could have had a better result”.

Team captain Relis also referred to the new rule proposal, “but tomorrow we hop to do better”.

Several aiming the podium at U21 Pan American Cup in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, June 4, 2023.- Several teams competing at the U21 Men’s Norceca Pan American Cup are aiming to reach the podium, firmly expressed coaches of the United States, Canada and Cuba, while others wish for their teams to take some wins.

Carlos Rodríguez, coach of Puerto Rico: “We’ve had a short time of preparation, most of the players study in the United States. We are here to work, this group has suffered the effects of the pandemic, and this is their first competition, they are anxious to play. Offensively my team has strength, and we work well receiving as well, and it will be key to look for a victory. There are teams with great level, but anything can happen, and we will do our best effort and put on a spectacle”.  

Dante Mañon, coach of Dominican Republic: “Our goal is to prepare the team, it’s almost entirely new because four of its members are in Colombia with the senior team training for the Central American and Caribbean Games of San Salvador. This Cup gives us the right to be next year at the Norceca U21 Continental Championship, a qualifier for the age-group 2024 world championship. That’s why they can have the necessary experience”.

Andy Read, coach of United States: “We are here to defend the title we won last year and that’s why we brought a strong team with players that block well and also have a good serve”.

Arnd Ludwing, coach of Canada: “This tournament serves as preparation for the U21 World Championship in Bahrain next July. We held two weeks of training with 16 players, now we have these 12. This Cup will help them unite as a team. Last year also in Havana the team claimed the bronze medal, this time around we want to improve that position”.

Teams (DOM) going through preliminary inquiry

Sartre Derisier, coach of Haiti: “This is a good tournament and well organized, and nice because it gathers players of the region. We feel well with the opportunity provided by Norceca to be in these tournaments with teams of great level, coaches also improve and we all enjoy these events”.

Luis Fernando Castañeda, coach of Guatemala: “It’s important to compete in these tournaments because they help us improve in ranking. Sadly, four members of the team aren’t here because five players are going to the Final Four and are preparing for the Central American and Caribbean Games of El Salvador. Still, we brought players that will gain experience who we continue to develop”.

Axel Enrique Zamora, coach of Nicaragua: “Our team is made of really good players, who are preparing to defend our Central American U23 title. So this experience comes Handy”.

Jesús Cruz, coach of Cuba: “This team is based on last year’s one, now four under-19 players will be practicing for other age-group competitions, because next year we have to compete at the U21 world championship qualifier, and they need to be familiar with the level of play. This Cup also serves to evaluate some players. We are aware that the United States and Canada are the main opponents, we will fight to reach the podium and that way we will take out the bad taste of our fourth-place finish in 2022”.

USA Men’s U21 Team to Compete for Pan Am Cup in Cuba

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, June 2, 2023. – USA Volleyball has selected the 12 players who will represent the Unites States at the 2023 Men’s U21 NORCECA Pan American Cup on June 5-10 in Havana, Cuba.

 The 12-athlete team was selected from a roster of 20 at the end of a five-day training block in Anaheim, California.

 Six players on the roster return from the team that won gold at the 2022 Men’s U21 Pan American Cup in Havana and qualified for the 2023 World Championship: middle blocker Nyherowo Omene, outside hitters Dane Hillis, Trent Moser and Kyle Teune, opposite Shane Wetzel and setter Tyler Morgan.

Omene will serve as team captain.

Newcomers to the team are outside hitter Alex Rottman, opposite Theo Snoey, middles Owen Rose and Micah Wong Diallo, setter Gabe Dyer and libero Ryan Merk.

Long Beach State’s Andy Read, who led the 2022 Men’s U21 Team to Pan Am Cup gold, is the team’s head coach. His assistants will be Rory Prager of the University of Southern California and UC San Diego’s Taylor Hammond.

U.S. Roster for the 2023 Men’s U21 NORCECA Pan American Cup

No. Name (Position, Height, Birth year, Hometown, College, USAV Region)

1 Ryan Merk (L, 6-0, 2003, Chicago, Ill., Penn State, Great Lakes)

4 Dane Hillis (OH, 6-2, 2003, San Clemente, Calif., Long Beach State, Southern California)

7 Gabe Dyer (S, 6-5, 2003, San Clemente, Calif., UC San Diego, Southern California)

8 Kyle Teune (OH, 6-6, 2003, Downers Grove, Ill., Ohio State, Great Lakes)

10 Tyler Morgan (S, 6-7, 2003, Dike, Iowa, Lewis, Iowa)

13 Shane Wetzel (Opp, 6-7, 2004, Wekiwa Springs, Fla., Ohio State, Florida)

16 Nyherowo Omene (MB, 6-8, 2003, South Holland, Ill., Princeton, Great Lakes)

17 Trent Moser (OH, 6-8, 2003, Gilbert, Ariz., BYU, Arizona)

22 Owen Rose (MB, 6-8, 2003, Long Island, N.Y., Penn State, Garden Empire)

23 Alex Rottman (OH, 6-7, 2004, Santa Barbara, Calif., Stanford, Southern California)

24 Micah Wong Diallo (MB, 6-9, 2004, Los Angeles, Calif., UCLA, Southern California)

25 Theo Snoey (OH, 6-8, 2004, Berkeley, Calif., Stanford, Northern California)

Head Coach: Andy Read (Long Beach State)

Assistant Coach: Rory Prager (University of Southern California)

Assistant Coach: Taylor Hammond (UC San Diego)

Performance Analyst: Michael Bouril (Purdue)

ATC: Cherryl Bueno

Team Lead: Donovan Martinez (USAV NTDP)

Canada Men’s Under 21 Roster Announced

Canada, June 2,  2023.- Volleyball Canada congratulates the athletes named to the roster for upcoming U21 NORCECA Pan American Cup to be held in Havana, Cuba and the U21 FIVB Men’s World Championship in Manama, Bahrain.

The players below will represent Canada at the following:

NORCECA Men’s U21 Pan American Cup from June 3-11 in La Habana, Cuba

FIVB Men’s U21 World Championships from July 7-16 in Manama, Bahrain

Follow the team’s progress at the Pan Am Cup at
2023 U21 Men
Devin Cooney, Kanata ON
Dennis Cota, Mississauga ON
Jonah Dueck, Rosenort  MB
Reeve Gingera, Calgary  AB
Spencer Grahame, Selkirk MB
Mason Greves, Calgary  AB
Josh Jehle, St. Andrews  MB
Samuel Ludwig, Winnipeg MB
Isaiah Mamer, Wilkie SK
Brendan Mills, London  ON
Lucas Musschoot, Grenfell SK
Renn Petryk, Edmonton  AB
Matthew Rugosi, Toronto ON
Jacob Sargent, Lethbridge AB
Kaden Schmidt, Mississauga ON
Cory Schoenherr, Waterloo ON
U21 Head Coach: Arnd (Lupo) Ludwig                    
U21 Asst. Coach :  Mike Stephens              
U21 Asst. Coach : Sean McKay                    
U21 Statistician:  Christophe Elek               
U21 Therapist: Meredith Waisman                        
NextGen & U21 Strength and conditioning: Louis-Jean Tremblay                 
U21 MPC : Brendan Dinsdale      
High Performance Director: Julien Boucher                          
Team Coordinator: Matheus Braz              
U21 Team Manager : Melanie Desrochers

Havana once again host of the U21 Men’s Pan American Cup

HAVANA, Cuba, June 1, 2023.- Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum in Havana, Cuba will host once again the NORCECA U21 Men’s Pan American Cup from June 5-10.

The competition marks the beginning of the qualification process towards the 2025 FIVB U21 Men’s Championship; therefore, it’s a mandatory eligibility requirement to reach the next phase, the 2024 NORCECA U21 Men’s Continental Championship.

Cuba hosted last year’s edition of the U21 Pan American Cup with highly competitive clashes, in which the United States sealed their undefeated record with a 3-0 (25-19, 30-28, 25-14) gold medal match win against Mexico who won’t be in this year’s competition. Canada claimed the bronze in a thrilling tie-break battle over Cuba 3-2 (13-25, 25-19, 25-15, 22-25, 15-12).

Eight teams will be competing with defending champions United States competing in the preliminary round against host Cuba, Guatemala and Nicaragua in pool B. Canada, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Puerto Rico are placed in pool A.

After the three-day preliminary round, the two pool winners will advance directly into the semifinals, while the second and third positions will play the cross-over qualification round.  

Preliminary Round Schedule

Monday, June 5

10:00   Dominican Republic vs Haiti

12:00   Canada vs Puerto Rico

14:00   United States vs Nicaragua

16:00   Cuba vs Guatemala

Tuesday, June 6

10:00   Canada vs Haiti

12:00   Dominican Republic vs Puerto Rico

14:00   United States vs Guatemala

16:00   Cuba vs Nicaragua

Wednesday, June 7

10:00   Haiti vs Puerto Rico

12:00   Canada vs Dominican Republic

14:00   Nicaragua vs Guatemala

16:00   Cuba vs United States

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