Thursday, 23 May 2024

Grueling End to Group Play for MCNT – WUG

In an intense match that determined the fate of the U.S. Men’s Collegiate National Team – World University Games (MCNT – WUG) in the 2019 World University Games men’s volleyball main quarterfinal bracket, Portugal emerged victorious with a 3-0 (25-19, 33-31, 25-21) win at PalaTedeschi.

A Hard-Fought Battle

MCNT – WUG head coach Ryan Perrotte acknowledged the tough challenge his team faced, stating, “I thought we really played hard, we just couldn’t make a play when needed, and that’s the difference at international competition. You have to be a playmaker, and we just weren’t able to do that consistently enough in our serve and pass game, in our blocking and our defense and sideout game. Unfortunately, Portugal was able to do those things when needed.”

A Nail-Biting Second Set

Although Portugal took an early lead in the first set and maintained it throughout, the second set was a thrilling back-and-forth battle. With seven lead changes and 21 tie scores, neither team held a significant advantage. Despite Portugal’s 23-21 lead, the Americans fought back and forced extra points at 23-all and 24-all. Ultimately, Portugal secured a 33-31 set victory.

Portugal Seals the Match

In the third set, Portugal consistently took four-point leads, but MCNT – WUG relentlessly fought back each time, except for the final moment. The Americans closed in at 22-21 after a Portugal error, but unfortunately, lost the next three points, conceding the set and the match.

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Exceptional Performances

MCNT – WUG opposite Jaylen Jasper showcased his skills, leading all players with 21 kills on 43 swings for an impressive .488 scoring percentage. He also contributed two blocks, totaling 23 points, the highest in the match. Middle blocker Tyler Mitchem also delivered a strong performance, scoring 12 points on 16 attacks and adding three blocks. Blake Leeson, another middle blocker, contributed with two blocked Portugal attacks and four points of his own.

Recognizing the Team’s Efforts

Coach Perrotte commended Jaylen Jasper for his outstanding performance, stating, “Credit to Jaylen, I thought he played tremendous for us. It was his best match of the tournament.” He also praised the middles, Tyler and Blake, for their excellent contributions.

Noteworthy Defensive Efforts

Raymond Barsemian led MCNT – WUG with 27 receptions, 30 percent of which were positive. Michael Simmons, the team’s libero, posted 19 receptions, with an impressive 63 percent being positive. Brett Wildman also achieved a double-digit reception count.

Moving Forward

With a 2-2 record and a third-place finish in Group D, the U.S. Men’s Collegiate National Team will advance to the 9-16 Quarterfinals. They are set to face Switzerland on Thursday, July 11, at 12 Noon local time (6 a.m. Eastern time) at PalaTedeschi in Benevento, Italy.


  • What is MCNT – WUG?
    MCNT – WUG stands for the U.S. Men’s Collegiate National Team – World University Games, representing the United States in the World University Games men’s volleyball tournament.

  • Who is the head coach of MCNT – WUG?
    Ryan Perrotte is the head coach of MCNT – WUG, leading the team in international competition.

  • Who were the standout players in the match against Portugal?
    Jaylen Jasper delivered an exceptional performance with 21 kills and two blocks, while Tyler Mitchem and Blake Leeson also made significant contributions.

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Although MCNT – WUG faced a tough loss against Portugal, their relentless effort and notable performances showcase their talent and determination. With their upcoming match against Switzerland in the 9-16 Quarterfinals, the team is eager to showcase their skills and fight for a higher placement in the tournament.

For more information about MCNT – WUG and their journey in the World University Games, visit Alpinetgheep.