Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Twenty Players Comprise Men’s Jr. Training Team

The U.S. Men’s Junior National Training Team for 2020 has been announced, consisting of twenty players under the age of 21. This talented group of athletes will gather in Colorado Springs in August for training, with the goal of competing at the NORCECA U21 Pan American Cup. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, these plans are subject to change.

A Promising Team with International Experience

Among the players selected for the training team are several returning members from the 2019 Boys Youth National Team, including libero Mason Briggs and outside hitters Clarke Godbold, Alex Knight, and Francesco Sani. Also joining them are setters Joe Karlous and Kevin Kauling, middle blockers Ethan Hill and Gavin Julien, and opposite James Hartley. Kauling previously represented the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team at the U21 Pan Am Cup in 2019.

Additionally, there are players who were part of the 2018 Boys Youth National Team that achieved second place at the NORCECA U19 Championship. This group includes middle blocker Nathaniel Gates, Mason Briggs, Clarke Godbold, James Hartley, Ethan Hill, Alex Knight, and Joe Karlous.

Excellent Coaching Staff

Leading the team is Kevin Burch, the head coach of the Ohio State Men’s Volleyball team. Burch previously served as an assistant coach for the Boys Youth National Team in 2018-19. Assisting him are Pat Shawaryn from Princeton University and Matt Werle, the head coach of Grand Canyon University. This experienced coaching staff has carefully selected a talented group of players who they believe will be highly competitive internationally.

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Olympic Connections

Two players on the training team have notable connections to Olympic volleyball. Rees Barnett is the son of two-time Olympic outside hitter Kevin Barnett, while Bryce Dvorak is the nephew of 1984 gold medal setter Dusty Dvorak. These players bring a strong volleyball lineage to the team, further enhancing its potential.

Full Roster

The complete roster of the training team is as follows:

  • Rees Barnett (Opp, 6-5, Redondo Beach, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
  • Mason Briggs (L, 6-0, Valencia, Calif., LBSU)
  • Ethan Champlin (L, 6-3, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA)
  • Bryce Dvorak (S, 6-4, Newport Beach, Calif., Pepperdine)
  • Nolan Flexen (Opp, 6-8, Rio Rancho, N.M., Grand Canyon)
  • Nathaniel Gates (MB, 6-8, La Jolla, Calif., Stanford)
  • Clarke Godbold (OH, 6-6, San Pedro, Calif., LBSU)
  • James Hartley (Opp, 6-6, Waxhaw, N.C., Princeton)
  • Ethan Hill (MB, 6-7, San Clemente, Calif., UCLA)
  • Gavin Julien (MB, 6-8, Whitefish Bay, Wis., BYU)
  • Joseph Karlous (S, 5-11, Costa Mesa, Calif., Pepperdine)
  • Kevin Kauling (S, 6-8, Naperville, Ill., Lewis)
  • Alex Knight (OH, 6-6, Culver City, Calif., UCLA)
  • Gavin Leising (MB, 6-9, Newhall, Calif., Princeton)
  • Keaton Long (OH/Opp, 6-4, Plano, Texas, Lewis)
  • Jacob Pasteur (OH/Opp, 6-4, Westminster, Md., The Ohio State)
  • Will Rottman (OH, 6-5, Santa Barbara, Calif., Stanford)
  • Francesco Sani (OH, 6-8.5, Bethesda, Md., UC Irvine)
  • Bryce Walker (MB, 6-8, Bartlett, Ill., Purdue Fort Wayne)
  • Henry Wedbush (S, 6-4, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Princeton)


Q: When will the U.S. Men’s Junior National Training Team begin training?
A: The team is scheduled to gather in Colorado Springs in August for intensive training.

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Q: What is the goal of the team?
A: The team aims to compete at the NORCECA U21 Pan American Cup.

Q: Are the plans subject to change?
A: Yes, the plans for training and competition are subject to change based on the regional and national responses to COVID-19.


The U.S. Men’s Junior National Training Team is a promising group of young athletes who are ready to take on the world. With a talented roster and experienced coaching staff, they are well-equipped to compete internationally. We look forward to seeing their progress and wish them the best of luck in their upcoming endeavors.