Thursday, 23 May 2024

Young Team Headed to NORCECA Championship

A young and promising U.S. Men’s National Team is currently in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for the highly anticipated NORCECA Continental Championship. As the defending champions of the biannual NORCECA Championships, the team is determined to showcase their skills and secure victory once again.

Comprised of talented and dynamic players who have participated in both FIVB and Pan American events this season, the U.S. team has their sights set on making the roster for the FIVB World Cup in October and ultimately the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This tournament serves as a valuable opportunity for the team to prove their worth and make a lasting impact on the international stage.

According to U.S. Head Coach John Hawks, who is an assistant for UCLA’s men’s team, this tournament is a crucial chance for the players to demonstrate their abilities and solidify their positions on the World Cup roster. It is also an opportunity to make their mark on the road to Tokyo next summer.

The roster includes standout players such as middle blockers Jeff Jendryk and George Huhmann, as well as setter and team captain Micah Ma’a. These three players were part of the U.S. men’s team at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League Final, where they achieved silver this year. The team also boasts skilled outside hitters T.J. DeFalco, Cody Kessel, Brenden Sander, and David Wieczorek. The middle blockers consist of Huhmann, Jendryk, Tommy Carmody, and Mitch Stahl, while the opposites are Kyle Ensing and Kyle Russell. Setters Ma’a and Joe Worsley, along with liberos Kyle Dagostino and Gage Worsley, complete the roster.

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After the tournament, Huhmann will be playing his final season at Princeton, while Gage Worsley will have two more seasons at Hawaii. The team’s assembled talents possess exceptional serving abilities and the necessary size to dominate at the net. However, their focus lies in being in system enough to effectively set their quicks, which is a significant weapon for them.

Assisting Head Coach John Hawks are Princeton Head Coach Sam Shweisky and Joaquin Acosta. Together, they form a formidable coaching team ready to guide the young U.S. team to success.

With seven teams competing in the NORCECA Championships, including Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the United States, the pressure to qualify for the NORCECA Tokyo qualifier in January looms over the other teams. Fortunately, the U.S. Men have already secured their qualification, alleviating the pressure and allowing them to focus on playing their best.

Hawks has high expectations for the team, expressing their intent to go to the championship with a winning mentality and a resilient and fun-loving approach. The team is ready to showcase their talent, determination, and grit as they strive for victory in the NORCECA Championship.