Fifteen current college men’s volleyball players will play for the United States in the World Championship.
USA Volleyball announced Monday its U.S. Men’s Junior National Team 12-player roster and seven alternates for the 2011 FIVB Men’s Junior (U-21) World Championship in Brazil.
“Most of our players have played a major role on their collegiate teams and that experience should carry over quite well for us,” head coach John Hawks said in statement released Monday. “I feel like we are not going to be physically outmatched by anyone. This year’s team has tremendous depth and we can start a wide variety of lineups and still maintain a high level of cohesion on the court.”
The roster includes 10 players from last year’s team that won the NORCECA Men’s Junior Continental Championship. That title qualified the United States to play in the World Championship.
Long Beach State and Stanford lead all college programs with three current players selected to the team.
49ers setter Connor Olbright and outside attacker Taylor Crabb were named to the 12-man roster with middle attacker Jeff Ornee being named an alternate. For the Cardinal, middle attacker Eric Mochalski and outside attacker Brian Cook made the team with outside attacker Steven Irvin being named an alternate.
UC Irvine had two players — outside attacker Jeremy Dejno, middle attacker Scott Kevorken — make the team along with the Anteaters’ incoming freshman libero Michael Brinkley.
Three other incoming freshman were named to the national team — setter and USC recruit Micah Christenson, setter and Pepperdine recruit Matt West and opposite and Peppderine recruit Joshua Taylor.
The MPSF led all Division I-II men’s volleyball conferences with 13 current players. The EIVA and MIVA each had one player named to the team.
The U.S. Men’s Junior National Team will train July 11-23 in Geneva, Ohio. The team will travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina on July 24 to play in an international tournament before competing in the World Championship on Aug. 1-10.
“Our goal is to win the gold medal,” Hawks said. “We started thinking about that as a possibility when selecting this team and the guys have been thinking about it since we qualified last summer in Canada for the FIVB World Championship. We realize that the United States has never medaled at this event which makes this challenge even more exciting for us all. We are not guaranteeing anything, but we will guarantee that we will compete in every single play.”
2011 U.S. Men’s Junior National Team
Setter: Micah Christenson, USC*
Setter: Connor Olbright, Long Beach State
Opposite: Maurice Torres, Pepperdine
Opposite: Joshua Taylor, Pepperdine*
Middle attacker: Eric Mochalski, Stanford
Middle attacker: Scott Kevorken, UC Irvine
Middle attacker: Dylan Davis, UC Santa Barbara
Outside attacker: Jeremy Dejno, UC Irvine
Outside attacker: Taylor Sander, BYU
Outside attacker: Brian Cook, Stanford
Outside attacker: Taylor Crabb, Long Beach State
Libero: Henry Cassiday, USC
2011 U.S. Men’s Junior National Team Alternates
Setter: Matt West, Pepperdine*
Middle attacker: Grayson Overman, Ohio State
Middle attacker: Jeff Ornee, Long Beach State
Outside attacker: Robart Page, UCLA
Outside attacker: Steven Irvin, Stanford
Outside attacker: Jace Olsen, Penn State
Libero: Michael Brinkley, UC Irvine*
*Indicates incoming freshman