Five college men’s volleyball players will represent the United States in beach volleyball at the 2011 World University Games.
USA Volleyball announced Wednesday that two men’s teams were selected to compete in the international tournament on Aug. 13-18 in Shenzhen, China.
One of the United States teams will include UC Irvine outside attacker Connor Hughes and USC outside attacker Maddison McKibbin. The other team will consist of USC outside attacker Tony Ciarelli and USC setter Jeff Carlson.
UC Irvine outside attacker Will Montgomery will serve as the United States alternate player.
All four players on the two United States teams have international beach volleyball experience.
Ciarelli and Carlson won the silver medal at the 2008 FIVB Beach Youth (Under-19) World Championships. Both players also competed on the 2010 AVP Tour before the league dissolved.
Hughes playing with Carlson finished in fifth place at the 2010 FIVB Swatch Junior (Under-21) World Championships. In addition, McKibbin finished in fifth place at the 2008 FIVB Youth (Under-19) Beach World Championships
USC led all college teams with three players selected to the teams, while UC Irvine had two players.
Ciarelli, a Second-Team All-American, started all but one match in 2011 and was in the nation’s top 25 with both a 3.61 kills per game average and .317 attack percentage. McKibbin and Carlson both came off the bench for USC throughout the season as the Trojans became the first team in 16 years to be ranked No. 1 for the entire regular season.
Hughes redshirted for UC Irvine last season after averaging 1.79 kills per game as a freshman in 2010. Montgomery, the alternate, came off the bench throughout the season and was second on the Anteaters with a 2.28 digs per game average.
The United States best finish in beach volleyball at the 2010 World University Championships was seventh place with Mark Van Zweiten and Stafford Slick. In addition, the team of McKibbin and Ciarelli finished in 13th place.
To be eligible for the World University Games a player must be a current or recently graduate college student.