Nine incoming freshmen men’s volleyball recruits will begin their attempt to win a gold medal for the United States at a prestigious international tournament.
No. 9 United States will open the Boys’ Volleyball Youth World Championship with a pool-play match against No. 10 Egypt at 5 p.m. (EST) Friday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The United States qualified for this 16-team tournament after reaching the championship match at the 2010 Youth NORCECA Championship before losing to Cuba to finish with the silver medal. The team also won the bronze medal at the Pan American Cup in June.
This is the second men’s volleyball World Championship to take place in August.
The U.S. Junior National Team had a program-best fourth-place finish at its World Championship, which required players to be 21 years old or younger. Players eligible for this upcoming World Championship can’t be more than 19 years old.
Pepperdine leads all colleges with four recruits on the United States’ 12-player roster. In addition, Lewis, Long Beach State, Loyola, Penn State and UC Santa Barbara each have an incoming freshman who will represent the United States at the tournament.
All nine incoming freshmen recruits on the U.S. roster were selected to the Volleyball Magazine Fab 50, an annual list that ranks the top 50 high school senior boy’s volleyball players.
The United States is one of the four teams Pool A. Along with its match against Egypt, the United States will play No. 15 Bulgaria on Saturday and No. 1 Argentina on Sunday in pool-play.
The top two teams in each pool following the three-match pool-play round will advance to the second round of the World Championship.
The United States failed to reach the second round at the 2009 World Championship and finished in 10th place. In its five appearances at the bi-annual tournament, the United States has never finished higher than fifth place.
No. 9 United States (0-0, 0-0 Pool A) vs. No. 10 Egypt (0-0, 0-0 Pool A)
Match vitals: 6 p.m. (5 p.m. EST) in Buenos Aires
Follow live: Live stats
2011 U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team Roster
Setter: James Shaw — Mountain View*
Setter: Matthew West — Pepperdine
Opposite: Ben Patch — Vegas VC*
Outside attacker: Cody Caldwell — Loyola
Outside attacker: Austin Kingi — UC Santa Barbara
Outside attacker: Greg Petty — Lewis
Outside attacker: Scott Rhein — Pepperdine
Outside attacker: Matthew Tarantino — Pepperdine
Middle attacker: Nikola Antonijevic — Pepperdine
Middle attacker: Josh Kirchner — West Allis Lightning*
Middle attacker: Aaron Russell — Penn State
Libero: Andrew Sato — Long Beach State
*Denotes current high school player and his club affliation