Four West Coast college players will represent the United States at one of the top international tournaments of the year.
USA Volleyball announced Thursday that UCLA setter Kyle Caldwell, USC outside attacker Tony Ciarelli, Cal State Northridge outside attacker Matt Stork and UCLA middle attacker Nick Vogel made the U.S. roster for the 2011 Pan American Games.
Caldwell, Ciarelli, Stork and Vogel were four of 11 players selected to the U.S. Men’s Pan American Games team for the international tournament later this month in Guadalajara, Mexico. The initial U.S. roster revealed last week had 19 players, including 10 current college men’s volleyball players.
Caldwell, who will be the Bruins setter in 2012, enters his senior season after playing outside attacker for part of last year. In this role, Caldwell was third on the team with a 2.51 kills per game average.
Ciarelli was a Second-Team All-American last season after he finished in the nation’s top 25 with a 3.61 kills per game average and a .317 attack percentage. The senior also helped the Trojans reach the 2011 Final Four and represented the United States in beach volleyball at the World University Games in August.
Stork split time at setter and outside attacker with Cal State Nothridge during the 2011 season. He ended the year third on the Matadors with a 1.99 kills per game average.
Vogel is the third Bruin middle attacker to make a U.S. team this year. UCLA middle attacker Wes Dunlap and Thomas Amberg represented the United States at the World University Games.
Among the non-college players to make the final roster includes U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team outside attacker Evan Patak.
The Pan American Games is a multi-sport competition held every four years for North and South America countries. It is the largest multi-sport event besides the Olympics.
The upcoming Pan American Games are later in the year than previous tournaments, which prevented some players from participating because of commitments to overseas clubs and colleges.
“I have to think that other teams are in the same situation as us,” UC Irvine and U.S. Pan American Games Team head coach John Speraw said in a statement. “I have no idea what level the other teams are going to be. We’re going to take advantage of every opportunity we have to make this the best team possible. We are going to work really hard and represent USA Volleyball the best we can.”
The United States finished the last Pan American Games in 2007 in second place losing to Brazil in the championship match. The last time the United States won the Pan American Games was in 1987.
The United States will begin the Pan American Games on Oct. 24 with a pool-play match against Puerto Rico.
U.S. Men’s Pan American Games initial roster
Setter: Matt Stork, Cal State Northridge*
Setter: Kyle Caldwell, UCLA*
Opposite: Evan Patak, UC Santa Barbara
Outside attaacker: Tri Bourne, USC
Outside attacker: Tony Ciarelli, USC*
Outside attacker: Jordan DuFault, UC Irvine
Outside attacker: Eric Vance, Cal State Northridge
Middle attacker: Cody Loe, Cal State Northridge
Middle attacker: Matt Rawson, Hawai’i
Middle attacker: Nick Vogel, UCLA*
Libero: Krik Francis, Long Beach State
*Denotes current college player