Ten current college players and 11 incoming freshmen recruits were selected to the U.S. initial roster for an upcoming international tournament.
USA Volleyball announced Friday afternoon its 21-player roster for the U.S. Men’s Junior National Training Team that will prepare to compete at the NORCECA Under-21 Continental Championship later this summer.
Highlighting the training team roster includes three players — USC middle attacker Andy Benesh, USC outside attacker Lucas Yoder and Ohio State setter Christy Blough — who earned Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshmen All-American Team honors earlier this year. Yoder also earned an AVCA All-American Honorable Mention as he finished his freshman year in the nation’s top 15 for kills.
Stanford and UCLA led all colleges with four players or incoming recruits selected to the training team. In addition, BYU, Loyola and USC each had two players earn a spot on the U.S. training roster.
Along with these schools, Pepperdine, Ohio State, UC Santa Barbara, Lewis, Hawai’i and Ball State all had one player make the initial roster.
The 21-player roster will be cut to 12 players following a training session in July at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Pacid, New York.
“There are so many different ways we can put together this team,” USC and U.S. Men’s Junior National Team coach Bill Ferguson said in a statement released Thursday. “It will be very difficult.”
The NORCECA championships will be July 28 to Aug. 3 in El Salvador. The top two teams from that tournament will also clinch a spot in the 2015 FIVB Junior World Championship.
The United States won the last NORCECA title in 2011 to qualify for the 2013 Junior World Championship.
U.S. MEN’S JUNIOR NATIONAL TRAINING TEAM
Setter: Christy Blough, Ohio State
Setter: Soren Dion-Kindem, Pepperdine
Setter: Cole Fiers, Stanford
Setter: Curtis Stallings, Long Beach State
Opposite: Storm Faagata, BYU
Outside attacker: Jacob Arnitz, UCLA
Outside attacker: Jackson Bantle, UCLA
Outside attacker: Hayden Boehle, UC Santa Barbara
Outside attacker: Kupono Fey, Hawai’i
Outside attacker: Christian Hessenauer, UCLA
Outside attacker: Brenden Sander, BYU
Outside attacker: David Martin, UCLA
Outside attacker: George Mitch Perinar, Lewis
Outside attacker: Ben Plaisted, Loyola
Outside attacker: Lucas Yoder, USC
Middle attacker: Andy Benesh, USC
Middle attacker: Jeff Jendryk, Loyola
Middle attacker: Kevin Rakestraw, Stanford
Middle attacker: Matthew Walsh, Ball State
Libero: Kyle Dagostino, Stanford
Libero: Evan Enriques, Stanford