Coach Dan Friend said during the U.S. training session he was impressed with the play of UCLA outside attacker J.T. Hatch.
It quickly became evident in the team’s Pan American Cup opener why Friend was so impressed.
Hatch had a match-high nine kills as the United States swept Barbados 25-17, 25-11, 25-18 on Tuesday in Canada at the NORCECA U-21 Pan American Cup.
The 2015 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshmen All-American Team selection was one of four U.S. players with at least five kills in the pool play opener. BYU outside attacker had eight kills, while Loyola opposite Ricky Gevis had seven kills and USC middle attacker Andy Benesh had six kills.
The United States also had five aces against Barbados, including Loyola middle attacker Jeff Jendryk who led all players with three aces.
NJIT outside attacker Jabarry Goodridge in the loss led Barbados with eight kills.
The United States will continue its three-match pool play round in Group B as it plays Brazil at 8 p.m. (EST) Wednesday. Brazil in its opener swept El Salvador on Tuesday.
The top three teams among the four teams in Group B will advance to the playoffs. The first-place team will receive a bye to the semifinals, while the other two teams will compete in the quarterfinals against second and third-place teams from Group A.