A tournament-best performance from Hawai’i outside attacker Kupono Fey has put the United States in sole possession of first place in its pool.
Fey had a match-high 12 kills as the United States swept Mexico 25-23, 25-17, 25-17 on Wednesday in Mexico to move atop Pool G in the consolation bracket of the FIVB U-21 World Championship.
Fey was one of three U.S. players with more than five kills against Mexico (1-4, 0 points). USC middle attacker Andy Benesh finished with eight kills, while UCLA Freshmen All-American outside attacker J.T. Hatch added six kills.
No Mexican player in the loss had double-digit kills, including outside attacker Alan Gabriel Martinez who led the team with nine kills.
The United States (2-3, 5 points) had a tournament-high six aces — five more aces than Mexico. In addition, Hawai’i setter Jennings Franciskovic coming off the bench as a serving specialist led all players with two aces on four serving attempts.
Along with the offensive performance, UC Santa Barbara Freshmen All-American libero Hayden Boehle defensively ended with a match-high 11 digs.
This was the second consecutive match that Boehle had double-digit digs. Boehle had a team-high 17 digs to help the United States beat Iran in five games in its pool-play opener on Tuesday.
With these two victories, the United States is now one-point ahead of second-place Iran (2-4, 4 points) in Pool G entering the final day of pool-play.
If the United States can Japan in its pool-play finale on Thursday, it will clinch a spot in the World Championship ninth-place semifinals.