Five college men’s volleyball players will be on the U.S. roster for an upcoming continental tournament.
USA Volleyball announced Thursday that BYU outside attackers Brenden Sander and Jake Langlois, Long Beach State outside attacker TJ DeFalco and setter Joshua Tuaniga and Loyola middle attacker Jeff Jendryk were selected to play for the United States at the Pan American Cup.
DeFalco as a freshman with the 49ers was sixth in the nation with a 4.32 kills per game average and had more than a .300 attack percentage last season. In addition, Langlois and Sander each had more than a 3.00 kills per game average and helped lead BYU to a MPSF championship and the NCAA Tournament finals.
Both DeFalco and Sanders were also finalists for the 2016 Karch Kiraly Award that is presented to the nation’s best outside attacker.
Jendryk, a Ryan Millar Award finalist for the nation’s top middle attacker, was among the nation’s leaders last season with a .431 attack percentage and had more than 100 blocks.
Tuaniga was named a Lloy Ball Award finalist after having a MPSF-best 11.18 assists per game average and guiding the Long Beach State offense to the nation’s fourth best attack percentage at .328.
The 12-person U.S. roster is comprised of current college players and recent college graduates. In addition, Ron Larsen, a two-time Olympic assistant coach current Concordia-Irvine assistant coach, will serve as the team’s head coach.
The United States will open the Pan American Cup with a pool-play match against Chile on Saturday in Mexico.
This will be the first of three pool-play matches before the tournament’s quarterfinals next week.
U.S.ROSTER FOR PAN AMERICAN CUP
Setter: Josh Tuaniga, Long Beach State
Setter: Peter Hutz
Opposite: Carson Clark
Outside attacker: TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State
Outside attacker: Jake Langlois, BYU
Outside attacker: Greg Petty
Outside attacker: Brenden Sander, BYU
Outside attacker: Josh Taylor
Middle attacker: Taylor Averill
Middle attacker: Jeff Jendryk, Loyola
Middle attacker: Kris Johnson
Libero: Michael Brinkley
Head coach: Ron Larsen, Concordia-Irvine
Assistant coach: Armen Zakarian, West Valley College
Assistant coach: Sean Rooney, Pepperdine