Ohio State outside attacker Reese Devilbiss and Hawai’i outside attacker Austin Matautia weren’t in the U.S. starting lineup but took full advantage of their time on the court.
Devilbiss and Matautia each had a match-high seven kills as the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team swept Barbados 25-15, 25-15, 25-16 on Tuesday in Canada to open the group-play stage at the U21 NORCECA Continental Championship.
Both incoming college freshmen came off the bench and started the final two games for the United States (1-0). In addition, Devilbiss had the United States’ lone ace, while Matautia added a block against Barbados (0-1).
All 12 players on the U.S. roster had playing time in the opening game.
The United States out-hit Barbados .396 to a negative-.002, and along with Devilbiss and Matautia, four U.S. players finished with at least four kills. Pepperdine opposite Michael Wexter had five kills and Princeton middle attacker George Huhmann contributed four kills.
The United States defensively out-blocked Barbados 8 to 4, including setter Joe Worsley who came off the bench and ended with a match-high three blocks.
Opposite Carlos Cyrus in the loss led Barbados with both seven kills and two blocks.
Despite the victory, the United States committed 16 service errors — five more sever ice errors than Barbados.
The United States can clinch the Group A title if it defeats St. Vincent in its group-play finale on Thursday. A first-place finish in Group A will also ensure the United States a berth in the semifinals.