UCLA’s Missry spearheads U.S. sweep of Canada in NORCECA semifinals

UCLA outside attacker Dylan Missry made the U21 NORCECA Continental Championship semifinals an absolutely miserable experience for Canada.

Missry had a match-high 11 kills as the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team swept the host-nation Canada 25-9, 26-24, 25-21 on Saturday to clinch a berth in the gold-medal match.

With this victory, the United States (3-0) will play Cuba (4-0) in a finals match-up between the only two undefeated teams left at the international tournament.

Missry was one of four U.S. players with more than five kills against Canada (3-2). Stanford outside attacker Jordan Ewert finished with nine kills, while Long Beach State Freshman All-American opposite Kyle Ensing added eight kills.

Princeton middle attacker George Huhmann in the victory also had six kills and a team-high two blocks.

The United States entered the semifinals leading the tournament with a 63.73 percent offensive efficiency. Along with guiding the U.S. offense in the sweep, Long Beach State Freshman All-American setter Josh Tuaniga added a match-high two aces.


USC libero Matt Douglas led the United States defensively with tournament-high 11 digs against Canada. Ensing and Ewert each also added eight digs.

Canada despite out-blocking the United States 7 to 6, committed 29 errors throughout the match — 13 more than the United States.

Canada outside attacker Sharone Vernon-Evans ended with a team-high 11 kills. In addition, UCLA middle attacker Deanan Gyimah in the loss contributed three kills and was one of three Canadian players with two blocks.

The United States opened the third game on a 4-1 run and would lead by multiple points throughout the rest of game to complete the sweep. This was the third consecutive sweep for the United States, which has yet to lose a game throughout the entire tournament.

Canada in the second game rallied from a five-point deficit to tie the score at 20. In addition, Canada survived a game-point to force overtime before Ensing had a game-winning ace to secure a two-game lead for the United States.

Ensing and Missry each also had a game-high five kills in the second game.

The United States led by as many as 16 points in its opening-game victory and committed two errors — eight more than Canada. Missry also had a game-high five kills, while Ewert and Ensing each added two kills.

This was the second consecutive time the United States and Canada play each other in the U21 NORCECA semifinals. The United States won the bronze medal at the international tournament in 2014 after losing Canada in semifinals.

The United States is attempting to win its first gold medal at this bi-annual event since 2012.

Cuba, the defending U21 NORCECA champions, swept Guatemala in its semifinal match on Saturday. Outside attacker Miguel David Gutierrez in the victory led all players with six aces and had nine kills.

Canada following the U.S. loss will play Guatemala in the bronze medal match on Sunday.