Loyola, UC Irvine recruits spark U.S. comeback win at World Championship

The United States got the offensive spark it needed from its bench to avoid an upset and remain undefeated at the FIVB U19 World Championship.

Both Loyola opposite Dev Joslyn and UC Irvine outside attacker Joel Schneidmiller coming off the bench had double-digit kills as the United States rallied to beat Tunisia 28-30, 22-25, 25-19, 26-24, 15-9 on Monday in Bahrain.

The two-game deficit against last-place Tunisia (0-3, 2 points Pool A) was the first time the United States (3-0, 8 points Pool A) trailed in the tournament.

Schneidmiller was inserted into the starting lineup for the third game and finished with a match-high 17 kills on a 62.96 percent offensive efficiency. In addition, Joslyn in his first extended playing time of the tournament had 12 kills on a match-high best 66.67 percent offensive efficiency

This was the third consecutive match that Schneidmiller led the United States in kills. The incoming recruit for UC Irvine also moved into the tournament’s top 10 with 49 combined kills.

Both Joslyn and Schneidmiller were the only U.S. players with more than six kills or a 50 percent offensive efficiency. However, the United States still out-hit Tunisia 45.83 percent to 38.46 percent.

The United States had a tournament-high nine aces, including UC Irvine outside attacker commit Jonny Bowles leading all players with three aces.

Stanford middle attacker Kyler Persho also had an ace as part of a 5-0 run to open the decisive fifth game.

Tunisia middle attacker Mohamed Salah Fehri in the loss had a match-high five blocks. He also contributed seven kills on a .462 attack percentage.

With this comeback victory, the United States remains in first place in Pool A and clinched a berth to the Round of 16. The team can secure a top seed for the single-elimination stage of the World Championship if it beats Egypt in its pool-play finale on Tuesday.

Egypt (2-1, 6 points Pool A) is in second place in Pool A and enters its match against the United States following an off day.