U.S. snaps losing streak, sweeps Taipei in U19 Championship finale

Photo courtesy of the FIVB

Long Beach State opposite Clarke Godbold helped ensure the United States closed out the FIVB U19 World Championship by putting an end to its losing streak.

Godbold finished with 10 kills on a team-best 62.5 percent offensive efficiency as the United States swept Chinese Taipei 25-20, 25-21, 25-15 in the 15th-place finals on Friday in Tunisia.

The United States entered its tournament finale on a four-match losing streak that had dropped the team from medal contention to playing for a top-15 finish in the 20-team tournament. Before the streak, the United States won two of its first three matches to open the World Championship and clinched a berth to the Round of 16.


Golbold was one three U.S. players with more than five kills against Chinese Taipei. UC Irvine outside attacker Francesco Sani had a match-high 11 kills, while Pepperdine opposite Akinola Akinwumi contributed nine kills on a 52.9 percent offensive efficiency.

Akinwumi andUCLA middle attacker Ethan Hill each had a team-high three blocks. In addition, Godbold contributed two blocks as the United States concluded the match with 10 blocks — three more blocks than Chinese Taipei.

Chinese Taipei middle attacker Pei-Chang Tsai in the loss led all players with five blocks.

The United States out-dug Chinese Taipei 15 to 14 — the second consecutive match the team finished with more digs. In addition, Long Beach State libero Mason Briggs finished the World Championship second at the tournament with a 1.64 digs per game average.

Along with the team’s defensive performance, Lewis setter Kevin Kauling had a match-high three aces versus Chinese Taipei.

This is the second consecutive World Championship that the United States finished in 15th place and the third time since 2007 that it earned 15th place at the bi-annual event.