Kyle Teune and the United States did not waste any time making a big statement to begin its title defense at the NORCECA U21 Pan American Cup.
The Ohio State outside attacker led all players with 13 kills on a .526 attack percentage as the United States swept Nicaragua 25-15, 25-14, 25-8 on Monday in Cuba during the opening day of pool play.
Setter Tyler Morgan guided the U.S. offense to out-hit Nicaragua .467 to .091. In addition, the United State improved its attack percentage in each game culminating with the team committing zero errors and having a .850 attack percentage in its 17-point third-game win to complete the sweep.
Teune was one of three players with more than five kills against Nicaragua.
Penn State middle attacker Owen Rose had nine kills and zero errors on a match-best .900 attack percentage. Ohio State opposite Shane Wetzel finished with six kills, while UCLA middle attacker Micah Wong Diallo coming off the bench added six kills.
Both Wong Diallo and Rose also had a match-high two aces. The United States finished with seven aces – six more aces than Nicaragua.
No Nicaraguan player had more than four kills in the loss.
In addition, the United States out-blocked Nicaragua 5 to 1 with Wong Diallo leading all players with three blocks.
The United States entered this tournament after winning the gold medal at the U21 Pan American Cup last year. The team with this victory moves into first place in Pool B and will continue pool-play with a match against Guatemala on Tuesday.
The top three teams in the four-team pool will advance to the medal round of the U21 Pan American Cup.