U.S. beats Cuba to win U19 NORCECA title, clinch berth to 2025 World Championship

Photo by the FIVB and NORCECA

The United States saved its best offensive performance of the tournament for the biggest moment.

Setter Rafael Urbina guided the offense to a .442 attack percentage as the United States defeated Cuba 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 25-18 in the U19 NORCECA Continental Championship gold-medal match on Sunday in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

The United States did not commit an attack error until midway through the second game and hit match-best .692 in the opening game. The team also had a .476 attack percentage in the fourth game to secure the championship and clinch a berth to the 2025 U19 FIVB World Championship.


Outside attacker Aleksey Mikhailenko after being limited to two kills in the first two games finished with a team-high 15 kills on a .565 attack percentage. Mikhailenko had a game-high six kills in the final game, including having back-to-back kills to cap off a 9-3 run midway through the game.

Middle attacker Roman Payne added 10 kills on a match-best .692 attack percentage and had the match-winning kills. Pin-hitters Cooper Keane and Grant Lamoureux each also contributed nine kills against Cuba.

The United States finished with seven aces – three more than Cuba. Thomas Demps IV led all players with four aces, while Payne had two aces.

Cuba in the loss had a .327 attack percentage. This was the first time a team hit more than .300 against the United States throughout the tournament.

Cuban pin-hitter Yosdani Medina Torriente had a match-high 20 kills on a .378 attack percentage. Pin-hitter Andy Lazaro Marrero Castillo also had 11 kills and hit .307 against the United States.