U.S. rolls through Nicaragua in U21 NORCECA Championship opener

Photo courtesy of the FIVB

The youngest player on the U.S. roster wasn’t intimidated by the international stage.

Middle attacker Jackson Cryst had a match-high three blocks and added eight kills on a .700 attack percentage as the United States swept Nicaragua 25-20, 25-17, 25-12 in its opener at the U21 NORCECA Continental Championship on Tuesday in Mexico.

Cryst opened the group-play match with two kills on the first three plays and did not commit an attack error in the final two games. The incoming high school senior also had two aces, including an ace during a 9-3 run to start the final game.


The United States out-hit Nicaragua .638 to negative-.040 and had more than a .600 attack percentage in all three games. In addition, the United States committed five attack errors throughout the entire match – 13 fewer errors than Nicaragua.

USC outside attacker Sterling Foley led all players with 11 kills and zero errors on a .780 attack percentage.

Foley and Cryst were two of four U.S. players with at least five kills. UCLA outside attacker Sean Kelly added six kills, while middle attacker Aidan Klein had five kills and zero errors on an .833 attack percentage.

Pin-hitter Devin Taushaun Hooker in the loss had a team-high six kills.

The United States will continue the group-play stage with a match against Suriname on Wednesday.

Suriname played Mexico in its group-play opener on Tuesday.