Junior national volleyball team qualifies for semis at NORCECA


Stanford sophomore Jordan Ewert recorded seven points and the United States junior men's volleyball team swept St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 25-11, 25-12, 25-10, at the NORCECA U21 Men's Continental Championship on Thursday in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada.

The win sends the United States directly to the second semifinal at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Centre Sportif de Gatineau.

Cuba won Pool B with its defeat of Canada on Thursday and will also advance to the semifinals.

On Thursday, U.S. middle blocker Jack Cole had a match-high 10 points (including six kills on seven attacks, plus four aces), while outside hitter Reese Devilbiss added nine, including four aces. Marcus Thomas, with five points, was the top shot for Saint Vincent. Every U.S. player started at least one set.

Team USA ran off 10 consecutive points to close out the first set. The most impressive sequence involved middle blocker George Huhmann laying out for a dig to sustain a rally that he finished with a kill.

"If you hustle after balls, you are going to inspire your teammates to do the same thing and help you do better overall," said the 6-foot-9 Huhmann. "We know the next game is going to be pretty tough, so if we have the mindset of working hard every day, I think that will help us do better."

Dylan Missry also had an efficient effort, going 6-for-6 on attacks.

"The focus for us today was about our side of the net and we wanted to control what we could control," U.S. coach Jay Hosack said. "I thought our guys did a good job of that. [Saint Vincent is obviously a team that is getting better and better every year and they have some work to do, but we thought we'd just focus on that."


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