United States Undefeated NORCECA Boys U19 Champion

United States Undefeated NORCECA Boys U19 Champion
Fecha de publicación: 
20 May 2024
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 United States was crowned undefeated champion of the Boys U19 NORCECA Continental Championship after defeating Cuba 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 25-18) in the gold medal match on Sunday at the Salvador Dijols Coliseum in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

In addition to winning the U19 NORCECA title, United States secured their spot in the 2025 age-group FIVB World Championship.

USA finished undefeated with a 5-0 win-loss record, dropping only one set,  precisely in this match against Cuba.

Cuba had 4 wins and 2 losses, both against the United States.

The U.S. led in blocks 7-3 and in aces 7-4. Cuba had the advantage in attacks 51-49. United States gave away 23 points on unforced errors while Cuba gave away 32.

Outside hitter Aleksey Mikhailenko with 16 points on 15 kills and one block was the U.S. Middle blocker Roman Payne also contributed to the victory with 12 points, 10 on kills and one ace. Team captain Gran Lamoureux added 10 points.

Middle blocker Luc Soerensen scored a match-high of 4 blocks, and outside hitter Thomas Demps, scored a match-high of 4 aces.

Cuban opposite player Yosdani Medina led all scorers with 21 points on 20 attacks and one ace. Outside hitter Andy Marrero had a tally of 12 points on 11 attacks and one ace.

After the United States won the first two sets, Cuba switched their setter, replacing Ronaldo Flaquet with Daniel Sainz, which led to Cuba reaching a four-point lead (15-11) that the United States could not overcome.

In the fourth set, Aleksey Mikhailenko took charge of United States' offense scoring 4 consecutive points, along with Thomas Demps in serving, and the championship point was a kill point scored by middle  Roman Payne.

Roman Payne, middle blocker of United States: “We communicated really well, had a lot of energy, even on the bench. The court work was amazing, and it felt great scoring the last point. Cuba came out with more energy in the third set, and we were expecting to sweep them, we needed to fire up a little bit more and in the last set we came out stronger, with more attitude”.

Charles Sullivan, Head coach of United States: “Cuba made some adjustments in the third set, brought their other setter in and set a new offense, that was a great move by them, forcing us to make adjustments as well, making it a higher level of fight. The result is a communal effort from all the coaches, all the clinics and all the administration around the United States”.

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