COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 19, 2013) – The U.S. Boys’ Youth National Volleyball Team (BYNT) finalized its 12-player roster that will represent the United States at the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World Championship in Tijuana and Mexicali, Mexico, on June 27-July 7.
The dozen players include opposite Karl Apfelbach (Shorewood, Wis.), setters Christy Blough (Ontario, N.Y.), Soren Dion-Kindem (Agoura Hills, Calif.) and Curtis Stallings (Chesapeake, Va.), middle blockers Connor Lammey (West Grove, Pa.), Alex Pia (Johns Creek, Ga.) and Matt Walsh (Chicago, Ill.), outside hitters Jacob Arnitz (Yorba Linda, Calif.), Colby Harriman (Rochester, N.Y.) and Chris Nugent (Fair Lawn, N.J.), outside/libero Evan Enriques (Panalu’u, Hawaii) and libero Kyle Dagostino (Tampa, Fla.).
| Connor Lammey (5) and Christy Blough (2) block
against Puerto Rico at the 2012 NORCECA Continental
“Only one other person and myself are back from last year’s team, so I think that just shows how hard everyone else has been working,” said Blough, who will serve as team captain. “I’m very honored to be on the team again.”
Blough, along with Lammey, returns from the 2012 U.S. Boys’ Youth National Volleyball Team that finished third at the NORCECA Continental Championship. Pia was also a 2012 BYNT selection, but was unable to attend the NORCECA Championship due to illness.
Players were selected through USA Volleyball High Performance tryouts held across the country. The team represents 10 states and nine USA Volleyball regions.
The BYNT, which consists of players born in 1995 or 1996, spent the last week at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., as the roster was whittled from 17 down to 12.
“It’s been awesome,” Arnitz said of the team’s time at the OTC. “Definitely an amazing facility. Being able to have these coaches and these guys, it’s a lot of fun. And the food is really good!”
The experience, however, hasn’t been all fun and games. The FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World Championship overlaps the USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships this year.
“Last year I made the same decision and I did not regret it at all,” Blough said. “It was the best experience I had, so it wasn’t too hard of a decision this year.”
The United States enters the tournament seeded below teams that have been training together for much longer than one week. But Head Coach Colin McMillan is optimistic about his team’s talent and competitiveness, and Blough’s experience taught him that there is more to world championships than winning.
“About half the team’s going to head off to college [in the fall],” said Blough, who is signed to play for Ohio State. “Everyone’s hoping to gain some international experience. High-level experience is the best we can get to get ready for college.”
The BYNT departs Colorado Springs for Mexico on Thursday (June 20). Upon arrival, the team will participate in a pre-championship tournament with several other countries. Group play for the 20-team FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World Championship will be held June 27-July 1, followed by playoff rounds July 2-7.
Pool A consists of Belarus, Tunisia, Mexico, China and Poland. Pool B is comprised of Argentina, Cuba, Japan, Chile and Turkey. Pool C is made up of Russia, Iran, France, Rwanda and Finland. Rounding out the group in Pool D are Brazil, the United States, Egypt, Korea and Algeria.
The United States opens play on June 27 against Algeria at 2 p.m. PST, followed by Brazil on June 28 at 7 p.m. PST, Egypt on June 30 at 5 p.m. PST and Korea on July 1 at 2 p.m. PST. All Pool D matches take place in the Auditorio del Estado in Mexicali, Mexico.
2013 Boys’ Youth National Team Roster
# - Name (Position, Grad Year, Hometown, USAV Region, Club)
1 - Connor Lammey (MB, 2013, West Grove, Pa., Florida Region, Tampa Bay Juniors)
2 - Matt Walsh (MB, 2014, Chicago, Great Lakes, Ultimate VBC)
3 - Colby Harriman (OH, 2014, Rochester, N.Y., Western Empire, Rochester Pace Bootlegger)
4 - Christy Blough (S, 2013, Ontario, N.Y., WEVA, Rochester VBC)
5 - Curtis Stallings (S, 2013, Chesapeake, Va., Old Dominion Region, Coastal 18’s National)
8 - Kyle Dagostino (L, 2014, Tampa, Fla., Florida Region, Tampa Bay Invaders)
9 - Karl Apfelbach (Opp, 2014, Shorewood, Wis., Badger, North Shore Milwaukee Volleyball Club)
10 - Jacob Arnitz (OH, 2014, Yorba Linda, Calif., Southern California, Balboa Bay)
11 - Alex Pia (MB, 2013, Johns Creek, Ga., Southern, Southern Storm Club)
12 - Evan Enriques (OH/L, 2014, Panalu’u, Hawaii, Aloha, Ka Ulukoa B17 Mizuno)
15 - Soren Dion-Kindem (S, 2013, Agoura Hills, Calif., Southern California, SMBC)
16 - Chris Nugent (OH, 2013, Fair Lawn, N.J., GEVA, Warren SixPack)
Head Coach: Colin McMillan (Penn State University)
Assistant Coach: Kevin Moore (Juniata College)
Assistant Coach: Kris Berzins (Loyola-Chicago)
Team Manager: Brandon Dyett (USA Volleyball)