Team USA Sweeps Cuba to Win NORCECA U19 Gold
Tulsa, United States, July 19, 2014 – The U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team defeated Cuba, 25-23, 25-21, 25-20 on Saturday to win the NORCECA Boys’ Under-19 Continental Championship in front of a boisterous crowd at the Cox Business Center.
Team USA finished the tournament with a record of 4-0 and went 12-0 in sets. Cuba finished 4-1. Both teams were already qualified for the 2015 FIVB Boys’ U19 World Championship.
U.S. outside hitter T.J. DeFalco was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
DeFalco and Jordan Ewert each finished with 18 points for the United States. Micah Ma’a added 10 points. Miguel Gutierrez paced Cuba with 17 points on 13 attacks and a match-high four blocks.
“We did a good job of following the game plan that (assistant coaches) Kris Berzins and Brad Keller came up with,” U.S. Head Coach Ken Shibuya said. “Cuba is a good and powerful team. The kind of team we don’t get to experience in our country. We were excited to play them.”
Mexico grabbed the final slot for the 2015 FIVB World Championship with a 22-25, 25-21, 27-25, 16-25, 15-6 win over Puerto Rico.
Mexico Team Captain Ridl Garay led his team in scoring with 20 points while Bruno Cruz scored 16 points. Puerto Rico Team Captain Luis Ocasio led all scorers with 29 points on a match-high 27 kills and two aces.