COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Volleyball announced its 12-player U.S. Men's Junior National Team roster for the team that will compete at the 2011 FIVB Men's Junior (U-21) World Championship held Aug. 1-10 in Brazil and included on it is UC Santa Barbara middle blocker Dylan Davis.
The team includes 10 players from the 2010 Men's Junior National Team that won the NORCECA Men's Junior Continental Championship in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, which qualified them for the world championship.
This past season Davis helped lead the Gauchos to the NCAA Tournament's Final Four, a victory over top-ranked USC and the sport's final match. He started all 32 of UCSB's matches and averaged 1.65 kills and 0.86 blocks per set.
Most of the players on the team also have at least a year of collegiate competition under their belts as well, said John Hawks, the U.S. Men's Junior National Team head coach.
"Most of our players have played a major role on their collegiate teams and that experience should carry over quite well for us," Hawks said. "I feel like we are not going to be physically outmatched by anyone. This year's team has tremendous depth and we can start a wide variety of lineups and still maintain a high level of cohesion on the court."
Returning outside hitters are Jeremy Dejno (New Berlin, Wis.), Taylor Sander (Norco, Calif.), Brian Cook (Santa Cruz, Calif.) and Taylor Crabb (Honolulu, Hawaii).
Returning middle blockers selected are Eric Mochalski (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Scott Kevorken (Westlake Village, Calif.) and Dylan Davis (Corona del Mar, Calif.). The two returning opposites are Maurice Torres (Riverside, Calif.) and Joshua Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii).
Micah Christenson (Honolulu, Hawaii) returns at setter along with Men's Junior Team newcomer Connor Olbright (Orange, Calif.), who played on the 2009 U.S. Boys' Youth National Team.
The libero is Henry Cassiday (Honolulu, Hawaii), who is also new to the team.
The U.S. Men's Junior National Team will train July 11-23 at the GaREAT Sports Complex in Geneva, Ohio. On July 24, the team will travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina to play in a tournament against several international teams to prepare for the FIVB Men's Junior World Championship.
"Our goal is to win the gold medal," Hawks said. "We started thinking about that as a possibility when selecting this team and the guys have been thinking about it since we qualified last summer in Canada for the FIVB World Championship. We realize that the United States has never medaled at this event which makes this challenge even more exciting for us all. We are not guaranteeing anything, but we will guarantee that we will compete in every single play."
In addition to the 12-player roster, seven athletes were named as alternates to the U.S. Men's Junior National Team: Robart Page (OH, Victor, N.Y.), Steven Irvin (OH, Pacific Palisades, Calif.), Jace Olsen (OH, Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Grayson Overman (MB, San Clemente, Calif.), Jeff Ornee (MB, Cypress, Calif.), setter Matt West (S, Seattle, Wash.) and Michael Brinkley (L, Huntington Beach, Calif.).
Parts of this release are courtesy of USA Volleyball