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USA defeats Guatemala in their first match at NORCECA U19


SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, June 6, 2018.- The United States defeated Guatemala 3-0 (25-23, 25-14, 25-18) in their first match at the NORCECA U19 Boys’ Continental Championship in San Jose, Costa Rica.


After a rough first set battling back and forth, the US boys overwhelmed the Central American team in set two, finding better rhythm to pull off their first victory in pool B.  


United States prevailed on 36-12 margin in spikes, 7-1 in blocks, 4-1 in serving points and scored on 40 opponent errors while committing 28.


Playing two sets, Middle blockers Ethan Hill and Ethan Smith scored 10 points and 8 points as top scorers; opposite Clarke Godbold chipped in with 7 points. Wing spiker, Kevin Hoil of Guatemala scored 5 points.


United States (1-0) has the day off on Thursday while Guatemala (0-1) meets Cuba.


USA captain Joseph Karlous “we were nervous going into our first international game. We’re fine, we played totally fine and kept cool after set one. All the jitters got away in set two; now everyone knows how we play. This team is good on chemistry; we love each other and our coaches”.


USA Coach Brad Keller, who had the chance to use a different line-up in set three said about their debut “the whole team and I were excited, it’s my first time as head coach and for my guys their first international experience, they have worked hard and they really want to win. You want to get your first win so much that when things don’t work exactly as planned you get a bit nervous. I have a lot of faith in all our twelve guys and you will see different line-ups depending on what we see, everyone brings something different and I wanted to give all of them some time on the court”.


Guatemala captain David Ismalej “el trabajo en equipo funcionó muy bien y la actitud de todos contribuyó a tener un excelente inicio. El recibo del equipo falló en el resto del juego y Estados Unidos mejoró su servicio”.


Guatemala coach Luis Fernando Castañeda “me dio mucha ilusión ver el marcador tan apretado en el primer set. Es una excelente experiencia para mis muchachos enfrentar a un equipo de elite mundial; se gana. El equipo necesita mantener la concentración para aprovechar las oportunidades como las que tuvo ante Estados Unidos en el primer set y mejorar el recibo”.