United States wins back to back NORCECA Boys U19 Pan American title
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, March 18, 2023.- United States beat Mexico
3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-20) to win back to back Boys U19 Pan American
title on Saturday in Guatemala City.
United States won their second gold medal in a row undefeated (5-0)
against Mexico just like last year; in 2011 they won a bronze medal also
over Mexico. This is Mexico’s third silver medal in a row and in 2017
they beat Chile for the gold; Mexico ended the event 4-2.
The U.S. held a 47-33 advantage in attacks and a huge 10-4 margin in
blocks; both teams scored two points from serves. United States
committed 16 unforced errors against 26 from Mexico.
Outside hitter Sean Kelly of United States scored a match-high of 16
points on 14 kills and two blocks. Outside hitter Sterling Foley added
12 points on 9 kills, two blocks and one ace, followed by opposite
hitter Finn Kearney collecting 11 points on 10 kills and one ace.
Outside hitter Ines Vargas and opposite hitter Julio Serrano topped
Mexico’s scores with 12 points each.
Sean Kelly, top scorer of United States:
“I feel amazing being back here in Guatemala, there’s a lot of fans
supporting us, it’s awesome to play with the team again and we felt so
connected. We could have been better, but a win is a win. I believe our
serving and blocking can still improve”.
Matthew Fuerbringer, head coach of United States:
“I expected a battle. The change the coach made by putting Vargas (#7)
as opposite was really good for his team, gave them a lot of options in
offense, they have a great setter with good ball control; they're such a
tough team and they don’t make mistakes and they battled. I am really
proud of my boys, there were a lot of tough moments being close and it
got intense, they could’ve hesitated but instead they went harder and
made the plays that mattered”.
Oscar Viña, head coach of Mexico:
“My team battled and battled, but there was a moment when they couldn’t
give more, mostly when we reached point 22 in the first two sets they
lost energy and in the third at point 18 they couldn’t give more. This
happens when you face a powerful team like the United States, we need
more elements on the team”.