STANFORD, Calif. – It has been a busy summer for affiliates of the Stanford men’s volleyball program and USA Volleyball. Whether a coach or a player, the Cardinal has been well represented.
On July 19, associate head coach Ken Shibuya led the U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team to a 25-23, 25-21, 25-20 win over Cuba to win NORCECA Gold at the Boys’ Under-19 Continental Championship in the Cox Business Center in Tulsa, Okla.
“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.”
The Shibuya-led squad finished the tournament 4-0 and a perfect 12-0 in sets. It marked just the third time the USA captured gold in the U-19 age group.
The following day, Cardinal alums Kawika (’10) and Erik (’12) Shoji and assistant coach Matt Fuerbringer (’97) helped guide the U.S. Men’s National Team to a four-set win over the world’s No. 1 team Brazil. The U.S. registered a 31-29, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23 victory to clinch the FIVB World League gold medal for just the second time in the team’s history.
Erik Shoji led the U.S. with 12 digs and only two faults at the libero position. The U.S. becomes just the fourth nation to win multiple golds in the FIVB World League (Brazil-9, Italy-8, Russia-2). The U.S. also won gold in 2008 with a win over Serbia.
To watch a replay of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s gold-medal win over Brazil, tune into NBC Sports Network on Monday, July 28 at 4 p.m. PT.
USA Volleyball announced today the 12-man roster for the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team, which will play at the NORCECA Men’s U-21 Continental Championship in El Salvador, July 28-Aug. 3. Stanford redshirt freshman Kevin Rakestraw and incoming rookies Kyle Dagostino and Evan Enriques all made the cut.
The team will be led by head coach Dan Friend, the head coach of the men’s team at Lewis University. He will be assisted by Joe Hosack (Penn State) and Sam Shweisky (Princeton). Other teams scheduled to compete at the 2014 U21 NORCECA Championships are Barbados, Canada, Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and St. Lucia. The U.S. is scheduled to share a pool with Cuba, Mexico and Nicaragua. The United States is the defending champion of the event, which was last held in 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colo.