Outside attacker Matt Szews had 11 kills, two aces and five digs throughout the match against New Jersey Institute of Technology on Jan. 27 in Worthen Arena. The Cardinals won three of the four sets, improving their record 8-1. Grace Ramey // DN
Szews makes final U.S. roster spot for U21 World Championship
Matt Szews travels to the Czech Republic Friday to compete for the International Federation of Volleyball (FIVB) U21 World Championship.
On Monday, USA Volleyball announced the final 12-man roster, cutting down from the original 20 that competed in Lake Placid, New York, that will travel to compete against 15 other countries for the World Championship.
The freshman will be playing opposite and is the only player Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association player to make the roster.
Before the final roster was selected, Ball State head coach Joel Walton said that while "it is a very select honor," to make the preliminary 20-man roster, being picked to travel, "puts him into even more elite classification."
"Now he's the guy that the coaches of that group feel should be out on the court representing the best that the United States has to offer at that age level," Walton said. "Matt is mature beyond his years. ... He didn't go through a lot of up an down cycles and as a freshman, was able to earn our coaching staff's respect and his teammates respect in a very quick fashion."
Szews, an All-American Honorable Mention, will join three All-American men's volleyball players as well as a number of all-conference players.
Josh Tuaniga (Long Beach State) and Micah Ma'a (UCLA) are a pair of All-American setters along with opposite Kyle Ensign (Long Beach State).
Other players on the roster include outside attacker's Jordan Ewert (Stanford), Austin Matautia (Hawaii) , Dylan Missry (UCLA) and Brett Rosenmeier (Hawaii), middle attacker's Patrick Gasman (Hawaii), George Huhmann (Princeton) and Scott Stadick (UC Irvine) along with libero Gage Worsley (Hawaii).
This year, the United States enters the World Championship as the No. 9 seed. The U.S. has yet to earn a medal in the bi-annual tournament, finishing in 11th place each of the previous two installments.
The United States is seeded with Pool B along with Russia, Cuba and Turkey. If the United States finishes among the top two in the pool, it will advance to another round of pool-play determining who will play in the semifinals and finals.
The United States opens up pool-play against Turkey Friday at 2 p.m. EST. The next two matches will be played on Saturday and Sunday.