By Cindy Luis
The U.S. Men’s National Team held off a scrappy Guatemala squad, 25-18, 25-22, 25-15 on Sunday to win the NORCECA World Championship Qualification Third-Round Pool O Tournament at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
With the victory, the U.S. Men (4-0) qualified for the 2014 FIVB World Championship on Aug. 30-Sept. 21 in Poland. Guatemala (2-2) will compete in a final qualifier against second-place teams from other NORCECA qualifying tournaments. In the third-place match, St. Lucia (1-3) defeated Haiti (1-3), 15-25, 25-23, 18-25, 25-21, 15-12.
U.S. libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii) was named tournament MVP, Best Libero, Best Digger and Best Receiver. Lee was named the tournament’s Best Blocker along with his teammate, middle blocker Dan McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.). Outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) won Best Server and outside hitter Aaron Russell took Best Spiker.