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University Park, Pa. - The impact of the Penn State men's volleyball team will spread beyond the U.S. borders this summer, as several current and former players and coaches have and will participate internationally.
AVCA Second Team All-American libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) and redshirt freshman setter Edgardo Gonzalez (San Juan, Puerto Rico) will compete for Puerto Rico while redshirt freshman outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) and assistant coach Craig Dyer will represent the United States in the NORCECA Under-21 Continental Championship in San Salvador, El Salvador from June 30-July 5. The NORCECA Championship is one of five world qualifiers for the 2009 FIVB Men's Junior World Championship, to be held in July of 2009 in various cities in France.
Del Valle and González have been mainstays in the Puerto Rican National Team pipeline for several years. Both started for their country's Youth National Team last summer at the Youth World Championship in Mexico, where Del Valle was named "Best Receiver" in the world and González set a new Puerto Rican international competition record for boys or men with nine blocks in the match against Cuba. Sunder will train with the U.S. Junior National Training Team beginning June 15 in Chula Vista, Calif., and is one of 19 players up for 12 spots on the U.S. Junior National Team, on which Dyer will be an assistant coach.
Also on the international scene, current Penn State outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.), the 2008 AVCA Co-Player of the Year and the NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player, was selected as one of a group of up-and-coming men's players that traveled to Japan at the end of May to train with the Japanese men's national team and help it prepare for its Olympic qualifying tournament. Former Nittany Lion Matt Proper was also a member of the group.
Anderson and Proper, along with former Penn State middle hitter Nate Meerstein, were three of the 12-members of the young United States National Team that captured the gold medal at the Pan American Cup last Saturday in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The U.S. finished 4-0 in the tournament with a four-game (25-22, 27-29, 25-22, 25-22) victory over Canada, and Anderson was the only player on the squad with remaining collegiate eligibility.
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