NVASeasonStingers Sweep Team Freedom and Advance to NVA Semifinals Against the Vegas Ramblers

July 19, 20210

Team Freedom came out fired up to have their injured outside hitters back for the playoffs, with #3 Josue Castillo scoring the first two points of the match. Stingers rallied with consecutive kills by #9 Jorge Mencia and a Setter dump by Leo Durkin, taking their first lead at 4-3. At 12-11, Freedom’s Matt Seifert scored on a service ace and tied the game at 12-12. But the Stingers came back fast with a mini-run with a kill from Mencia, hitting errors by Team Freedom, and a block by #17 Cory Metcalf, taking a lead of 16-12 at the media timeout. Team Freedom battled back with kills by #9 Christopher Vaughn and Castillo, a block by #11 Mikheil Hoyte, and a service ace by Vaughn, bringing about a tie at 18-18. After Stingers #24, Alex Shmelev tied the score at 20-20. Team Freedom retook the lead on a kill by Seifert 21-20 and kept the 1-point lead until Stingers tied 25-25 with another great block by Mencia. At 26-26, Stingers scored consecutive points with kills from Mencia and #15 Inovel Romero and won the set 28-26. 

Team Freedom started set #2 with a 3-0 lead from a Stingers’ service error and two blocks from Seifert and Castillo. Stingers rallied and tied the score 5-5 from a combination of Team Freedom hitting errors and kill by Mencia. Then the Stingers started a run on two Team Freedom hitting errors, Langlois service ace, Metcalf block, another Langlois service ace, kill by Mencia, another block by Metcalf, and a Team Freedom hitting error and took a 7-point lead at 12-5. Coach Justin Beaumont substituted Vaughn with #8 Besmir Arsiani and #20 Joe Norman with #6 Doug Dzema. Stingers increased their lead to 18-8 from Team Freedom hitting errors, responding with kills by Metcalf, service ace by Langlois, and kill by Shmelev. Team Freedom sided out well the rest of the set with a block by Siefert, kills by Norman and Hoyte but coming up just short in the end. Stingers closed out the set with a Durkin service ace, kills by Langlois and Fa’agata, winning on a Team Freedom hitting error at 25-13.

In set #3, Team Freedom started the set with their original starting lineup and retook the early lead of 6-3 on kills by Vaughn and Hoyte. But after Elias injured his knee, Coach Beaumont had to substitute him with #14 Kenny Ryan. The Stingers tied the set at 6-6 on kills by Metcalf, Langlois, and Shmelev. At 8-8, Freedom scored back-to-back points on a block by Hoyte and a kill by Castillo to lead 10-8. Stingers then took the lead at 12-11 after a block by Langlois. With the score tied at 14-14, Stingers took a 2-point lead of 16-14at the media timeout on a kill by Mencia and Team Freedom hitting error. Stingers increased the lead to 20-17 on a Fa’agata dump kill into the back corner, kept the 3-point lead, and closed the match on a kill by Mencia and Shmelev 25-22.

To watch the replay of the match, head on over to the NVA USA’s page on Youtube! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdB30nvjjhg 

Match Statistics 

Utah Stingers:

#9 Jorge Mencia – 16 Points (14 Kills, 1 Ace, 1 Block)

#10 Jake Langlois – 11 Points (9 Kills, 2 Aces)

#24 Alex Shmelev – 9 Points (8 Kills, 1 Block)

#8 Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga – 5 Points (5 Kills)

#17 Cory Metcalf – 6 Points (2 Kills, 4 Blocks)

Team Freedom: 

#9 Christopher Vaughn – 9 Points (8 Kills, 1 Ace)

#11 Mikheil Hoyte – 8 Points (7 Kills, 1 Block)

#3 Josue Castillo – 6 Points (6 Attacks)

#12 Matt Seifert – 10 Points (6 Kills, 3 Blocks, 1 Ace)


  • NVA Staff Writer


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Below is Utah Stingers Privacy Policy and Terms of Conditions. Please read the following:


Join the Utah Stingers Family! You can follow us through multiple social media channels which we update daily.


Don't miss our latest news and volleyball game reports. We track record of success in training players.