UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WHTM) – Two current and one former Penn State men’s volleyball players are currently representing the United States in Havana, Cuba on the 2023 Men’s U21 team at the NORCECA Pam American Cup.

Ryan Merk and Owen Rose are on the 12-player roster and Taylor Hammond is an assistant coach for the team. The event will take place June 5-10.

Both Merk and Rose just finished their first season at Penn State as redshirt freshman. Merk started at libero and Rose started at middle blocker, helping send the Lions to the national semifinal.

Merk earned accolades as the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Freshman of the Year, a first-team All-EIVA honoree, and an honorable mention All-American.

Hammond started as a setter for the Lions from 2013-16, leading his team to four-straight EIVA titles, earning him All-EIVA selection four times. Currently, Hammond serves as an assistant coach at UC San Diego.

The schedule for the 2023 Men’s U21 NORCECA Pan American Cup is as follows

  • June 5, at 2 p.m., USA v Nicaragua
  • June 6, at 2 p.m., USA v Guatemala
  • June 7, at 4 p.m., USA v Cuba
  • June 8, at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., Quarterfinals
  • June 9, at 10 a.m. and Noon, Classification matches, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Semifinals
  • June 10, at 10 a.m., Seventh-place match, at Noon, Fifth-place match. at 2 p.m., Bronze-medal match, at 4 p.m.,  Gold-medal match