Six former UC Irvine men's volleyball standouts and two others with local ties are among the 21 players who will be considered for the 12-man roster of the U.S. team that will compete in the Pan American Cup tournament that begins Saturday and continues through Aug. 25 in Mexico City.
Former UCI All-Americans on the preliminary roster are setters Brian Thornton and Ryan Ammerman, outside hitter Jayson Jablonsky, libero Michael Brinkley and middle blocker Dan McDonnell.
Chris Austin, the starting setter on the Anteaters' back-to-back NCAA championship teams the last two seasons, is also on the preliminary roster, as is Corona del Mar High product Dylan Davis and Orange Coast College player Ryan Jay Owens.
Davis earned All-American honors at UC Santa Barbara as a 6-foot-9 middle blocker.
Owens is a 6-6 outside hitter from Evanston, Ill.
Thornton, the setter on UCI's first national championship squad in 2007, represented the United States in the 2012 Olympics in London.
Ammerman, the setter on the 2009 NCAA championship team, and McDonnell, who helped the Anteaters claim the 2012 NCAA title, as well as Davis, helped Team USA win the 2012 Pan American Cup.
Jablonsky, the NCAA Player of the Year in 2006, when UCI made its first trip to the NCAA Final Four and a leader on the 2007 NCAA title team, helped the U.S. win silver at the 2011 Pan American Cup.
Team USA, coached by former UCI assistant coach Shawn Patchell, will be in Pool B along with Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago.
Pool A will consist of Brazil, Argentina and Puerto Rico.
— From staff reportsCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun