COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (September 4, 2021) – For the second day in a row, the U.S. Men’s National Team picked up a Pan American Cup sweep as the U.S. downed Puerto Rico, 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 26-24) in Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico.
“I am very pleased with the performance we’ve had thus far,” head coach Andy Read said. “Puerto Rico is a great team, and our guys responded the way they were supposed to. It reflected in the result.”
With the win, the United States remains undefeated at 2-0 and moves into sole possession of first place in the tournament standings. Back-to-back sweeps gives the U.S. 10 points in the standings, one more than Canada and Dominican Republic.
USA will look to keep their perfect record Sunday, September 5 against the hometown Dominican Republic. That match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Eastern/4 Pacific and will be streamed live online.
The U.S. held a slight advantage in attack points over Puerto Rico, scoring 41 compared to Puerto Rico’s 37. USA also held a 9-4 advantage in blocks, but Puerto Rico landed five aces compared to the U.S.’ four.
Outside hitter Grant Sloane led the team with 14 points, all but one from attacks, and middle blocker Shane Holdaway scored 12. Fellow middle Tyler Mitchem scored 10, and outside hitter Francesco Sani added nine points.
The U.S. won the first set 25-17, but the final two were much tighter. The second was close throughout, but the U.S. won by two at 25-23. In the third, Puerto Rico rallied from a 21-19 deficit to take the lead at 23-24. USA evened the frame with a point, then Holdaway ended the match with a service ace.
“Our composure during critical moments was the difference today,” Read said. “For a team that’s played just two games together, it speaks volumes of how much they trust each other.”
September 3: USA def. Mexico, 3-0 (25-17, 29-27, 25-20)
September 4: USA def. Puerto Rico, 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 26-24)
September 5: vs. Dominican Republic, 7 p.m. Eastern/4 Pacific
September 6: vs. Suriname, 3 p.m. Eastern/Noon Pacific
September 7: vs. Canada, 5 p.m. Eastern/2 Pacific
September 8: Semifinals
September 9: Finals
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
2 Shane Holdaway (Middle Blocker, 6-8, Huntington Beach, Calif.; Long Beach State, Southern California)
3 Kevin Kauling (Setter, 6-8, Naperville, Ill.; Lewis, Great Lakes)
4 Cole Gillis (Outside Hitter, 6-5, San Jose, Calif.; UC Irvine, Northern California)
5 Jacob Pasteur (Opposite, 6-4, Westminster, Md.; Ohio State, Chesapeake)
8* Tyler Mitchem (Middle Blocker, 6-11, Bolingbrook, Ill.; Lewis, Great Lakes)
9 Nathan Lietzke (Setter, 6-6, Austin, Texas; Stanford, Lone Star)
11 Francesco Sani (Outside Hitter, 6-6, Bethesda, Md.; UC Irvine, Chesapeake)
13 Merrick McHenry (Middle Blocker, 6-7, Bedford, Texas; UCLA, North Texas)
14 Ethan Champlin (Outside Hitter, 6-2, Oceanside, Calif.; UCLA, Southern California)
15 Daniel Wetter (Middle Blocker, 6-5, Camarillo, Calif.; CSUN, Southern California)
18 Grant Sloane (Outside Hitter, 6-7, Irvine, Calif.; UCLA, Southern California)
19 Kyle McCauley (Outside Hitter, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif.; UC San Diego, Southern California)
23 Cole Power (Libero, 5-11, Huntington Beach, Calif.; UC Irvine, Southern California)
24 Kyle Dagostino (Libero, 5-9, Tampa, Fla.; Stanford ‘19, Florida)