SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (September 5, 2021) – The U.S. Men’s National Team erased a two-set deficit Sunday night, but it could not complete the comeback and fell to host Dominican Republic, 3-2 (25-23, 25-18, 22-25, 17-25, 15-8) at the Pan American Cup.
“We went to the limit against a very good team,” head coach Andy Read said. “Credit to the guys because after trailing 0-2, they were able to battle and take the game to the tiebreaker. Even though the final result was not what we wanted, the fact they were willing to keep fighting will play dividends down the line. It’s going to be a great tournament.”
The loss ended the U.S.’ (2-1; 12 points) unbeaten run in the Pan American Cup. It sits tied for second place in the standings, one point behind Canada (13) and level with Dominican Republic. USA will look to rebound Monday, Sept. 6, with a 3 p.m. Eastern/Noon Pacific contest against Suriname, which is looking for its first Pan American Cup victory.
With a win against Suriname, the U.S. will clinch a spot in Wednesday’s semifinal round.
USA had a balanced attack Sunday with five players scoring double-digit points. Outside hitter Kyle McCauley led with 16, 14 coming from kills. Fellow outside hitter Cole Gillis added 14, middle blocker Merrick McHenry 12 – six kills, six blocks – and both Jacob Pasteur and Daniel Wetter scored 11 times.
That balance drove the U.S. to lead in attack points (54-46) and block points (11-10) and narrowly trail in service aces (9-10). The U.S. also committed 38 errors, however, compared to Dominican Republic’s 25.
Dominican Republic won the first two sets, but the U.S. countered in the next two. They won the final three points in the third for a 22-25 victory and then took an early lead in the fourth, holding on at 17-25. The hosts returned the favor in the fifth, jumping out to a 6-2 lead. USA fought back to within two at 7-5, but Dominican Republic scored six in a row to put the set out of reach.
Both McCauley and McHenry made their tournament debuts. For McCauley, it was also his MNT debut.
A live stream for Monday’s match against Suriname will be available online.
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: Dominican Republic def. USA, 3-2 (25-23, 25-18, 22-25, 17-25, 15-8)
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)