A young U.S. Men’s Team will compete for the NORCECA Pan American Cup Final Six on Sept. 19-24 at the Flair Airlines Hangar, Edmonton Expo Centre.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 19, 2023) – The young U.S. Men’s Team played like a veteran squad in its opening match of the 2023 NORCECA Pan American Cup Final Six on Tuesday, defeating Dominican Republic, 3-0 (25-17, 25-9, 25-19) at the Flair Airlines Hangar, Edmonton Expo Centre.
The U.S. Men (1-0) will play Mexico on Wednesday at 1 p.m. PT.
The U.S. dominated in every aspect, leading 45-22 in kills, 9-4 in blocks, and 5-1 in aces. With just nine errors in 70 total attacks, the U.S. Men posted a .514 hitting efficiency.
Opposite Camden Gianni led all scorers with 18 points on 15 kills and three aces, remarkably registering six points on five kills and one ace in each set. He hit .591 for the match.
Middle blocker Matthew Knigge totaled 12 points on eight kills and a match-high four blocks, while outside hitter Jordan Ewert also reached double digits with 10 points on nine kills and one ace. Ewert finished with 15 successful receptions, nine more than the next-highest total in the match.
Middle blocker and team captain Patrick Gasman scored seven points on five kills and two blocks, and outside hitter Ethan Champlin also totaled seven points, recording five kills, a block, and an ace.
“It’s our first match with this group. We’ve only been together for about three weeks,” Gasman pointed out. “This was a great first test for us to come out and show we can play as a team and play within our system.”
Libero Troy Gooch led all players with six digs, and setter Andrew Rowan added five digs in addition to running the high-powered offense.
The U.S. scored the first four points of the match and went up 7-2 on Gianni’s ace, but the Dominican squad eventually pulled within one point, 13-12. The U.S., which hit at a .545 clip in the set, regained control, taking back a five-point lead (19-14) on a Gianni kill.
After falling behind for the first time in the match, 3-2 in the second set, the U.S. went on a 10-1 run and continued to build the lead throughout the set. The U.S. finished the set with a 13-1 advantage in kills, while hitting .611 as a team.
The third set was more competitive with Dominican Republic only trailing by three points, 13-10, but an Ewart kill swiping the ball off the Dominican block and a Nigge block gave the U.S. a five-point lead. The lead was never fewer than four points the rest of the set. Opposite Jalen Penrose entered the match late and scored the final two U.S. points, one on a block and match point on a kill.
Cuba, which fell to Mexico in five sets in the tournament’s first match Tuesday, is the current Men’s Final Six Champion; Mexico won the first edition in 2021. In both editions, Canada has finished second and the United States has taken third.
The round-robin preliminary round will finish on Saturday, Sept. 23. The top two teams will compete for the gold medal on Sunday, Sept. 24, while third and fourth will play for the bronze medal, and the fifth and sixth place teams will play for fifth.
Matches will be livestreamed on: youtube.com/@TheVolleyballCanada
U.S. Men’s Roster for the NORCECA Final 6
No. Name (Pos., Height, Hometown, School, USAV Region)
2 Troy Gooch (L, 6-0, Buffalo, N.Y., UCLA, Western Empire)
4 Jordan Ewert (OH, 6-5, Antioch, Calif., Stanford, Northern California)
6 Bryce Dvorak (S, 6-4, Newport Beach, Calif., Pepperdine, Southern California)
9 Matthew Knigge (MB, 6-7, New Egypt, N.J., Vassar, Garden Empire)
10 Camden Gianni (Opp, 6-5, Carlsbad, Calif., Grand Canyon, Southern California)
12 Andrew Rowan (S, 6-7, 2003, Trabuco Canyon, Calif., UCLA, Southern California)
13C Patrick Gasman (MB, 6-10, Clovis, Calif., Univ. of Hawaii, Northern California)
20 Zach Rama (OH, 6-8, 2004, Phoenix, Ariz., UCLA, Arizona)
21 Mason Briggs (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State Univ., Southern California)
22 Kyle McCauley (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., UC San Diego, Southern California)
23 Michael Marshman (MB, 6-7, Glenmont, N.Y., St. Francis Univ., Excelsior Empire)
25 Ethan Champlin (OH, 6-3, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA, Southern California)
26 Merrick McHenry (MB, 6-7, Bedford, Texas, UCLA, North Texas)
27 Jalen Penrose (OP, 6-8, Cambridge, Mass., Penn State, New England)
Head Coach: Andy Read
Assistant Coach: Brandon Taliaferro
Second Assistant Coach: Jeremiah Estes
Athletic Trainer: Rachael Kirkpatrick
U.S. Competition Schedule:
(All times PT)
United States def. Dominican Republic, 3-0 (25-17, 25-9, 25-19)
1 pm: United States vs. Mexico
2 pm: United States vs. Puerto Rico
7 pm: Canada vs. United States
3:30 pm: United States vs. Cuba
11:30 am Fifth vs Sixth
2 pm Third vs Fourth
4:30 pm First vs Second