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
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 20, 2023) – The U.S. Men’s Team dominated the competition for a second straight day at the 2023 NORCECA Pan American Cup Final Six on Wednesday, defeating Mexico 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-19) at the Flair Airlines Hangar, Edmonton Expo Centre.
The U.S. Men (2-0) will play Puerto Rico on Thursday at 1 p.m. PT.
OFFICIAL STATISTICS (PDF)
Once again, the U.S. led its opponent in kills (43-29), blocks (8-3) and aces (3-1). Setter Andrew Rowan led the team to a .553 hitting percentage.
Outside hitter Jordan Ewert led all scorers with 17 points on 16 kills (.667 hitting percentage) and one ace.
“We came to win, and that’s what we did,” said Ewert, who added that serving and passing helped the U.S. take control of the match. “We had a couple spurts where our serves struggled, but we stayed aggressive and forced them out of system a lot. When they’re out of system, we’ve got a good block and defense team, and we are able to get a lot of break points and pull away.”
Outside hitter Ethan Champlin scored 12 points on nine kills, two blocks and one ace, and he was credited with nine excellent receptions.
Opposite Camden Gianni had nine points (eight kills, one block), and middle blocker Matthew Knigge had seven (six kills, one block). Middle blocker Patrick Gasman scored six points (three kills, two blocks, one ace). Rowan added a kill and two blocks.
Libero Troy Gooch led all players with eight digs and had nine successful receptions.
The first set was close early, with Mexico taking a 12-11 lead before the U.S. reeled off five of the next six points for a 16-13 lead. Mexico kept it within two at 17-15, but kills from Rowan and Champlin made it 19-15. Ewert closed out the set with his fourth kill.
The second set followed a similar pattern, with the lead changing hands early until the U.S. grabbed the lead for good at 15-14. At 16-15, the U.S. scored four straight, including two kills by Ewert, to put the match away.
In the third set, the U.S. again pulled away midway through, scoring four points to break a 14-14 tie. Gianni closed out the match with a kill.
“We’re learning that it’s not always clean with this team,” Ewert said. “But we’re getting more comfortable in chaotic situations, and you’ve got to be able to do that all the time. “[We’re] just learning how to play with each other, chemistry-wise. Our goal is to get better as the tournament goes on and be at 100 percent by the time Sunday comes around. We got better today, and we will get better tomorrow.”
Cuba, which lost to Mexico on 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 Pan American Cup
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)
USA def. Dominican Republic, 3-0 (25-17, 25-9, 25-19)
USA def. Mexico, 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-19)
2 p.m.: USA vs. Puerto Rico
7 p.m.: Canada vs. USA
3:30 p.m.: USA vs. Cuba
11:30 a.m. Fifth vs Sixth
2 p.m. Third vs Fourth
4:30 p.m. First vs Second