ANAHEIM, Calif. (May 21, 2016) – The U.S. Men’s Volleyball Team competing at the Pan American Cup opened pool play on Saturday by defeating Chile, 25-17, 17-25, 25-15, 25-22 at Olympic Gymnasium Juan de la Barrera in Mexico City.
The United States will finish pool play on Sunday at 2 p.m. PT against the Dominican Republic.
The young U.S. Men’s Team led Chile 44-39 in kills, 12-9 in blocks and 8-2 in aces. Both teams struggled with errors as the U.S. scored on 29 errors from Chile while committing 28.
“We haven’t played together for very long so I was happy the way we came back,” said U.S. Team Captain Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.), who started the first two sets at opposite. “We had difficulties in set two, which we weren’t very happy about. We tried to get everybody out there as much as possible. Chile is very good team, but in this tournament we really don’t know a lot of players and you have to come out and respect everybody”.
U.S. outside hitter T.J. DeFalco< (Huntington Beach, Calif.) led the U.S. with 15 points on 11 kills, three blocks and one ace. Outside hitter Greg Petty (Downers Grove, Ill.) added 13, including a match-high five aces.
Josh Taylor (Honolulu, Hawaii), who started the third and fourth sets at opposite, finished with 11 kills and one block and Kris Johnson (Long Beach, Calif.) scored 10 points, including a team-high four blocks.
Libero Michael Brinkley was credited with five digs and six excellent receptions. As a team, the U.S. finished with a .315 hitting efficiency behind setter Joshua Tuaniga.
Vicente Parraguirre was the only Chilean player in double digits with 16 points.
“For our first match, I am pleased with the effort we put forth,” U.S. Head Coach Ron Larsen said. “The team is young so we make mistakes, unforced errors, but Chile did too. Chile battled really hard and the last set could have gone either way. Even though we got better as the match developed, we have to keep improving.”
U.S. Starters on Saturday
Outside Hitters: T.J. DeFalco and Greg Petty
Middle Blockers: Jeff Jendryk and Kris Johnson
Setter: Josh Tuaniga
Opposite: Carson Clark
Libero: Michael Brinkley
Kills: T.J. DeFalco 11, Josh Taylor 11, Greg Petty 8, Kris Johnson 6, Jeff Jendryk 4, Carson Clark 3, Josh Tuaniga 1
Blocks: Johnson 4, Jendryk 3, DeFalco 3, Tuaniga 1, Clark 1
Aces: Petty 5, Tuaniga 1, Clark 1, DeFalco 1
Digs: Michael Brinkley 5, Clark 2, Jendryk 1, Johnson 1