SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (September 8, 2021) – The U.S. Men’s National Team will play for bronze at the Pan American Cup after losing a semifinal match 3-0 (25-22, 29-27, 25-20) Wednesday in Santo Domingo.
“We played a Mexican team that played their best game of the tournament,” head coach Andy Read told NORCECA.net. “We had a few opportunities of winning the second set and couldn’t do it. Congratulations to Mexico for a great game.”
That bronze medal match will take place Thursday, September 9 at 5 p.m. Eastern/2 Pacific. The U.S. will face the loser of the other semifinal, Canada versus Dominican Republic. USA took both teams to five sets in pool play, beating Canada and falling to the host nation.
The U.S. entered Monday’s match as the No. 1 seed after tallying a 4-1 record and 20 points during round robin play. Mexico was fourth at 3-2 and 14 points; it finished fourth despite beating Dominican Republic in five during the final match of pool play.
In the semifinal, Mexico was more effective in the attack, landing 42 kills compared to the U.S.’ 31. Mexico also landed seven service aces, two more than the U.S., but USA did lead in blocks, 11-8.
Outside hitters Cole Gillis and Kyle McCauley led the U.S. offensively with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Grant Sloane added six and Shane Holdaway scored five. Four others found the floor at least once.
Mexico established a three-point lead late in the first set and held that margin until the end. The second set was the closest. Mexico did lead late, but the U.S. won four of five points to take a set point of its own at 23-24. The Mexicans fought off that set point and two others before clinching the frame 29-27.
USA never held a lead in the third set.
“Obviously the guys are disappointed,” Read said. “But tomorrow is the last day this group will play together, so giving the best account of ourselves and our team is paramount. I am quite confident the team will do that.”
Update – 7:30 p.m. Mountain
Canada defeated the Dominican Republic, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-20) in the other semifinal. The United States will play the Dominican Republic for bronze.
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: USA def. Suriname, 3-0 (25-14, 25-11, 25-14)
September 7: USA def. Canada, 3-2 (21-25, 25-18, 31-29, 18-25, 15-13)
September 8: Mexico def. USA, 3-0 (25-22, 29-27, 25-20)
September 9: Bronze medal match, 5 p.m. Eastern/2 Pacific
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)
22 Matthew Palma (Libero, 5-11, Costa Mesa, Calif.; UC San Diego, Southern California)
24 Kyle Dagostino (Libero, 5-9, Tampa, Fla.; Stanford ‘19, Florida)