ANAHEIM, Calif. (May 23, 2016) – Although some players were under the weather, the U.S. Men’s National Team competing at the Pan American Cup defeated the Dominican Republic on Monday, 25-20, 25-23, 26-28, 25-17 at Olympic Gymnasium Juan de la Barrera in Mexico City.
With the victory, the U.S. Men (2-0) win the pool over the Dominican Republic (1-1) and Chile (0-2). However the U.S. Men finished third among the winners of the three pools, they will have to compete in Tuesday’s quarterfinals against Canada (1-1) at 4 p.m. PT. The winner will play either Argentina (3-0) or Cuba (1-1).
“We aren’t feeling well, myself included,” Team Captain Carson Clark said in a NORCECA press release. “Dominican Republic played pretty well and especially the third set. We were able to play a little bit better towards the end.”
U.S. Head Coach Ron Larsen lamented the lost set, but was happy with the way the team came back.
“I felt we were in control; it was our game. Our young players didn’t understand the importance of a set in these competitions,” Larsen said. “I liked how we responded after we lost, shifting back into the match and coming out stronger. The Dominicans battled strong. They limited their errors and they are very physical.”
The U.S. Men took advantage of 38 Dominican errors while committing 29.
The U.S. block was on point against the Dominican as the U.S. led 9-5 behind four blocks from middle Jeff Jendryk and two each by Clark at opposite and setter Joshua Tuaniga.
The U.S. led in aces 6-5, while the Dominican led in kills, 49-48. The U.S. hitting efficiency was .406 behind Tuaniga while the Dominican hit .355. Libero Michael Brinkley was credited with five excellent receptions.
U.S. outside hitter Greg Petty led the U.S. with 15 points on 13 kills and two aces. Clark added 14 points on 11 kills, two block and one ace. Jendryk scored 13 points on nine kills and four blocks.
Dominican opposite Pedro Garcia led all scorers with a match-high 16 kills and a match-high three aces.
Outside Hitters: Greg Petty and T.J. DeFalco
Middle Blockers: Kris Johnson and Jeff Jendryk
Opposite: Carson Clark
Setter: Josh Tuaniga
Libero: Michael Brinkley
Kills: Greg Petty 13, Carson Clark 11, Jendryk 9, DeFalco 8, Johnson 6, Tuaniga 1
Blocks: Jendryk 4, Tuaniga 2, Clark 2, Johnson 1
Aces: DeFalco 2, Petty 2, Johnson 1, Clark 1
Digs: Petty 4, Clark 3, Tuaniga 2, DeFalco 2, Brinkley 1