COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (August 11, 2022) – The U.S. Men’s National Team completed pool play at the Pan American Cup Thursday with a three-set (25-21, 25-20, 25-19) loss to Cuba in Gatineau, Quebec.

“We played two really good matches really hard [the previous two days], and today, we just didn’t have enough to get over the hump,” U.S. head coach Andy Read said. “They’re a very experienced team, a world-class team, and the opportunity to play those guys is always a challenge.”

After taking second place in the pool, the U.S. advances to the quarterfinal round and will face Puerto Rico at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Friday, August 12. That match will be streamed live on Volleyball Canada’s YouTube channel.

Thursday’s matchup pit pool A’s undefeated teams against one another for the pool title and a direct berth to the semifinals. Both the U.S. and Cuba swept the Dominican Republic and Chile during the tournament’s first two days.

“Obviously Cuba’s a good team and we knew it was going to be tough,” U.S. setter Quinn Isaacson said of the pool title contest. “I hope we get another chance so we can play better, especially out of serve-pass, and execute next time.”

Cuba’s attack was the difference as the Cubans landed 44 kills to the U.S.’ 31. Three Cubans notched double-digit attack points, led by opposite Jesus Herrera Jaime with 12. Opposite Jake Hanes led the U.S. with 11 kills and 13 total points.

The U.S. out-blocked Cuba 8-5, and both teams landed three aces apiece.

Middle blocker Merrick McHenry gave the U.S. the match’s first point via a block, but that was the only lead Team USA had in set No. 1. Cuba won five of the next six and never trailed by more than two points again.

The second set was much closer, featuring nine tie scores and a trio of lead changes. After the final technical timeout, outside hitter Jacob Pasteur hit off the block for a kill, pulling the U.S. within one at 15-16. Cuba won the next two points, but the U.S. did the same to pull back within one. The next three rallies went to Cuba, who took the frame 25-20.

In the third, the U.S. enjoyed a slight advantage during the first half. Shortly past the midpoint of the frame, a seven-point scoring run turned a slight Cuba lead into a big 23-15 hole for the U.S. Cuba clinched the set and match six points later.

“[Cuba] came out and played really well in the first set,” Read said. “We battled the second set and couldn’t get it, and at the end, they got on a serving run.”

U.S. Men’s Roster for the Pan American Cup

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College, Region)
2 Kaleb Jenness (OH, 6-6, Mount Pleasant, S.C., Ball State, Palmetto)
3C James Shaw (S, 6-8, Woodside, Calif. Stanford, Northern California)
7 Jacob Pasteur (OH, 6-4, Westminster, Md., Ohio State Univ., Chesapeake)
9 Jake Hanes (Opp, 6-10, Orland Park, Ill., Ohio State Univ., Great Lakes)
11 Francesco Sani (Opp, 6-8, Bethesda, Md., UC Irvine, Chesapeake)
13 Patrick Gasman (MB, 6-10, Clovis, Calif., Univ. of Hawaii, Northern California)
14 Quinn Isaacson (S, 6-2, Plainfield, Ill., Ball State, Great Lakes)
16 Nyherowo Omene (MB, 6-7, South Holland, Ill., Princeton, Great Lakes)
18 Toby Ezeonu (MB, 6-7, North Brunswick, N.J., Penn State, Garden Empire)
19 Gage Worsley (L, 6-1, Moraga, Calif., Hawaii, Northern California)
21 Mason Briggs (L, 6-0, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State, Southern California)
22 Kyle McCauley (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., UC San Diego, Southern California)
24 Brett Wildman (OH, 6-5, Virginia Beach, Va., Penn State, Old Dominion)
26 Merrick McHenry (MB, 6-7, Bedford, Texas, UCLA, North Texas)

Head Coach: Andy Read
Assistant Coach: Ron Larsen
Assistant Coach: Rory Prager
Team Leader/Performance Analyst: AJ Ruttenberg
Athletic Trainer: Benjamin Colletti

U.S. Men’s Schedule for the Pan American Cup
All Times Pacific Daylight

Aug. 9
USA def Dominican Republic, 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-23)

Aug. 10
USA def Chile, 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-14)

Aug. 11
Cuba def. USA, 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-19)

Aug. 12
2 p.m. Mexico vs Chile
4:30 p.m. USA vs Puerto Rico

Aug. 13
Fifth-place bracket
8:30 a.m. Brazil vs TBA
11 a.m. Dominican Republic vs TBA
2 p.m. Canada vs TBA
4:30 p.m. Cuba vs TBA

Aug. 14
6 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. classification matches
11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. bronze and gold medal matches