COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (September 9, 2021) – For the first time since 2014, the U.S. Men’s National Team is returning from the Pan American Cup with a medal.

The squad claimed bronze Thursday after beating host Dominican Republic, 3-1 (25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 25-15) in the third-place match at Santo Domingo. The win avenged a five-set loss during the tournament’s round robin.

“Today we played perhaps our strongest match against a determined Dominican Republic team,” head coach Andy Read said. “Proud doesn’t describe the feeling I have for the players and their efforts over the last three weeks.”

Official Box Score | Unofficial Bench Stats | Pan American Cup Hub

Both teams scored 49 points in the attack, but the U.S. narrowly outblocked (12-8) and outserved (5-3) Dominican Republic.

Five players scored double-digit points for the U.S., led by Merrick McHenry. The UCLA middle blocker scored 18 points, eight from blocks. He blocked 25 attacks in seven matches, second-most in the field. He was named the tournament’s second best middle.

Cole Gillis added 14 points – 10 kills – and Daniel Wetter scored 12, also 10 kills. Grant Sloan and Ethan Champlin each added 10 total points.

Setter Kevin Kauling rounded out scoring with a kill and an ace. In defense, libero Kyle Dagostino led the team with 26 receptions, 69 percent of them positive and 42% excellent.

USA won a close first set, and Dominican Republic countered by taking the second. The U.S. led for much of the third, but the hosts kept within striking distance, pulling within one at 24-23 before Gillis ended it with a kill.

In the fourth, the U.S. never trailed. The Americans extended their lead after the first technical timeout, ending the match on a 17-8 scoring run to clinch bronze.

Mexico won gold, beating Canada 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-20) in the championship match.

The United States now has eight medals from the Pan American Cup, more than any country except Argentina. This is the first time the MNT has won Pan Am Cup bronze.

Schedule

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: Semifinal – Mexico def. USA, 3-0 (25-22, 29-27, 25-20)
September 9: Bronze Medal Match – USA def. Dominican Republic, 3-1 (25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 25-15)

Roster

No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College, USAV Region)
Shane Holdaway (Middle Blocker, 6-8, Huntington Beach, Calif.; Long Beach State, Southern California)
Kevin Kauling (Setter, 6-8, Naperville, Ill.; Lewis, Great Lakes)
Cole Gillis (Outside Hitter, 6-5, San Jose, Calif.; UC Irvine, Northern California)
Jacob Pasteur (Opposite, 6-4, Westminster, Md.; Ohio State, Chesapeake)
8* Tyler Mitchem (Middle Blocker, 6-11, Bolingbrook, Ill.; Lewis, Great Lakes)
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)

Head Coach Andy Read
Assistant Coach Morteza Shiari
Assistant Coach Patrick Shawaryn
Team Manager/Statistician Joe Skinner
Athletic Trainer Jackie Chan


What this medal means for the athletes…

Ethan Champlin

“We get to take home a symbol of our hard work and training here in the Dominican Republic. We stuck together as a team through the good, bad and sometimes ugly. It means so much to every one of us in that we did this together as a group that’ll probably never get to play together again.”

Kyle Dagostino

“It’s what we dream of. Medals come few and far between, especially with the Men’s National Team given the quality of teams we play. I can’t help but feel an immense amount of pride for this group for accomplishing this feat despite only a week of training. To be the first USA men’s team to medal at Pan Am Cup since 2014, it’s incredible. It’s been a blast to be here and play with this team, and we bring home some hardware! Go USA!”

Shane Holdaway

“This means the world to me. Leaving a mark on USA Volleyball as both an individual and team a is something I will always cherish and remember fondly. There’s nothing quite like playing with the stars and stripes on your jersey. God bless America!”

Cole Gillis

“This means so much to me. I forget these guys are opponents back home, but being together and uniting under the red, white and blue to represent the United States is an incredible opportunity that I’m so thankful for. Plus we’re bringing back some hardware!”

Kevin Kauling

“Representing your country at any level is a tremendous honor, but earning a medal is indescribable. Being part of USA Volleyball is always a special experience. This trip was so unique because all 14 guys and the coaching staff completely bought in.”

Nathan Lietzke

“To win a medal in my first competition with USA Volleyball has meant a great deal. Having the chance to compete for the country has been a dream of mine since I began to play the sport. To do it with this group of guys and coaches makes the feeling ever so sweet. Each person bought into the process, supported each other and worked through adversity. It’s been a special experience, and that serves as credit to these incredible guys.”

Kyle McCauley

“To play for the U.S. Men’s National Team and achieve any kind of medal is the dream of any athlete. Watching Team USA play in the Olympics and then representing that same program is very special to me. I’m thankful that I had this experience with such a great group of guys and an amazing staff.”

Merrick McHenry

“This medal means a lot to each of us. Being on a USA team and being able to earn a medal is something that we have dreamed about since we started playing. This means all the hard work we put into our games is paying off. Winning this medal only makes us want to work harder and do everything we can to help the U.S. Men’s National Team thrive.”

Tyler Mitchem

“Being able to represent my country and win a medal is rare, so having that happen tonight is one of the biggest honors I’ve had. [It] means all the work and sacrifice was worth it in the end. We live to play the sport we love, but we play the sport to win. Go USA!”

Matt Palma

“This medal means everything. It validates the hard work and commitment that we all put in every single day for the past three weeks. It embodies the passion and love we have for the game, and it showed not only in the bronze medal match, but in every match we played. It’s something that I know I’ll be able to look at and remember back to all the great memories that came from it.”

Jacob Pasteur

“This being my first experience with USA Volleyball, having the opportunity to represent our country in such an amazing fashion means so much to me. This organization has shown me once again how amazing our sport can be and why we push so hard to play it. Our national anthem being played with USA on my chest is a feeling like no other and one I will never forget. Taking a medal home is such an honor. Every time I see it, I will be reminded of one of my favorite memories for the rest of my life.”

Francesco Sani

“This medal proves that we can continue to fight and stay strong throughout the tournament, even if we’re shutdown in a particular match. It shows the power of our unique traits all brought together by the USA jersey. To myself, it shows that I can be a supporter even off the court despite not being able to play. I’m honored to be part of this team.”

Grant Sloane

“This means everything to me. We have grown close as a group over the last few weeks, so it feels great to end our trip and time together with a win and a medal.”

Daniel Wetter

“It means everything. This is my first time representing USA Volleyball internationally and my first piece of hardware as a volleyball player. Being able to win it for USA is a great honor.”


Roster

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)