B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 6, 2011) – USA Volleyball has announced the 11 athletes that will travel to Guadalajara, Mexico to compete on Oct. 24-29 at the Pan American Games.
Held every four years in the year before the Olympic Games, the Pan American Games are the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games.
The veteran member of this year’s U.S. Men’s Pan American Games team will be U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team member Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) at opposite. Patak led the team in scoring this year at the London Volleyball International Invitational and also saw significant playing time at the NORCECA Continental Championship. He has played with the U.S. Men's National Team since 2009.
The Pan Am Games team will also include four players who will complete their college careers in the spring: outside hitters Tony Ciarelli (Huntington Beach, Calif.) of the University of Southern California and Matt Stork (Topanga, Calif.) of Cal State Northridge, middle blocker Nick Vogel (El Cajon, Calif.) of UCLA and setter Kyle Caldwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) of UCLA.
Other players on the roster are outside hitters Eric Vance (Camarillo, Calif.), Jordan DuFault (Lakewood, Calif.) and Tri Bourne (Honolulu, Hawaii), middle blockers Matt Rawson (Los Angeles) and Cody Loe (Chatsworth, Calif.) and libero Kirk Francis (Torrance, Calif.).
Ciarelli, Vogel, Caldwell and Bourne have all played for U.S. men's junior national teams. Bourne was also on the 2011 U.S. World University Games team.
U.S. Head Coach John Speraw, who is the head men’s volleyball coach at UC Irvine, is looking forward to seeing what his young team can do against some of the top teams in the world.
“I think there are a number of these guys that could have future on national team,” Speraw said. “This will be a good opportunity to see if those evaluations are accurate.”
Due to the late date of this year’s Pan American Games, many players were not available due to commitments to overseas clubs as well as colleges and universities.
Twelve players were originally selected to be on the team. However one player withdrew for personal reasons after the deadline had passed for a replacement.
“I have to think that other teams are in the same situation as us,” Speraw said. “I have no idea what level the other teams are going to be. We’re going to take advantage of every opportunity we have to make this the best team possible. We are going to work really hard and represent USA Volleyball the best we can.”
Speraw will be assisted by Jeff Nygaard, an assistant at USC, and Charlie Sullivan, head coach at Springfield College. Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.) will serve as team manager.
The team will begin competition on Oct. 24 in Group B with Brazil, Canada and Puerto Rico. Group A will include Argentina, Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela.
Since volleyball was introduced into the Pan American Games in 1955, the U.S. Men have claimed gold on four occasions, including back-to-back performances in 1955 and 1959. The third gold medal for the American men came in 1967, the only year that the U.S. Men’s and Women’s team both captured gold medals.
After 20 years, head coach Marv Dunphy brought the U.S. back to the top of the men’s volleyball scene with a gold medal finish in 1987. Dunphy and the Americans carried the momentum from the Pan American Games into the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, by winning its second consecutive Olympic gold medal.
In the 14 Pan American Games featuring men’s volleyball, the U.S. has played into the final match on eight occasions and has advanced to medal-round matches 11 times.
In 2007, Ron Larsen led the United States to second place at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The U.S. lost to world top-ranked Brazil 25-16, 25-20, 25-22 in the championship match on July 28. The Americans were denied their fifth gold medal at the Pan American Games. However, the U.S. improved upon its previous Pan American Games finish of fourth place in 2003 at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, while using a young group balanced with veterans to win the silver.
U.S. Men’s Pan American Games Team
No Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
2 Tony Ciarelli (OH, 6-6, Huntington Beach, Calif., USC)
3 Evan Patak (Opp, 6-8, Pleasanton, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
5 Eric Vance (OH, 6-4, Camarillo, Calif., Cal State Northridge)
6 Nick Vogel (MB, 6-9, El Cajon, Calif., UCLA)
8 Kyle Caldwell (S, 6-9, Newport Beach, Calif., UCLA)
10 Matt Rawson (MB, 6-7, Los Angeles, Calif., Hawaii)
11 Matt Stork (OH, 6-5, Topanga, Calif., Cal State Northridge)
12 Kirk Francis (L, 5-11, Torrance, Calif., Long Beach State)
14 Cody Loe (MB, 6-8, Chatsworth, Calif., Cal State Northridge)
15 Jordan DuFault (OH, 6-4, Lakewood, Calif., UC Irvine)
16 Tri Bourne (OH, 6-5, Honolulu, Hawai'i, USC, Aloha)
Head Coach: John Speraw (UC Irvine)
Team Manager: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Assistant Coach: Jeff Nygaard (USC)
Therapist/Trainer: Charlie Sullivan (Springfield College)
Athletic Trainer: Aimee Miyazawa
Pan American Games Schedule (All times PT)
Oct. 24 at 1 p.m.: Cuba vs. Argentina
Oct. 24 at 6 p.m.: Venezuela vs. Mexico
Oct. 25 at 1 p.m.: Cuba vs. Venezuela
Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. Argentina vs. Mexico
Oct. 26 at 1 p.m. Argentina vs. Venezuela
Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. Cuba vs. Mexico
Oct. 24 at 11 a.m.: USA vs. Puerto Rico
Oct. 24 at 4 p.m.: Brazil vs. Canada
Oct. 25 at 11 a.m.: Brazil vs. Puerto Rico
Oct. 25 at 4 p.m.: USA vs. Canada
Oct. 26 at 11 a.m.: Puerto Rico vs. Canada
Oct. 26 at 6 p.m.: Brazil vs. USA
Oct. 27 at 4 p.m.: A 2nd vs. B 3rd
Oct. 27 at 6 p.m.: B 2nd vs. A 3rd
Oct. 28 at 10 a.m.: A 4th vs. Quarterfinal loser
Oct. 28 at 5 p.m.: B 4th vs. Quarterfinal loser
Oct. 28 at noon: A winner vs. Quarterfinal winner
Oct. 28 at 3 p.m.: B winner vs. Quarterfinal winner
Oct. 29 at 11 a.m.: Classification 7-8
Oct. 29 at 1 p.m.: Classification 5-6
Oct. 29 at 4 p.m.: Bronze medal match
Oct. 29 at 6 p.m.: Gold medal match
Past U.S. Pan American Games Men’s Volleyball Finishes
1963: Silver (Brazil gold)
1971: Silver (Cuba gold)
1975: Fourth (Cuba gold)
1979: Fourth (Cuba gold)
1983: Fourth (Brazil gold)
1991: Fifth (Cuba gold
1995: Silver (Argentina gold)
1999: Seventh (Cuba gold)
2003: Fourth (Venezuela gold)
2007: Silver (Brazil gold)