COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 13, 2012) – A young group of players from the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team will play Argentina in the finals of the Pan American Cup on Saturday after outlasting the Dominican Republic, 25-21, 23-25, 25-22, 25-27, 15-12 on Friday in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The U.S. Men (4-0) will play Argentina (4-0) for the gold medal at 5 p.m. PT. Dominican Republic (3-2) will face Brazil (3-2) for the bronze.
The U.S. Men led the Dominican Republic in kills (63-59) and blocks (12-10). The Dominicans led in aces (10-4) and digs (29-19).
The U.S. took advantage of 34 Dominican errors while giving up 28 points on errors.
The score was tied 7-7 in the fifth-set tiebreaker when the U.S. Men scored twice on a Dominican error and Rawson block. The U.S. reached match point at 14-11. The Dominican came back to score before the U.S. won it on a Dominican error.
"The Dominican Republic has made amazing improvement since I saw them in California (at the NORCECA Olympic Qualifier),” U.S. Head Coach Shawn Patchell said. “Their serves kept us off balance.”
U.S. outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) led his team with 22 points on a team-high 19 kills (54.3 kill percent, .400 hitting efficiency), one block and a team-high two aces. Opposite Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) added 15 points on 14 attacks (50.0 kill percent, .357 hitting efficiency) and one block.
Outside hitter Tony Ciarelli (Huntington Beach, Calif.) contributed 10 points on nine attacks and one block. Middle blocker Matt Rawson (Los Angeles) totaled nine points on four kills and a team-high five blocks.
Outside hitter Garrett Muagututia (Oceanside, Calif.) scored seven points on six attacks and one ace. Opposite Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.) added five points on five attacks.
Setter Kawika Shoji (Hawaii) finished with five points on two kills, two blocks and one ace. He was credited with 15 assists and set the team to a 50.4 kill percent and a .376 hitting efficiency. The Dominican had a 40.4 kill percent and a .226 hitting efficiency.
The Dominican Republic’s Elvis Contreras led all scorers with 28 points on 22 kills, one block and five aces.
U.S. libero Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) was credited with a team-high nine digs and 10 excellent receptions. Sander led in excellent receptions with 13.
Patchell started Sander and Ciarelli at outside hitter, Rawson and Dan McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.) at middle blocker, Clark at opposite, Shoji at setter and Watten at libero.
Davis substituted for McDonnell in the first set and started the next four. Troy took over for Clark in the second set and started the next three. Muagututia substituted for Ciarelli in the second set and started the third and fourth before Ciarelli returned to start the fifth.
Outside hitter Jordan Dufault (Lakewood, Calif.) played as a substitute.
For the U.S. Men’s event page for the Pan American Cup, visit usavolleyball.org/events/10273.
U.S. Men’s Pan American Cup Team
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 - Dylan Davis (MB, 6-9, Corona Del Mar, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
2 - Matt Rawson (MB, 6-7, Los Angeles, Hawaii)
4 - Carson Clark (Opp, 6-5, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
5 - Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA)
6 - Murphy Troy (Opp, 6-8, St. Louis, Mo., USC)
7 - Jordan Dufault (OH, 6-4, Lakewood, Calif., UC Irvine)
9 - Daniel McDonnell (MB, 6-6, Glendale, Ariz., UC Irvine)
12 - Tony Ciarelli (OH, 6-6, Huntington Beach, Calif., USC)
13 - Ryan Ammerman (S, 6-8, Parker, Colo., UC Irvine)
14 - Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
22 - Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)
24 - Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Stanford)
Head Coach: Shawn Patchell
Assistant Coach: Tim Johnson
Team Manager: Nicholas MacRae
Athletic Trainer: Chad Eichten
2012 Men’s Pan American Cup Schedule and Results
Pool A: Argentina, Canada, Dominican Republic, Trinidad
Pool B: Brazil, Mexico, United States, Venezuela
Pool A Schedule and Results
July 9: Argentina def. Canada 25-20, 17-25, 23-25, 25-19, 16-14
July 9: Dominican Republic def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-13, 25-19, 30-28
July 10: Argentina def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-10, 25-18, 24-26, 25-11
July 10: Dominican Republic def. Canada, 25-23, 25-20, 25-17
July 11: Canada def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-15, 25-22, 25-23
July 11: Argentina def. Dominican Republic, 21-25, 25-23, 25-17, 20-25, 15-13.
Pool B Schedule and Results
July 9: Brazil def. Mexico 25-15, 25-15, 25-16
July 9: United States def. Venezuela 25-17, 25-19, 25-12
July 10: United States def. Mexico, 25-8, 25-126, 25-18
July 10: Brazil def. Venezuela, 25-20, 25-15, 25-16
July 11: Mexico def. Venezuela, 25-21, 25-21, 25-23
July 11: United States def. Brazil, 22-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-22
July 12: Brazil def. Canada, 23-25, 25-16, 25-18, 25-13
July 12: Dominican Republic def. Mexico, 23-25, 25-19, 25-21, 30-28
July 13: Mexico def. Trinidad & Tobago, 25-19, 25-14, 25-14
July 13: Canada def. Venezuela, 25-18, 28-26, 25-20
July 13: Argentina def. Brazil, 25-20, 25-17, 25-27, 18-25, 15-13
July 13: United States def. Dominican Republic, 25-21, 23-25, 25-22, 25-27, 15-12
July 14: Trinidad & Tobago vs. Venezuela, 1 p.m. (Classification 7-8)
July 14: Mexico vs. Canada, 3 p.m. (Classification 5-6)
July 14: Dominican Republic vs. Brazil, 5 p.m. (bronze-medal match)
July 14: Argentina vs. United States, 8 p.m. (gold-medal match)