COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 23, 2013) – The U.S. Men’s Volleyball Team finished fifth at the Pan American Cup after defeating Dominican Republic, 25-20, 25-19, 25-14 on Friday in Mexico City, Mexico.
The victory gave the U.S. Men a winning record in the tournament at 3-2. Dominican Republic (1-3) will play Trinidad & Tobago on Saturday to determine which team finishes sixth.
“Finishing in fifth place was not what we really wanted,” U.S. Team Captain Ryan Ammerman (Parker, Colo.) said. “Our goal was to defend the title. We are disappointed, but I hope this can help us as an experience to improve.”
The U.S. Men played their best match of the tournament, leading in kills (43-25), blocks (6-3) and aces (9-2). Every athlete on the U.S. roster got playing time and every athletes scored, save for libero Michael Brinkley (Huntington Beach, Calif.), who was credited with three digs and nine excellent receptions.
“Yesterday we had the opportunity to win in four sets and we couldn’t,” U.S. Head Coach Shawn Patchell said. “I was worried that the players would be down, but we responded well.”
Outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) led all scorers with 17 points on a match-high 11 attacks (78.6 kill percent, .786 hitting efficiency), a match-high two blocks and a match-high four aces. Opposite Shawn Sangrey added nine points on seven attacks, one block and one ace.
Among other U.S. players, middle blocker Dan McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.) totaled eight points on six attacks, one block and one ace. Outside hitters Josh Taylor (Honolulu) and Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) each added five points on four kills and one ace.
Opposite Will Price (Laytonsville, Md.) scored four points on four kills. Middle blockers Jacek Ratajczak (Warsaw, Poland) and Russ Lavaja (St. Charles, Ill.) each totaled three points. Lavaja scored on three kills while Ratajczak had two kills and one block. Setter Connor Olbright (Orange, Calif.) added two points on one attack and one ace.
Outside hitter Ryan Jay Owens (Evanston, Ill.) scored one points on a kill and setter Ryan Ammerman (Parker, Colo.) scored one point with a block.
Olbright was credited with 13 running sets and Ammerman with six. The two combined to set the U.S. Men to a 63.2 kill percent and a .529 hitting efficiency.
U.S. Men’s Team Roster for Pan American Cup
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Connor Olbright (S, 6-4, Orange, Calif., Long Beach State)
4 Josh Taylor (OH, 6-7, Honolulu, Hawaii, Pepperdine)
5 Ryan Jay Owens (OH, 6-6, Evanston, Ill., Orange Coast College)
6 Joe Sunder (OH, 6-7, Greensburg, Pa., Penn State)
8 Michael Brinkley (L, 5-10, Huntington Beach, Calif., UC Irvine)
9 Dan McDonnell (MB, 6-6, Glendale, Ariz., UC Irvine)
12 Will Price (Opp, 6-5, 207, Laytonsville, Md., Penn State)
14 Ryan Ammerman (S, 6-8, Parker, Colo., UC Irvine)
15 Shawn Sangrey (Opp, 6-5, Columbia, Pa., Ohio State)
17 Jacek Ratajczak (MB, 7-2, Warsaw, Poland, Cal State Northridge)
18 Russ Lavaja (MB, 6-7, St. Charles, Ill., BYU)
19 Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)
Head Coach: Shawn Patchell (Concordia University)
Assistant Coach: Allan Vince (Cal Baptist University)
Team Manager/Technical Coordinator: Nick MacRae (Long Beach State)
Physiotherapist: Jamie Rodgers