U.S. Men Beat Canada for Pan American Cup Gold

June 08, 2008, 1:34 a.m. (ET)

B.J. Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org

ANAHEIM, Calif. (June 7, 2008) - The young U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team sent to Winnipeg for the Pan American Cup will be coming home with gold medals following a 3-1 (25-22, 27-29, 25-22, 25-22) victory over Canada on Saturday in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

With the victory, the U.S. Men finished the tournament 4-0 in the tournament. Canada took the silver medal with a 3-1 record. In the bronze-medal match, the Dominican Republic defeated Mexico, 3-2 (23-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-18, 15-12).

Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) led the U.S. Men with 23 points on a match-high 21 kills and two aces. Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) added 14 points on 11 kills, one block and two aces. Nate Meerstein (La Porte City, Iowa) scored 13 points on 10 kills and a match-high three blocks and Andrew Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) was also in double digits, scoring 10 points on seven kills, two blocks and one ace.

Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) scored nine points on eight kills and one ace. Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) tallied seven points on five kills, one block and one ace. Robert Tarr (Cape Canaveral, Fla.) added five points on five kills. Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) scored two points on a kills and an ace and Tyler Hildebrand (Mesa, Ariz.) scored one point on an ace.

The U.S. Men finished with nine team aces, as opposed to three for Canada. Canada recorded 53 percent positive serve receptions and only 35 percent "excellent." The United States had 75 percent positive serve receptions with 52 percent "excellent."

Libero Alfee Reft (Oxnard, Calif.) led the way on defense with 26 serve receptions; 88 percent positive and 62 percent "excellent." Jablonsky had 25 serve receptions with 76 percent positive and 48 percent "excellent."

Nicholas Cundy led Canada with 16 points on 13 kills, two blocks and one ace. No other Canadian player scored in double digits.

U.S. Head Coach Alan Knipe started Tarr and Jablonsky at outside hitter, Hein and Meerstein at middle blocker, Patak at opposite, Winder at setter and Reft at libero.

Anderson came in as a serving substitute in the second set and started the fourth set. Lotman substituted in the first three sets before starting the fourth. Hildebrand was also a substitute in three sets.

The first set saw the U.S. Men take an 8-4 lead at the first technical timeout and 16-12 at the second. Canada cut the lead to one at 17-16, but Team USA took a timeout and scored two straight points on a kill and block from Hein to go back up by three. Canada pulled to within one point down two more times, but the U.S. Men held them off.

The second set was close from the start and the United States led 8-7 at the first technical timeout and 16-14 at the second. Later, Canada would take a 22-21 lead. Team USA answered with kills from Tarr and Patak to lead 23-22. The United States reached set point first at 24-23, but Canada tied it. The U.S. Men reached set point two more times, but Canada tied the score each time with a kill. At 27-27, Soonias gave Canada its second set point with a kill and a United States hitting error gave Canada the win.

The third set found Team USA trailing 3-8 at the first technical timeout. With Canada leading 12-8, Anderson served the U.S. Men to four straight points, including an ace, to tie the score at 12-12. Team USA led 16-14 at the second technical timeout and, except for a tie at 20-20, never relinquished the lead.

The U.S. Men led 8-4 at the first technical timeout of the fourth set and 16-12 at the second. But Canada did not back down and eventually the score was tied at 22-22. The U.S. Men scored the next three points on Canada's serving error, a kill by Anderson and an ace from Lotman to win the match.

The event Web site is www.volleyball.ca/index.asp?page=295.

U.S. Men's National Team for the Pan American Cup
1 Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
4 Evan Patak (Opp., 6-8, Pleasanton, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
5 Robert Tarr (OH, 6-6, Cape Canaveral, Fla., Long Beach State)
6 Matt Proper (Opp., 6-7, Meadville, Pa., Penn State)
7 Nate Meerstein (MB, 6-9, La Porte City, Iowa, Penn State)
8 Jayson Jablonsky (OH, 6-5, Yorba Linda, Calif., UC Irvine)
9 Jonathan Winder (S, 6-8, Irvine, Calif., Pepperdine)
11 Tyler Hildebrand (S, 6-5, Mesa, Ariz., Long Beach State)
12 Andrew Hein (MB, 6-11, Carol Stream, Ill., Pepperdine)
13 Nick Scheftic (MB, 6-11, Santa Barbara, Calif., UCLA)
15 Paul Lotman (OH, 6-7, Lakewood, Calif. , Long Beach State)
19 Alfee Reft (L, 5-10, Oxnard, Calif., Hawai'i)
Head coach: Alan Knipe
Assistant coach: John Hawks
Team Manager: Bill Neville
Therapist/Trainer: Jeffrey O'Brien
Medical Support: Aimee Miyazawa

Canada 3-0
Dominican Republic 2-1
Puerto Rico 1-2
Trinidad & Tobago 0-3

USA 2-0
Mexico 1-1
Costa Rica 0-2

June 2
Dominican Republic def. Puerto Rico, 3-1 (25 20, 25-19, 22-25, 25- 21)
Canada def. Trinidad & Tobago, 3-0 (25-12, 25-13, 25-13)
USA def. Costa Rica, 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-17)

June 3
Canada def. Puerto Rico, 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-13)
Dominican Republic def.  Trinidad & Tobago, 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 27-25)
USA vs. Mexico, 3-0 (25-20, 25-11, 25-16)

June 4
Puerto Rico def. Trinidad & Tobago, 3-2 (20-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 15-13)
Mexico def. Costa Rica, 3-0 (25-19, 29-27, 25-22)
Canada vs. Dominican Republic, 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-22)

June 5
Mexico def. Puerto Rico, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-19)
Dominican Republic def. Costa Rica, 3-0 (25-21, 28-26, 25-15)

June 6
Fifth-place: Costa Rica def. Puerto Rico, 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 25-20, 25-23)
Semifinal: USA def. Dominican Republic, 3-1 (25-22, 32-30, 25-22, 25-23)
Semifinal: Canada def. Mexico, 3-1 (25-18, 22-25, 25-12, 25-18)

June 7
Sixth-place: Trinidad & Tobago def. Puerto Rico, 3-1 (25-23, 25-18, 25-22, 25-23)
Third-place: Dominican Republic def. Mexico, 3-2 (23-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-18, 15-12)
Gold Medal: USA vs. Canada, 3-1 (25-22, 27-29, 25-22, 25-22)