USA Volleyball Features Gold One Win Away at...

Gold One Win Away at Men’s Pan Am Cup

June 17, 2011, 7:41 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Associate Director, Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800

Unofficial DataVolley Stats - Official Stats

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 17, 2011) – The U.S. Men’s National A2 Team will look for its fifth Men’s Pan American Cup gold medal on Saturday after defeating Puerto Rico 25-18, 25-17, 25-14 in semifinal round Friday evening in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada.

The U.S. will face Brazil in the Pan American Cup gold-medal match on Saturday at 8 p.m. local time (5 p.m. PT). Brazil defeated Canada 25-20, 29-27, 25-16 in the second semifinal on Friday night. The Americans have won four of the five previous Men’s Pan American Cups (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010).

“Brazil is a good team and we will have to play our best match to beat them,” U.S. Men’s National A2 Team Head Coach Gordon Mayforth said. “It should be a great final with the two most accomplished programs in recent years battling once again for a title.”

The U.S. broke an 11-all tie in the opening set versus Puerto Rico with a 5-0 scoring run to take a 16-11 advantage, then pushed to a 25-18 victory. The Americans used five unanswered points to gain a 11-5 lead in the second set and finished out the set 25-17 with nine of the last 13 points. Team USA bolted to an 8-1 lead in the third set and led by as many as 12 points (20-8) before finishing with a 25-14 victory.

All 12 American players saw action in the match with 10 hitting the scoring column. Will Price (Laytonsville, Md.) and Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) tallied 10 points apiece in pacing the U.S. Price contributed eight kills on 14 attacks and two aces, while Jablonsky recorded nine kills on 19 attacks and an ace. David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) charted four blocks, three kills and an ace for eight points. Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.) picked up three kills, two blocks and an ace for six points. Jeff Manzel (Santa Barbara, Calif.) totaled two kills and an ace in only the third set, while Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) pocketed three kills in a reserve role. Kawika Shoji (Honolulu) and Robert Tarr (Cape Canaveral, Fla.) were credited with two points each with a kill and block, while Garrett Muagututia (Oceanside, Calif.) rounded out the scoring with a block.

“Our players are very focused now and making it easy to coach them because they are keeping each other focused and on task,” Mayforth said. “We wanted to run our middle attack, quick and bic, and I think we did that successfully. We improved our serve, block and transition to score points, which will help us for tomorrow's match.”

Winder provided the American offense with 20 assists in helping the team to a 46.9 kill percent and .391 hitting efficiency with only five attack errors. Team USA held a slim 14-13 margin digs, while converting 19 of 32 service receptions into successes. Puerto Rico had trouble with the American serve, converting just 36 of 65 service receptions into successes.

Mayforth singled out the performances of three of his players after the match.

“Will Price was very good tonight, as were Andy Hein and David Smith,” Mayforth said.

Mayforth started Smith and Hein at middle blocker, Jablonsky and Tarr at outside hitter, Price at opposite and Winder at setter. Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) was the libero for the match. Menzel started the third set in place of Tarr. Troy and Shoji subbed into the match in all three sets, while Muagututia subbed into the match in the second set. Ryan Meehan (Dana Point, Calif.) was a reserve in the third set.

Although the U.S. held only a slim 30-29 margin in kills, it won the blocking battle 10-7 and the service game with a 6-2 ace advantage. Further, Puerto Rico committed 29 errors in the match to the Americans’ 11.

The U.S. and Puerto Rico are using developmental and National Team reserve players during the Pan American Cup with both countries participating in the FIVB World League at the same time. The U.S. is currently in second place in the World League Pool A with a 4-2 record and will host Poland this weekend at Hoffman Estates, Ill. Puerto Rico is 0-6 in Pool A and will face Brazil June 17-18. The U.S. and Puerto Rico will meet each other in World League action on July 1-2 in Long Beach, Calif.

Ulises Maldonado and Ezequiel Cruz totaled 10 points each in leading Puerto Rico.

Earlier today, Bahamas defeated Panama 21-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-18 to finish the tournament in ninth place. In the Classification 5-8 matches, Venezuela topped Argentina 25-11, 26-24, 16-25, 27-25 and Mexico defeated Dominican Republic 25-21, 25-22, 25-23.

The U.S. netted an early 7-4 lead in the opening set by scoring three unanswered points with a Tarr kill, Hein block and Puerto Rico error. Puerto Rico cut the gap to 8-7 with two points out of the first technical timeout. The Americans regrouped with a Puerto Rico service error and attack error. The Puerto Ricans bounced back with three straight points to tie the set at 10-all. The Americans responded with a 5-0 scoring run into the second technical timeout leading 16-11 after a Price kill and ace, Smith block and two Puerto Rican errors. Out of the break, Puerto Rico sliced two points off the deficit with an ace at 16-13. The Americans regained its five-point cushion with a Puerto Rico service error and Jablonsky kill. Smith and Troy scored consecutive kills to push the margin to 20-14. Troy and Hein pounded back-to-back kills to take a 22-15 lead, but Puerto Rico notched consecutive points to cut the deficit to 22-17. The U.S. closed out the set 25-18 with a Price kill and Puerto Rico attack that went long. Price led the Americans with five points, while Smith added four points. Team USA limited its errors to four in the set, while Puerto Rico committed eight.

The U.S. built a 4-1 lead in the second set with a Winder block after two consecutive Puerto Rico errors. The gap narrowed to 5-4 on back-to-back Puerto Rico points. Jablonsky served an ace that trickled off the net to produce an 8-5 American lead at the first technical timeout. Out of the break, Tarr and Hein formed consecutive blocks to extend the American lead to 10-5 leading to a Puerto Rico timeout. Out of the timeout, Puerto Rico hit wide for a fifth consecutive point for the Americans on Jablonsky’s serve. Puerto Rico cut the deficit to 15-13 with a 5-1 scoring run. Team USA ended the run with consecutive Puerto Rico errors at 17-13. The Americans extended their advantage to 19-14 with a Price kill and Muagututia block. Three consecutive Puerto Rico errors increased the U.S. lead to 21-15. Jablonsky and Price connected for back-to-back kills to close the set at 25-17. Price tallied four points for the U.S. in the second set, while Puerto Rico gave the Americans 12 points on errors.

The Americans scored the first four points of the third set as Hein scored an ace after a Jablonsky kill, Smith block and Puerto Rico error. The U.S. continued the pressure by taking an 8-1 lead into the first technical timeout with a Price ace, Smith block and kill and Menzel kill. Jablonsky hammered two kills around a Smith ace to push Puerto Rico to call a timeout down 12-3. Jablonsky pushed the American advantage to 17-8 with a kill after the second technical timeout. Menzel served an ace after a Puerto Rico service error, followed by a Troy kill to extend the Team USA lead to 20-8. Puerto Rico used a 5-1 scoring run to close the deficit to 21-13. Shoji put up a kill and block on consecutive plays to give the Americans several match points at 24-13. The U.S. captured the set 25-14 with a Puerto Rico service error.

U.S. Men’s A2 Team Roster for Men's Pan American Cup
No. - Name (Position, Height, Weight, Hometown, College)
1 - Jeff Menzel (OH, 6-6, 210, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
4 - Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, 225, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA)
6 - Murphy Troy (OH, 6-8, 240, St. Louis, Mo., Southern California)
7 - Jonathan Winder (S, 6-8, 216, Irvine, Calif., Pepperdine)
8 - Andy Hein (MB, 6-11, 232, Carol Stream, Ill., Pepperdine)
9 - Ryan Meehan (MB, 6-8, 209, Dana Point, Calif., Long Beach State)
11 - Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, 194, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
12 - David Smith (MB, 6-7, 190, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
16 C - Robert Tarr (OH, 6-6, 200, Cape Canaveral, Fla., Long Beach State)
17 - Will Price (Opp, 6-5, 207, Laytonsville, Md., Penn State)
18 - Jayson Jablonsky (OH, 6-5, 205, Yorba Linda, Calif., UC Irvine)
19 - Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, 162, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)

Head Coach: Gordon Mayforth (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Team Leader: Jon Roberts
Assistant Coach: Sean Byron
Therapist/Trainer: Shawn Patchell
Technical Coordinator: Jacob Schick
Medical Support: Chad Eichten

2011 Men's Pan American Cup
June 13-18 in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

Schedule (all times PT)

Group A (Brazil 2-0, Mexico 1-1, Venezuela 0-2)
June 13: Brazil def. Mexico 25-22, 25-20, 25-15
June 14: Mexico def. Venezuela 25-16, 23-25, 23-25, 25-15, 15-13
June 15: Brazil def. Venezuela 25-23, 25-14, 25-11

Group B (Canada 2-0, Puerto Rico 1-1, Dominican Republic 0-2)
June 13: Canada def. Puerto Rico 25-17, 25-17, 25-17
June 14: Puerto Rico def. Dominican Republic 25-27, 25-23, 28-26, 25-17
June 15: Canada def. Dominican Republic 25-18, 25-23, 25-14

Group C (USA 3-0, Argentina 2-1, Panama 1-2, Bahamas 0-3)
June 13: USA def. Bahamas 25-14, 25-12, 25-12
June 13: Argentina def. Panama 25-16, 25-23, 25-21
June 14: Argentina def. Bahamas 25-20, 25-16, 25-9
June 14: USA def. Panama, 25-14 25-14, 25-11
June 15: Panama def. Bahamas 19-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-18
June 15: USA def. Argentina 25-15, 25-21, 25-19

June 16: Venezuela def. Panama 25-20, 25-13, 25-15 (Classification 5-10)
June 16: Dominican Republic def. Bahamas 25-20, 25-14, 22-25, 23-25, 15-12 (Classification 5-10)
June 16: Puerto Rico def. Argentina 25-20, 25-17, 20-25, 27-25 (Quarterfinals)
June 16: Canada def. Mexico 22-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-18 (Quarterfinals)

June 17: Bahamas def. Panama 21-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-18 (9th Place)
June 17: Venezuela def. Argentina 25-11, 26-24, 16-25, 27-25 (Classification 5-8)
June 17: Mexico def. Dominican Republic 25-21, 25-22, 25-23 (Classification 5-8)
June 17: USA def. Puerto Rico 25-18, 25-17, 25-14 (Semifinals)
June 17: Brazil def. Canada 25-20, 29-27, 25-16 (Semifinals)

June 18: Argentina vs. Dominican Republic, 10 a.m. (7th Place)
June 18: Mexico vs. Venezuela, noon (5th Place)
June 18: Puerto Rico vs. Canada, 3 p.m. (Bronze Medal)
June 18: USA vs. Brazil, 5 p.m. (Gold Medal)