RENO, USA (Aug. 13, 2015) – The United States used a new lineup and got better results as it defeated Mexico, 30-28, 25-22, 27-25 in a Pan American Cup pool play match on Thursday at the Reno Events Center.
The U.S. (1-1) will wrap up pool play on Friday at 7 p.m. PT against Argentina (2-0). Mexico (0-2) will face Venezuela (1-1). The pool winner will advance straight to Sunday’s semifinals while the second- and third-place teams will compete Saturday in the quarterfinals.
U.S. Head Coach Jeff Nygaard used a different lineup on Thursday than he used in Wednesday’s loss to Venezuela, seeking to evaluate different players and rotations.
“This is a huge summer to evaluate where guys are on the international stage against international competition,” Nygaard said. “We’ve got some good pieces out there moving forward into the last round against a really good team.”
Opposite Ben Patch, who spent time as a child in nearby Sparks, Nev., stood out on Thursday, leading all scorers with 19 points on a match-high 17 kills and two blocks. Outside hitter Jake Langlois added 16 points on 16 kills.
“The high points were when we down,” Patch said. “We were down three points in either set one or set three and our team just rallied around each other to create this cohesive unit that wouldn’t go down or give up.”
The U.S. led in spikes (51-45), blocks (8-4) and aces (2-1). Mexico scored on 25 U.S. errors while committing 21. Under starting setter Jonah Seif, the U.S. had a .367 hitting efficiency while Mexico hit .295. Seif also led all players in blocks with three.
Libero Michael Brinkley led all players in digs with 17. Langlois was credited with 30 excellent receptions.
“Yesterday was a wake-up call and we knew we had to come out and play better,” Brinkley said. “We had a few new players start today and those were two huge players for us. We had Ben and Jake start and those are two huge players for us.”
The U.S. led 18-12 in the first set, but Mexico used a 7-1 scoring run to tie the score at 19-19. The United States reached set point first at 24-23 on a spike by Patch, but Mexico countered. The U.S. held five more set points, but each time Mexico held them off. Finally, at 28-28, attacks from Jeff Jendryk and Langlois won the set for the U.S.
The U.S. was trailing 17-15 in the second set when it used a 5-0 run to take the 20-17 lead. Mexico never recovered.
The U.S. opened the third set with an ace from Seif, but then fell behind 11-7. Still trailing at 15-11, the United States used a 5-0 run, including a block by Andy Benesh and kill from Patch to lead 16-15 at the technical timeout. The U.S. reached match point at 24-23 on a spike by Patch, but Mexico’s Gonzalo Ruiz de la Cruz came back with an attack. The U.S. had a second match point at 25-24, which Mexico again fought off. The U.S took its third match point on a Jendryk attack and a Greg Petty spike gave it the victory.
Outside hitters: Jake Langlois and Greg Petty
Middle blockers: Jeff Jendryk and Andy Benesh
Opposite: Ben Patch
Setter: Jonah Seif
Libero: Michael Brinkley
Kills: Patch 17, Langlois 16, Jendryk 7, Petty 5, Benesh 4, Seif 2
Blocks: Seif 3, Patch 2, Petty 1, Jendryk 1, Benesh 1
Aces: Seif 1, Petty 1
Digs: Brinkley 17, Seif 8, Langlois 5, Petty 4, Patch 4, Benesh 3, Jendryk
2015 Pan American Cup
U.S. Men’s Roster
1 Cody Kessel (OH/Opp, 6-5, Colorado Springs, Colo., Princeton)
2 Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
3 Andy Benesh (MB, 6-8, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., Southern California)
5 Michael Brinkley (L, 5-10, Huntington Beach, Calif., UC Irvine)
8 Jake Langlois (OH, 6-10, San Jose, Calif., BYU)
9 Graham McIlvaine (S, 6-6, Hinsdale, Ill., Ball State)
19 AJ Nally (OH, 6-5, Rochester, N.Y., Springfield College)
20 Bobby Walsh (MB, 6-8, Chicago, Ill., Lewis)
21 Ben Patch (Opp, 6-8, Provo, Utah, BYU)
22 Jonah Seif (S, 6-6, Thousand Oaks, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
23 Greg Petty (OH, 6-5, Downers Grove, Ill., Lewis)
24 Kyle Russell (OH, 6-9, Loomis, Calif., UC Irvine)
Head Coach: Jeff Nygaard (USC men's head coach)
Assistant Coach: Colin McMillan (Penn State men's assistant coach)
Assistant Coach: Nils Nielsen (UCLA men's assistant coach)
Technical Coordinator: Jordan Cheng (Pepperdine)
Physiotherapist: Berangere Dwyer
2015 Pan American Cup Schedule
Aug. 12 (pool play)
Argentina def Mexico, 25-22, 25-18, 20-25, 25-15
Brazil def Dominican Republic, 25-19, 25-21, 25-22
Canada def Puerto Rico, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19
Venezuela def USA, 20-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-18
Aug. 13 (pool play)
Canada def Dominican Republic, 25-18, 25-21, 27-29, 17-25, 15-13
Argentina def Venezuela. 25-23, 25-21, 25-21
Brazil def Puerto Rico, 25-22, 25-22, 25-14
USA def Mexico, 30-28, 25-22, 27-25
Aug. 14 (pool play)
1 p.m. Dominican Republic v Puerto Rico
3 p.m. Mexico v Venezuela
5 p.m. Brazil v Canada
7 p.m. USA v Argentina
Aug. 15 (quarterfinals)
5 p.m. 2nd A v 3rd B
7 p.m. 2nd B v 3rd A
1 p.m. Classification 5/8
3 p.m. Classification 5/8
5 p.m. Semifinal
7 p.m. Semifinal
1 p.m. Classification 7/8
3 p.m. Classification 5/6
5 p.m. Bronze medal
7 p.m. Gold medal
Awards ceremony immediately following gold medal match