U.S. Men Open Pan Am Games with Loss

By B.J. Evans | July 17, 2015, 9:49 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 17, 2015) – An experienced Puerto Rican team defeated the young U.S. Men, 25-23, 24-26, 25-20, 28-26 in their opening pool play match of the 2015 Pan American Games on Friday at Exhibition Centre in Toronto.

The U.S. Men (0-1) will play Mexico (0-1) on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.

OFFICIAL STATISTICS| 2015 PAN AM GAMES SITE | U.S. PAN AM GAMES PAGE

The U.S. Men actually led Puerto Rico in kills (61-52) and tied in aces (2-2). Puerto Rico held a slight lead in blocks (6-5). But Puerto Rico took advantage of 42 unforced errors by the U.S. – 26 on serves – while committing 27.

U.S. opposite Zach La Cavera of the U.S. led all scorers with 20 points on a match-high 20 kills. Outside hitter Brian Cook added 17 points on 16 kills and one ace. Middle blocker Taylor Averill had 10 points on nine kills and one block.

Steven Morales topped Puerto Rico with 17 points. Puerto Rico’s team is the same one that competed in the FIVB World League earlier this summer.

Friday’s Starters
Outside Hitters: Brian Cook and AJ Nally
Middle Blockers: Taylor Averill and Kris Johnson
Opposite: Zach La Cavera
Setter: Jonah Seif
Libero: Michael Brinkley

Friday’s Statistics
Kills: La Cavera 20, Cook 16, Averill 9, Nally 6, Johnson 6, DeFalco 2, Patch 1, Seif 1
Blocks: Johnson 2, Averill 1, Nally 1, Seif 1
Aces: Cook 1, Seif 1
Digs: Brinkley 7, Nally 6, Cook 5, Seif 3, La Cavera 3, Johnson 1, Averill 1

U.S. Pan American Games
Men’s Volleyball Team Roster
3 - Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7, San Jose, Calif., University of Hawaii)
5 - Michael Brinkley (L, 5-10, Huntington Beach, Calif., University of California – Irvine)
6 - Cody Caldwell (OH, 6-7, Newport Beach, Calif., Loyola University – Chicago)
7 - Brian Cook (OH, 6-6, Santa Cruz, Calif., Stanford University)
12 - Kris Johnson (MB, 6-11, Long Beach, Calif., California Baptist University)
14 - TJ DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State University)
16 - Zach La Cavera (OPP, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., University of California – Irvine)
17 - Mitch Stahl (MB, 6-8, Chambersburg, Pa., University of California – Los Angeles)
19 - AJ Nally (L, 6-5, Rochester, N.Y., Springfield College)
21 - Ben Patch (OPP, 6-8, Provo, Utah, Brigham Young University)
22 - Jonah Seif (S, 6-6, Thousand Oaks, Calif., University of California – Santa Barbara)
25 - Matt West (S, 6-6, Seattle, Wash., Pepperdine University)

Head Coach: Charlie Sullivan
Assistant Coach: Erik Sullivan
Technical Coordinator: Sam Zapatka
Team Manager: Thomas Pestolesi
Athletic Trainer/Therapist: Monica Cordova

Pan Am Games Schedule (All Times Local)
Pool A: Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Cuba
Pool B: Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, United States

Pool Play for Team USA
July 17: Puerto Rico def USA, 25-23, 24-26, 25-20, 28-26
July 19: USA vs. Mexico, 9 p.m.
July 21: USA vs. Canada, 7 p.m.

July 22: Quarterfinals
July 24: Semifinals
July 26: Medal Rounds