COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 21, 2015) – The U.S. men’s team competing at the Pan American Games let a 2-0 lead slip away and fell to host Canada, 19-25, 25-27, 25-23, 25-16, 15-12 to finish third in Pool B of the men’s volleyball tournament on Monday at Exhibition Centre in Toronto.
The United States (1-2) will play Argentina (2-1) in the quarterfinals at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The winner will advance to the semifinals against Canada or Brazil. The losing team will play in the fifth-place match on Wednesday against the loser of the quarterfinal between Puerto Rico and Cuba.
The United States led Canada in attacks (56-54) and in aces (10-3). Canada led in blocking (12-8). Canada scored on 40 U.S. errors while committing 29.
“I think that they (Canada) really got aggressive,” U.S. Head Coach Charlie Sullivan said. “Their jump serve got really powerful. Their block got powerful. Their international experience showed. Our inexperience showed a little bit, but I cannot be upset about our guys. They are very young players that are still in college, some going back to college. So this is a great learning experience.”
U.S. opposite Zach La Cavera led all players in scoring with 18 points on 14 kills, one block and three aces. Middle blockers Taylor Averrill (7 kills, 2 blocks, 2 aces) and Kristopher Johnson (9 kills, 1 block, 1 ace were next with 11 points each and TJ DeFalco had 10 points (7 kills, 2 blocks, 1 ace).
La Cavera is the leading scorer in the tournament with 55 points on 47 kills, three blocks and five aces.
“We came with the mentality to stay aggressive, because we would face a very good team that played at the World League all summer,” Averill said. “I loved the way we came in and battle right from the start. I thought we gave a good battle at the beginning. They (Canada) are a great team and they came back, also they have great fans and it was an awesome environment to play.”
Outside hitter: TJ DeFalco and Brian Cook
Middle blocker: Taylor Averill and Kris Johnson
Opposite: Zach La Cavera
Setter: Matt West
Libero: Michael Brinkley
Kills: La Cavera 14, Cook 9, Johnson 9, Averill 7, DeFalco 7, Patch 6, Caldwell 1, Kaminski 1, Nally 1, West 1
Blocks: Averill 2, DeFalco 2, West 1, Johnson 1, La Cavera 1, Patch 1
Aces: La Cavera 3, Averill 2, Patch 2, Johnson 1, DeFalco 1, Kaminski 1
Digs: Brinkley 15, West 8, Cook 6, La Cavera 6, DeFalco 5, Nally 2, Averill 2, Johnson 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 (OH, 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)
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 def Mexico, 20-25, 27-25, 25-16, 25-17
July 21: Canada def USA vs. Canada, 19-25, 25-27, 25-23, 25-16, 15-12
July 22 at 7 p.m. ET: Quarterfinals - USA v Argentina
July 24: Semifinals
July 26: Medal Rounds