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U.S. Men Fall in 5 at Pan Am Cup

Aug. 22, 2013, 11 p.m. (ET)

The U.S. Men's Volleyball Team celebrates a play
   The U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team huddles during its match against Puerto Rico.

B.J. Hoeptner Evans, Manager, Communications, Phone: (719) 228-6800, E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 22, 2013) – The U.S. Men’s Volleyball Team will not play for a medal at the Pan American Cup after losing a heartbreaker to Puerto Rico in the quarterfinals on Thursday, 16-25, 25-16, 26-28, 27-25, 18-16.

The U.S. Men (2-2) will play Dominican Republic (1-2) on Friday. The match winner will finish fifth. The loser will play Trinidad & Tobago (0-3) to determine sixth and seventh places.

The U.S. defeated the Dominican Republic in their first pool play match on Monday, 3-2. This will be the first time the U.S. Men have not medaled at the Pan American Cup in seven tournament appearances.

Puerto Rico (1-2) will play Brazil (2-0) in one semifinal while Mexico (3-0) will play Argentina (2-1) in the other.

“Congratulations to Puerto Rico, they really controlled the game in the middle,” U.S. Head Coach Shawn Patchell said. “We had some chances to win, but they defended and played very well.”

Puerto Rico led in kills (69-60), aces (4-2) and digs (16-7) while the U.S. led in blocks (19-10).

Outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) led the United States with 21 points on 16 kills, three blocks and two aces. Opposite Will Price (Laytonsville, Md.) added 19 points on 18 attacks and one block. Middle blocker Dan McDonnell (Glendale, Ariz.) totaled 10 points on six kills and four blocks.

Outside hitter Josh Taylor (Honolulu) finished with nine points on nine kills. Setter Ryan Ammerman (Parker, Colo.) collected seven points on three attacks and four blocks. He was also credited with 24 running sets on 99 attempts.

Middle blocker Jacek Ratajczak (Warsaw, Poland) scored six points on one attack and a match-high five blocks. Outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) added six points on four kills and two blocks. Outside hitter Ryan Jay Owens (Evanston, Ill.) totaled two points on two kills and middle blocker Russ Lavaja (St. Charles, Ill.) had one point on a kill.

Libero Michael Brinkley (Huntington Beach, Calif.) was credited with three digs and eight excellent receptions. Sander led the team in excellent receptions with 10. Setter Connor Olbright (Orange, Calif.) played as a substitute and had two running sets.

Patchell started Sander and Sunder at outside hitter, McDonnell and Ratajczak at middle blocker, Price at opposite, Ammerman at setter and Brinkley at libero. Taylor substituted in the second set and started the fourth and fifth for Sunder. Lavaja started the second set for Ratajczak, who returned to start the rest of the match.

Olbright, Owens and opposite Shawn Sangrey (Columbia, Pa.) all played as substitutes.

U.S. Men’s Team Roster for Pan American Cup
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 Connor Olbright (S, 6-4, Orange, Calif., Long Beach State)
4 Josh Taylor (OH, 6-7, Honolulu, Hawaii, Pepperdine)
5 Ryan Jay Owens (OH, 6-6, Evanston, Ill., Orange Coast College)
6 Joe Sunder (OH, 6-7, Greensburg, Pa., Penn State)
8 Michael Brinkley (L, 5-10, Huntington Beach, Calif., UC Irvine)
9 Dan McDonnell (MB, 6-6, Glendale, Ariz., UC Irvine)
12 Will Price (Opp, 6-5, 207, Laytonsville, Md., Penn State)
14 Ryan Ammerman (S, 6-8, Parker, Colo., UC Irvine)
15 Shawn Sangrey (Opp, 6-5, Columbia, Pa., Ohio State)
17 Jacek Ratajczak (MB, 7-2, Warsaw, Poland, Cal State Northridge)
18 Russ Lavaja (MB, 6-7, St. Charles, Ill., BYU)
19 Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)

Head Coach: Shawn Patchell (Concordia University)
Assistant Coach: Allan Vince (Cal Baptist University)
Team Manager/Technical Coordinator: Nick MacRae (Long Beach State)
Physiotherapist: Jamie Rodgers