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U.S. Men's A2 Team to Play Brazil in Semifinal

May 27, 2010, 8:47 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 27, 2010) – The U.S. Men’s A2 Volleyball Team advanced to the semifinals of the 2010 Pan American Cup after sweeping Dominican Republic, 25-14, 25-18, 25-18 on Thursday at Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Team USA (3-0) will face Brazil (2-0) in Friday’s first semifinal match at 7 p.m. ET. Puerto Rico (2-1) will play Argentina (2-0) at 9 p.m.

Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.) led the United States with 12 points on nine kills (0.64 attack percentage), two blocks and one ace. Robert Tarr (Cape Canaveral, Fla.) added 11 points on six kills (0.60 attack percentage) a match-high three blocks and two aces. Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.) contributed nine points on seven kills (0.63 attack percentage), one block and one ace.

Jose Caceres led Dominican Republic with 11 points. Victor Batista added eight.

“These two teams have played each other many times and it was a good battle,” U.S. Men's A2 Head Coach Rick McLaughlin said. “We started well and kept it going with good serves. The Dominican coach does a good job with his talented team.”

“The Americans were the superior team by far,” Dominican Head Coach Jacinto Campechano said. “They dictated the game with their serves and didn’t let us play. We need to be more consistent but to get that we also need to play more international matches.”

As a team, the United States led in attack percentage (0.64-0.36), blocking (9-4) and aces (7-3).

Among other U.S. scorers, Dean Bittner (Lakewood, Calif.) who shared time at opposite with Clark, scored seven points on six kills and one ace. Theo Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.) finished with six points on four kills and two blocks.

David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) scored three points on one kill and two aces. Matt McKinney (Santa Ynez, Calif.) added three points on three kills. Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) scored two points on two kills.

Setter Brian Thornton scored two points on one kill and one block. He was credited with 20 running sets on 56 attempts.

Libero Andy McGuire was credited with 11 excellent receptions and no faults on 16 attempts. He also had four digs on 18 attempts.

McLaughlin started Jablonsky and Tarr at outside hitter, Brunner and Smith at middle blocker, Clark at opposite, Thornton at setter and McGuire at libero.

Bittner substituted for Clark in the second set and started the third. Lipsitz started the third set for Brunner. McKinney substituted for Tarr in the second and third sets.

The U.S. Men’s A2 Team held an 8-7 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO) of the first set, getting points off kills from Clark, Smith, Brunner and Jablonsky along with a Jablonsky ace. After the break, the United States scored on a Dominican error and an ace by Smith. Campechano called timeout, but it didn’t freeze Smith who responded with another ace. The Dominican made it 11-8 on Smith’s serving error, but Team USA scored the next six points, including four from Tarr on three blocks and a kill, along with one kill each by Jablonsky and Clark. The Dominicans made it 17-10 with a kill and block. But Team USA used a 7-2, including two attacks and a block all in a row by Jablonsky, to reach set point at 24-12. The Dominican scored on a U.S. error and an ace before Clark gave the United States the set victory with a kill.

Team USA took a 4-0 lead in the first set, including a kill by Jablonsky and ace from Tarr. Team USA took an 8-6 lead into the first TTO. The Dominicans kept fighting and tied the score at 9-9 and again at 10-10. The U.S. Men’s A2 Team responded with four straight points, including a kill by Tarr and two Brunner blocks. The Dominicans scored twice to make the score 14-12. Team USA reached the second TTO first at 16-13. After the break, the Dominicans scored on a kill before Team USA scored twice to make the score 18-14. Campechano called timeout and the Dominicans responded with a kill. But Team USA would score the next five straight points, including kills by Clark and Tarr and a Brunner block, to lead 23-15. The Dominican scored twice before the U.S. reached set point on a McKinney kill. After allowing the Dominican to score one more time on an error, The U.S. won the set on a McKinney kill.

Team USA took a 9-5 lead in the third set, including a kill and ace from Bittner, a kill and block by Lipsitz, an ace by Thornton and one attack each from Jablonsky and Tarr. The Dominicans scored on a U.S. error. But the U.S. came back to score twice on a Bittner kill and Tarr ace. The teams traded points until the United States led 15-10. The Dominicans came back to scored three straight points on a U.S. error, a kill and a block. However a Jablonsky kill took the U.S. into the second TTO leading 16-13. Two straight Dominican errors after the break made the score 18-13. Later, with the U.S. leading 20-17, it scored three straight points on kills by Bittner and McKinney and a Jablonsky block. The Dominican scored once more on a U.S. error. But the U.S. scored the final two points on a Jablonsky kill and Dominican error.

2010 U.S. Pan American Cup Roster

No. Name (Position, Height, Weight, Hometown, College)
1 Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, 162, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
2 Robert Tarr (OH, 6-6, 200, Cape Canaveral, Fla., Long Beach State)
3 Matt McKinney (OH, 6-9, 225, Santa Ynez, Calif., UCLA)
4 J.D. Schleppenbach (OH, 6-4, 198, Ventura, Calif., Pepperdine)
5 Brian Thornton (S, 6-3, 187, San Clemente, Calif., UC Irvine)
6 Dean Bittner (Opp, 6-7, 187, Lakewood, Calif., Long Beach State)
7 Max Lipsitz (MB, 6-7, 209, Williamsville, N.Y., Penn State)
8 Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, 194, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
10 David Smith (MB, 6-7, 190, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
11 Tyler Hildebrand (S, 6-5, 196, Mesa, Ariz., Long Beach State)
12 Carson Clark (Opp, 6-5, 205, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
13 Theo Brunner (MB, 6-7, 205, Ridgefield, Conn., UC Santa Barbara)
16 Jayson Jablonsky (OH, 6-5, 205, Yorba Linda, Calif., UC Irvine)
19 Andy McGuire (L, 6-0, 160, Manhattan Beach, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)

Head Coach: Rick McLaughlin (UC Santa Barbara)
Team Manager: Chris Birch (Penn State)
Assistant Coach: John Hawks (Long Beach State)
Therapist/Trainer: Brian Baise (Harvard)
Technical Coordinator: Chris Birch (Penn State)

Tournament Schedule and Results (All times EDT)
Pool A
May 24:  Brazil def. Colombia, 25-17, 25-14, 24-26, 25-23
May 25: Brazil def. Canada, 16-25, 20-25, 25-20, 25-23, 15-8
May 26: Canada def. Colombia, 28-26, 25-16, 25-14
Pool B
May 24: Puerto Rico def. Mexico, 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 25-18
May 25: USA def. Mexico, 19-25, 25-23, 25-18, 26-28, 15-9
May 26: USA def. Puerto Rico, 19-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-23
Pool C
May 24: Argentina def. Dominican Republic, 25-19, 26-24, 25-22
May 25: Argentina def. Venezuela, 25-13, 25-19, 25-22
May 26: Dominican Republic def. Venezuela, 25-18, 25-17, 25-19

May 27
Ninth place: Colombia def. Venezuela, 25-22, 19-25, 21-25, 25-21, 17-15
Quarterfinal: USA def. Dominican Republic, 25-14, 25-18, 25-18
Quarterfinal: Puerto Rico def. Canada, 25-23, 17-25, 25-22, 28-30, 16-14 

May 28
4 p.m.: Seventh place: Colombia vs. Mexico
7 p.m.: Semifinal: USA vs. Brazil
9 p.m.: Semifinal: Puerto Rico vs. Argentina

May 29
4 p.m.: Fifth place: Canada vs. Dominican Republic
7 p.m.: Third-place match
9 p.m.: Championship match