Home USA Volleyball Features U.S. Men Lose Battle...

U.S. Men Lose Battle with Canada

By B.J. Evans | Aug. 15, 2015, 11 p.m. (ET)

RENO, USA (Aug. 15, 2015) – The U.S. men’s team lost a border battle with Canada, falling 27-29, 25-18, 25-21, 20-25, 19-17 on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Pan American Cup at the Reno Events Center.

Canada (3-1) will play Argentina (3-0) in Sunday’s semifinals. The United States (1-3) will play Puerto Rico at 3 p.m. for fifth-eighth place.

A tension-filled fifth set saw Canada reach match point first at 14-13 with a tip from Nick Del Bianco, but Greg Petty responded with a kill. Canada reached a second match point with a spike, but then served the next ball out of bounds. The U.S. also held two match points that Canada fought off. Finally, at 17-17, the U.S. hit the ball out of bounds and Canada’s Daniel Vandoom followed with a kill off the block for the win.


“Game five, we had two chances (to win),” U.S. Head Coach Jeff Nygaard said. “We had two aggressive swings. It just didn’t go our way. It was a physical match. I am not upset in the least. I am actually stoked for what happened today.”

Almost every player on the young U.S. team, which includes seven current collegians, started at least one set in the match.Pan American Cup

Nygaard praised the U.S. for coming back from a brutal second set that saw the U.S. fall behind 22-11 before losing 25-18.

“Sometimes having a brutal second set re-sets everybody; re-carves out their emotions and their energies; kind of settles them,” Nygaard said. “Dropping a game like that when it becomes constructive shows resilience and resolve. It was great to see our comeback from that.”

Canada led the match in spikes (66-57) and blocks (15-10) while the U.S. held the edge in aces (4-3). The U.S. also scored 39 points on Canada errors while committing 32. Twenty-five of Canada’s errors were on serves, many coming under the pressure of the fifth set.

Canada’s hitting efficiency was .303 while the United States’ was .220.

‘The best thing Canada was doing was passing,” said U.S. setter Graham McIlvaine, who entered the match as a substitute in the third set and started the fourth and fifth sets. “They really passed well off our serves and then they ran their offense really well. There really wasn’t much we could to about it except try to get a tough. We did that a couple times.”

The United States was led by outside hitter AJ Nally with 16 points on 14 spikes, one block and one ace. Opposite Kyle Russell, who substituted in the second set and started the next three, scored 15 points on 12 spikes and three blocks. Middle blocker Jeff Jendryk also had three blocks for the U.S.

Saturday’s starters
Outside hitters: Greg Petty and AJ Nally
Middle blockers: Jeff Jendryk and Bobby Walsh
Opposite: Ben Patch
Setter: Jonah Seif
Libero: Michael Brinkley

Saturday’s statistics
Kills: Nally 14, Petty 13, Russell 12, Walsh 5, Benesh 4, Patch 3, Langlois 2, Jendryk 2, McIlvaine 1, Seif 1
Blocks: Russell 3, Jendryk 3, Walsh 1, Seif 1, Patch 1, Nally 1
Aces: Jendryk 2, Nally 1, Seif 1
Digs: Brinkley 15, Russell 12, Nally 1, Seif 7, Petty 5, Langlois 3, Benesh 3, Jendryk 2, McIlvaine 2, Walsh 1

Friday’s Starters
Outside hitter: Greg Petty and Jake Langlois
Middle blocker: Jeff Jendryk and Andy Benesh
Opposite: Ben Patch
Setter: Jonah Seif
Libero: Michael Brinkley

Friday’s Statistics
Kills: Petty 15, Nally 8, Russell 7, Patch 7, Walsh 5, Jendryk 5, Lanlois 1, Benesh 1
Blocks: Jendryk 3, Seif 3, Walsh 3, Nally 2, Patch 2, Russell 1
Aces: Petty 4, Jendryk 2, Nally 1
Digs: Brinkley 8, Nally 8, Petty 6, Seif 6, Russell 4, Jendryk 3, Patch 3, Langlois 2, Benesh 

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)
Dominican Republic def Puerto Rico, 25-22, 25-22, 25-19
Venezuela def Mexico, 25-15, 20-25, 25-20, 25-27
Brazil def Canada, 25-17, 25-19, 25-23
Argentina def USA, 25-21, 25-22, 24-26, 25-23

Aug. 15 (quarterfinals)
Venezuela def Dominican Republic, 25-23, 25-17, 25-20
Canada def USA, 27-29-25-18, 25-21, 20-25, 19-17

Aug. 16
1 p.m. Mexico vs Dominican Republic
3 p.m. Puerto Rico vs USA
5 p.m. Argentina vs. Canada
7 p.m. Brazil vs Venezuela

Aug. 17
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

Related Athletes

head shot

Michael Brinkley

head shot

Ben Patch

head shot

Kyle Russell

head shot

Jonah Seif