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US Men Make Pan Am Cup Quarters

By B.J. Evans | Aug. 14, 2015, 11 p.m. (ET)

RENO, Nev. (Aug. 14, 2015) – From the statistics, one could see that the U.S. men’s team competing at the Pan American Cup was not far away from its more experienced competition.

Nevertheless, Argentina advanced to the semifinals of the Pan American Cup with a 25-21, 25-22, 24-26, 25-23 win over the United States on Friday at the Reno Events Center.

Argentina (3-0) won Pool B and will advance straight to Sunday’s semifinals. The U.S. (2-1) finished third in Pool B and will play Canada (2-1) in the 7 p.m. quarterfinal on Saturday.


The U.S. team has only been practicing together a short time and Argentina took advantage of its weaknesses, particularly in passing. Argentina led in spikes (54-49) and scored on 37 U.S. errors while committing 22.

But the U.S. led in blocks (14-5) and aces (7-3). Argentina had a hitting efficiency of .287 while the United States’ was .252.Men's Pan American Cup

“We learned a couple of things; we have the physical ability to compete at this level and have success,” U.S. Head Coach Jeff Nygaard said. “The thing we need is consistency of that physicality. We played a team that was exceptionally skilled and intelligent and they had the physicality when they needed it, they had great ball control, we just gave up some runs.”

U.S. outside hitter Greg Petty led all scorers with 19 points on 15 attacks and a match-high four aces. Outside hitter AJ Nally totaled 11 points on eight spikes and one ace. Middle blockers Jeff Jendryk and Bobby Walsh and setter Jonah Seif each had three blocks for the U.S.

The U.S. got good play off the bench from Nally, opposite Kyle Russell and middle blocker Bobby Walsh.

“We’re getting there,” said U.S. captain AJ Nally, who entered the match as a substitute in the first set and played the rest of the match. “It is going to be really good when we finally click. They were a really good team. They put pressure on us but I like how we fought back. It was great. We gave them some energy, some new looks with new players that came in and we did a good job. It’s going to be scary when we start clicking.”

After winning the first two sets, Argentina led 19-14 in the third. The U.S. got a 4-0 run to pull to within one point. Argentina reached match point at 24-22, but had a serving error followed by a hitting error to tie the score. A block from Seif followed by another Argentina error gave the U.S. the win.

The fourth set was tied at 21-21 when the U.S. had a serving error and net violation to put Argentina up 23-21. Petty got his final spike of the night to pull to within one. But Argentina came back with a kill. Argentina’s serving error gave the U.S. its final point before Argentina’s kill ended the match.

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)
5 p.m. Venezuela vs Dominican Republic
7 p.m. Canada vs USA

Aug. 16
1 p.m. Classification 5/8
3 p.m. Classification 5/8
5 p.m. Argentina vs. quarterfinal winner
7 p.m. Brazil vs Quarterfinal winner

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

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Michael Brinkley

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Ben Patch

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Kyle Russell

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Jonah Seif