U.S. Men's A2 Team Wins Pan American Cup Gold

May 29, 2010, 11 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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Official Statistics * Unofficial DataVolley Statistics

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 29, 2010) – The U.S. Men’s A2 Volleyball Team won its third straight Pan American Cup title on Saturday as it swept Argentina in the gold medal match, 25-23, 25-21, 30-28 on Saturday at Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The U.S. Men’s A2 Team won the tournament with a 5-0 record. Argentina took silver at 3-1. Puerto Rico defeated Brazil in the bronze medal match, 3-1 (25-18, 25-17, 16-25, 25-17).

Jayson Jablonsky (Yorba Linda, Calif.), selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, led the U.S. Men’s A2 Team with 19 points on 15 kills (0.65 attack percentage), three blocks and the United States’ only ace.

Robert Tarr (Cape Canaveral, Fla.) added 13 points on 11 kills (0.48 attack percentage) and two blocks.

“It was a tough match but we kept our game plan,” Tarr said. “Argentina is a great team. They kept coming back and never quit. I am just happy for everybody.

David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) totaled nine points on eight kills (0.66 attack percentage) and one block. Carson Clark (Santa Barbara, Calif.) collected nine points on eight kills (0.36 attack percentage) and one block. Theo Brunner (Ridgefield, Conn.) scored eight points on three kills and a match-high five blocks.

For Argentina, Cristian Poglajen compiled 17 points and Federico Pereyra and Gustavo Giustiniano added 15 and 14 respectively.

“I am really happy for my guys who kept improving with every match of the tournament,” U.S. Men’s A2 Head Coach Rick McLaughlin said. “It was a real battle between two teams with the same characteristics, good setters and two good outside hitters.

The United States out-blocked Argentina 12-2. Argentina had more total kills than the U.S. (49-46) and more aces (6-1), but Team USA’s attack percentage was 0.50 while Argentina’s was 0.43. The United States also scored on 21 Argentinean errors while committing only 15.

The Argentineans praised the play of the United States during the post-match press conference.

“We lost to a team that played better than us,” Coach Alejandro Grossi said. “Their attack was amazing and played great defense stretching us to the limit of our ability.”

Argentina’s Demian Gonzalez added: “I am sad because we couldn’t win but also happy because our team had the chance to compete in this tournament which was good for our young squad,”

Among other U.S. players, setter Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.) scored one point on one kill and was also credited with 26 running sets and no faults on 75 attempts.

Libero Dustin Watten (Long Beach, Calif.) had four digs and 10 faults on 21 attempts. He was also credited with nine excellent receptions and three faults in 17 attempts. Tarr led the U.S. with 18 excellent receptions and two faults in 38 attempts.

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

Dean Bittner (Lakewood, Calif.), Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.), Tyler Hildebrand (Mesa, Ariz.) and Matt McKinney (Santa Ynez, Calif.) all played as substitutes.

Argentina got off to a strong start in the first set, grabbing an 8-6 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO) on five kills, two aces and a block. Team USA got its points on two kills by Smith, one each from Clark and Jablonsky and a Jablonsky block. Trailing 9-7, Team USA scored three points in a row on kills by Clark, Jablonsky and Brunner to take a 10-9 lead. Later, with the teams tied 11-11, The U.S. Men’s A2 Team scored twice on a kill by Tarr and a block by Jablonsky. However, Argentina did not give up. The United States held a slim 16-15 lead at the second TTO. It increased it to 18-15. But later, with the U.S. leading 20-17, Argentina pulled to within one point with two kills. A Tarr attack increased the U.S. lead to 21-19. The United States still led by two at 22-20 when Argentina got two straight kills from Poglajen to tie the score. The scored remained tied at 23-23 following a kill from each team. A Tarr kill gave the U.S. set point and Brunner’s block ended the set.

The U.S. Men’s A2 Team took an 8-6 lead at the first TTO of the second set on two kills by Brunner, two by Jablonsky, one each from Clark and Smith and a block. Argentina tied the score at 8-8 on two straight quick kills. But Team USA used a 5-1 run – including a block and kill from Jablonsky, a kill from Clark and one from Thornton, to take a 13-9 lead. Argentina pulled to within two at 14-12, but then committed two straight errors to give Team USA the 16-12 lead at the second TTO. The two teams exchanged points until it was 22-18 with the U.S. on top. Argentina pulled to within two at 22-20 on a kill and U.S. error. McLaughlin called timeout and the U.S. came back to reach set point on a kill from Clark and block by Tarr. Argentina fought back with a kill, but Jablonsky ended the set with a quick attack.

Argentina took a 4-1 lead to open the third set, causing McLaughlin to call timeout. The U.S. responded with a 4-1 run of its own on two Smith kills, one from Tarr and a Jablonsky ace. Trailing 7-5, the U.S. scored three straight points on two Argentina errors and a Tarr kill to lead 8-7 at the first TTO. Team USA increased the lead to 11-9, but Argentina used a four-point run to take a 13-11 lead. McLaughlin called timeout and the U.S. scored on a Brunner block. But Argentina kept up the pressure and increased its lead to 17-13. With Argentina leading 18-14,  a Jablonsky kill sparked a 7-1 U.S. run, including two blocks by Brunner, to give the U.S. a 21-19 lead. Argentina tied the score again at 22-22 and eventually reached set point at 24-23. Smith fought it off with a kill. A Poglajen attack gave Argentina set point at 25-24. But an Argentina error tied the score again. The U.S. reached its first match point at 26-25 on an Argentinean error. But this time Argentina tied the score with a kill. The same thing happened when Team USA took a 27-26 lead and a 28-27 lead. On its fourth match point try, Jablonsky gave his team the lead on a kill. The match ended on an Argentina 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)

Final Rankings

  1. USA
  2. Argentina
  3. Puerto Rico
  4. Brazil
  5. Canada
  6. Dominican Republic
  7. Mexico
  8. Colombia
  9. Venezuela

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
Seventh place: Mexico def. Colombia, 25-19, 23-25, 25-15, 25-20
Semifinal: USA def. Brazil, 26-24, 26-24, 25-18
Semifinal: Argentina def. Puerto Rico, 27-29, 23-25, 25-20, 25-22, 15-10

May 29
Fifth place: Canada def. Dominican Republic, 25-15, 28-26, 25-10
Third place: Puerto Rico def. Brazil, 25-18, 25-17, 16-25, 25-17
First place: USA def. Argentina, 25-23, 25-21, 30-28