Brazilians lift Men’s U21 Pan American Cup trophy



GATINEAU, Canada, June 28, 2015 – Brazil has clinched the U21 Men’s Pan American Cup title on Sunday after posting a convincing win over the USA in three sets (25-22, 25-23, 25-17) at the Centre Sportif de Gatineau.


Both teams, already qualified for the World Championships this September in Mexico, played a rematch of the preliminary duel earlier in the tournament. Brazil had won 3-1.


Showing a consistent level in the first set, Brazil took the lead from the start and kept a narrow margin 16-13 at the second technical timeout. Despite the US pressure, the South American squad went on to take the first set 25-22.


In the second set, the Brazilians continued to show a solid game from the start, building a 16-10 lead at the second technical timeout. Despite a late reaction from the Americans, Brazil kept their composure to win 25-23.


The match stayed very even in the third set, with Brazil leading 16-14. Rodrigo Leao, Lucas Madaloz and Gabriel Kavalkievicz kept the pressure from the serve and the attack. The USA could not respond and Brazil cruised to a 25-17 victory to claim the continental title.


Lucas Madaloz, selected the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament, and Gabriel Kavalkievicz led the Brazilian attack with 13 points each, followed by Nicolas Santos (10) and Rodrigo Leao (9). Brenden Sander was again the leading scorer for the USA with 11 points.


Fernando Kreling, captain of Brazil: "We had a great tournament. In the 5 matches we had here, we increased our team spirit. In the final, we executed what we planned. We kept our focus and our level of play from start to finish. We have and will have several friendly matches in preparation for the World Championships. But winning an international tournament gives us extra motivation. We will continue our preparation o arrive in top shape for the World Championships.”


John Hatch, captain of the United States: "We were excited coming to the final, but we could not score key points when we needed to. We are happy how we played throughout the tournament. Hopefully we will do some work this summer and be ready for the Worlds.”


Dan Friend, the head coach of the USA: “Brazil was exceptional. They played even better than when we played them the other night.


They were really good in first ball contact and in the serve they kept the pressure on us. We looked a little tired. Against Canada yesterday, we played an emotional game after losing last year. We were close in the first two sets, but just couldn't find a way to break through. You credit to Brazil for keeping the pressure on us. I am really proud of my guys. They have really grown over the past 18 days and I think we put ourselves in a good place going into the World Championships. The guys will have some down time and we will bring them back a little before the Worlds. That's how we work.”


All three medalists –Canada cinched bronze- will play the World Championships in Mexico later in September.