USA to play for 5th place after 3-0 win over
GATINEAU, Canada, July 29, 2017 - The United States will play
for the 5th place of the 12th Men’s Pan
American Cup after sweeping Venezuela 3-0 (25-22, 25-14 and
25-20) at Gatineau’s Robert Guertin Arena.
The team of the Bars and Stripes will meet the Dominican
Republic in a rematch for the fifth place on Sunday. The
Caribbean side won in the three sets during the preliminary
Both Venezuela and the United States played evenly matched in
the opening set, with the USA taking a narrow 16-15 led at the
second technical timeout. Mitchell Stahl produced two aces to
increase the gap to 22-17. Venezuela kept fighting and got
closer 22-23, but left-handed player Michael Saeta came from the
bench and scored an ace to win 25-22.
In the second set, the Americans showed their status as the
tallest team of the tournament. Jeffrey Jendryk II, Jonah Seif
and David Wieczorek were three towers for the Venezuelan spikers.
Kyle Ensing’s hitting also found space in their rivals’ defense
to seal the win 25-14.
Venezuela regrouped and fought hard in the third set, trailing
the Americans 6-8 and 13-16 at the technical timeouts. The block
and a strong served made the difference again as the USA
finished 25-20 to secure the win in one hour and 22 minutes.
Jake Langlois was the USA’s top scorer with 10 points. He was
also supported by David Wieczorek (9), Kyle Ensing and captain
Jonah Seif with eight each. Emerson Rodriguez and Edson Valencia
led the Venezuelan offensive with 11 and 10 points,
Robert Neilson, head coach of the US team: “Today, we played
very good from the service line, and received the ball very
well. For sure it was an overall better match today. I’m
excited for the guys, and hopefully we’re moving in the right
direction. This is a young group – we have players that are
still in university and they are learning what it takes to
compete at an international level. It’s the quality of touches
and quality of shots. We’re learning and sometimes we’re taking
some hard knocks, but we’re progressing, and I’m pleased with
USA player Kyle Ensing: “Today and even yesterday we had a nice
response to our bad game (loss to Dominican Republic). I think
we can do even more. Our passing game and setting game worked
today; it was a real team effort.”
Edson Valencia, main blocker for Venezuela: “Their height and
consistency throughout the match made the difference. We had
some down moments and it was very costly. Their service is hard.
It is an advantage for them. We do not have as many strong
servers at home. We could not keep a consistent game. Matches
are lost in the middle of the set. We will continue to gain
experience and tune-up in preparation for the South American
Championships and the World Championships qualifier”.