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PRESS RELEASE 06/11/2006

USA defeated Dominican Republic and won the gold medal 

MEXICALI, Baja California, June 11, 2003.- USA recovered from losing the first set and won the gold medal of the First Men’s Pan American Volleyball up defeating the Dominican Republic by score of 17-25, 25-20, 25-17, 25-23.

Both teams qualified to the Americas Cup to be held in Venezuela next September. Bronze medallist Canada also won a ticket to compete in that event.

David McKienzie led the Americans with 16 points followed by Riley Salmon with 10. Phillip Eatherton, Ryan Miller and William Priddy cooperated with 9, 8 and 7 respectively. Dominican Jose Caceres was the top scorer of the match with 24 points, Elvis Contreras had 12 and Eury Almonte 9.

“The Dominican Republic is a very improved team and we had to battle for this win,” said the American coach, Hugh McCutcheon. “We had the fortune of having some experienced players who were vital in the late part of the sets. I am very happy being the champions and this is a good start of our season.”

Julio Frias, the Dominican coach said: “We are satisfied with the second place. USA is a great team and we gave 100 percent to battle against them. We changed our attack pattern and they still could block very well. Congratulations to them and to my players.”

The Dominicans led 8-5 and 16-10 and took the first set with excellent reception and a well balanced attack led by Caceres and the support of Contreras and Almonte.

USA won the second set from start to finish with good blocking and constantly changing the pace of the attack. The Americans were ahead 8-3 at the first technical time-out and never looked back with McKienzie leading the parade.

The third set was not very different of the previous one with the Americans taking off after an early tie at 2-all and dominating until the end.

The experience of the Americans was the key at the end of a close battle in the fourth set that had sixteen tied scores. The outcome was the consequence of a couple of unforced errors by the Dominicans and a block against Caceres’ attempt.

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