Isaac Heslinga named MVP of the XVI Men’s Pan American Cup

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 20, 223 – Canada’s opposite hitter Isaac Heslinga was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the XVI Men’s Senior Pan American Volleyball Cup for being one of the key players in leading his team to conquer the gold medal.

Heslinga was the top scorer for his team in almost every match of the tournament, and in the gold medal match against Brazil, he scored 14 points.

Brazil, second place of the event, received three individual awards. Darlan Ferreira was named Best Server and Best Opposite, while Matheus Silva was recognized as the Best Setter.

Pan American Cup Individual Awards

Mexico also received three individual recognitions. Axel Téllez was the Second Best Blocker, and libero Hiram Bravo earned the awards for Best Libero and Best Defense.

From Cuba, José Miguel Gutiérrez was awarded as the Second Best Attacker, and Alain Gorguet received the award for Best Receiver.

Wilfrido Hernández from the Dominican Republic was the First Best Attacker. From Peru, Daniel Urueña was recognized as the First Best Blocker, and Vicente Parraguirre from Chile was the tournament’s Best Scorer.

Canada wins its first Gold Medal in the Pan American Cup defeating Brazil

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 20, 2023 – Canada won its first Pan American gold medal defeating Brazil 3-1 (26-24, 25-20, 25-23, 25-22) at the XVI Men’s Senior Pan American Volleyball Cup that concluded this Sunday in Guadalajara.

In the history of Pan American Cup, Canada had lost the gold medal match in three occasions (2008, 2009, 2022); in addition, they have three bronze medals. On this occasion, Canada takes the gold medal over Brazil, having lost to them in pool-play.

Canada was led by Isaac Heslinga with 13 points, along with Byron Keturakis and Logan House with 9 points each. Brazilian Darlan Ferreira was the top scorer of the match with 24 points, and Victor Almeida added 11 points.

Canada celebrates winning gold medal

The Canadians were better in blocking 8-3 and in service points 4-1, while Brazil led in attacking points 59-52. Canada committed one less unforced error than Brazil (31-32).

Daniel Lewis, coach of Canada: “It’s impressive, this group of players has had a magnificent tournament, they have played great volleyball and that is truly impressive. Last year we lost to Cuba, but this year the work plan was followed, and we won that gold medal”.

Fynnian McCarthy, captain of Canada: “It’s been a tough summer, we’ve worked hard, and we were focused on this tournament. We can take the gold medal thanks to the great work we’ve been doing all summer”.

Chile wins historic bronze medal by beating Mexico at home

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 20, 2023.- Chile achieved its first medal in the Pan American Cup, beating Mexico 3-0 (25-22, 25-25, 25-2) and taking third place in the XVI Pan American Cup Senior Men’s Volleyball.

It was an even match, with options for both teams, but it was Chile that managed to adjust at the end of the sets to secure the medal, despite the pressure from the fans that filled the Arena Astros in Guadalajara.

Chile had small advantages in attack 39-37, 10-6 in blocking and tied 1-1 in aces, with 27 points of unforced errors committed by Mexico and 25 conceded by Chile.

Vicente Parraguirre, from Chile, continued “on fire” by scoring a total of 20 points, all in attacks, while Diego Gonzalez, from Mexico, finished with 17 points.

Chile’s huge celebration after winning historic bronze medal

Daniel Nejamkin, coach of Chile: “We are very happy, surely the best game of the tournament, against a super demanding rival like Mexico, which is a great team. Obviously, we wanted to win, but 3-0 was not in the plans, but the goal was achieved better than expected”.

Dusan Bonacic, captain of Chile: “It was something that we had considered, to seek for a medal. We had had opportunities in some Pan American Cups, like in 2019 or last year in Canada; This is something very important, we are super happy because we also had the stadium against us, with Mexican fans that did not stop cheering and the boys from Mexico who always fought, they all have my respect”.

Vicente Parraguirre, Chile’s best scorer: “We came looking for a medal and we are very happy to achieve our goal, also happy for the level and character we showed playing this match. We have been growing game by game and that’s what we come from that makes us happier”.

USA defeats Colombia in straight sets for fifth place 

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 19, 2023.- The United States dominated Colombia 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-15) to claim fifth place in the XVI Men’s Volleyball Pan American Cup. 

With a 35-23 advantage in attacking, 11-3 in blocking and 2-1 in aces, the United States had complete control of the game despite committing 26 unforced errors. 

Jacob Pasteur finished with 18 points for the winners and Camden Gianni had 10; For Colombia Andres Piza made six points as well as Gustavo Larrahondo. At the end of the match, the Colombian team announced the retirement of veteran Liberman Agamez, who with tears on his face received a hug from his teammates, as well as the last shirt he wore with the national team. 

Mchenry (USA) attacks against Colombia

Andy Read, United States coach: “I am proud of my 14 young players, they all played, they all did very well, and I am very happy for the people of Guadalajara, the people who supported us, the stage, the organization, everything was of a high level, and we feel super welcomed by the beautiful people here”. 

Jacob Pasteur, USA’s best scorer: “Personally I feel very good about my performance, we had ups and downs, but I think we performed well and managed to get ahead. Today’s game was very good, personally I think I did well, some believe that playing for fifth place is not important, but for us it is, we are proud to win it and we are very satisfied with the tournament after winning the last game”.

Canada will face Brazil in the Pan American Cup final

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 19, 2023 – Canada booked the second ticket to the the XVI Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup finals, defeating Mexico 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-22, 25-18), and will face Brazil on Sunday, who defeated Chile in the other semifinal.

For Canada, this is their second consecutive final; last year, they finished in second place after losing to Cuba.

The Canadians surprised Mexico in the first set with an advantage that was impossible to overcome, but in the second set, the Mexicans fought to level the match.

In the third set, Canada displayed strength in blocking and combined their attack between outside hitter Isaac Heslinga and opposite Jordan Canham, while middle blocker Fynnian McCarthy effectively stopped Mexico. In the fourth set, Canada controlled the game with a solid blocking defense limiting the host’s options.

The 17-4 advantage in blocks was crucial for Canada to overcome Mexico, who led in attacking points 52-46. Both teams scored four points from aces.

Three players led Canada’s offense, Isaac Heslinga (15 points), Fynnian McCarthy (13 points), and Jordan Canham (12 points). The top scorer of the match was Luis Baca from Mexico with 16 points, and Josué López added 11 points.

Canada celebrates advancing to the gold medal match

Daniel Lewis, coach from Canadá: “We played a perfect blocking game, but we cannot transition. We’re digging balls and we’re not able to score in transition. But first Mexico is really good… You know, they didn’t have their best game, that’s for sure”.

“I’ve seen them play at a higher level, but it’s a long tournament. It’s hard to play every single time. But I love amazing atmosphere here, beautiful crowd, beautiful country. Just really happy. If we can keep our level of side out and our level of block, if we can transition, then we have a good chance tomorrow”.

“The players were very focused today. Super focused, it’s unbelievable how focused they are. This is a great group; they’re working so hard. Amazing”.

Isaac Helsinga, best player from Canadá: “I feel pretty good. I know it’s a big feat playing Mexico in Mexico. So it was super fun just to get out there. The one thing that stood out for us today that we all did amazing job at was just block defense”.

“We did a lot of game plan on what to expect from the attackers and we did a good job at figuring out how to manipulate our arms and our footwork so that we could get lots of blocks and lots of digs”.

Brazil advances to the final defeating Chile 3-0

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 19, 2023 – Brazil advanced to the final of the XVI Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup after defeating Chile 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-21) in the semifinals.

For Brazil, this will be their first final since 2018 when they lost to Argentina, and they will be seeking their fourth gold medal in the history of the event, their last gold was in 2015.  Their opponent will be the winner of the match between Canada and Mexico.

Brazil was superior in attack with 38-29 and in service 4-1, while maintaining a tied blocking at nine points for each team. Brazil committed 25 errors compared to 24 by their opponents, who maintained pressure until point 18 in all three sets, from there onwards, the Brazilians managed to distance with their effective serves.

Darlan Ferreira was Brazil’s top scorer with 21 points, and Víctor Almeida contributed 11 points. Vicente Parraguirre scored 18 points for Chile, the only one with double digits.

Brazil blocks Vicente Parraguirre (CHI)

Carlos Schawnke, coach of Brazil: “I am very happy, this team deserved a final, despite winning 3-0, the game was more challenging than the scoreboard shows. Now we have to enjoy that final and go out to win the gold medal. The team is young, and it’s normal that they were a bit anxious”.

Matheus Goncalves, captain of Brazil: “We are extremely pleased, we achieved one of our goals that we set from the beginning in our training. Now we don’t have much time, we’ll focus at the hotel, study the other team, and who knows who our opponent will be tomorrow. The crowd supported us a lot today, but we don’t know if it will continue like that if we face Mexico”.

Daniel Nejamkin, coach of Chile: “I believe we played well in all three sets until points 18-19, and then Brazil showed more quality than us to close the sets. Brazil has a higher level than us, their servers performed well, and that made the difference”.

Peru beats Cuba in five sets for seventh place at the Pan American Cup

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 19, 2023 – Peru defeated Cuba 3-2 (25-18, 17-25, 25-20, 16-25, 15-12) to secure the seventh place in the XVI Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup.

This was Peru’s second victory over Cuba in the tournament; in pool-play they won in straight sets, led by team captain Eduardo Romay.

On this occasion, middle blocker Daniel Urueña was the top scorer with 23 points, nine of on blocks. He was accompanied by Sebastián Blanco with 14 points, and Romay added 11.

Cuban Alejandro González was the top scorer of the match with 27 points. Julio Cárdenas and José Suárez also contributed with 18 and 17 points respectively.

Cuba dominated in attacks 70-51 and in service points 5-2. They tied in blocking points at 9, while Peru capitalized on their opponent’s 36 errors, compared to only 16 committed by Peru.

Daniel Ureña of Peru blocks Cuba

Juan Carlos Gala, coach of Peru: “We have been improving, it’s been three years of competing in the Pan Am Cup and each year we climb one step higher. The team performed well today, and we are satisfied with the goals we achieved. The team has been growing since the start of the competition. Now, we will review and work on the areas where we have deficiencies.”

Eduardo Romay, captain of Peru: “Facing Cuba again was very challenging because they wanted to make up for the defeat in the group stage. It was really nice to be able to win against them and improve our position from last year, where we finished eighth. It might not seem like much, but it’s thanks to the work we’ve been doing. Now, as we head to the South American Championship, we’ll meet Chile and Colombia again, and that’s the goal now”.

Puerto Rico defeats Dominican Republic for ninth place

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 19, 2023 – Puerto Rico defeated Dominican Republic 3-1 (28-26, 25-20, 20-25, 25-10) to finish ninth place at the XVI Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup.

Klistan Lawrence led Puerto Rico’s attackers with 22 points, Gregory Torres scored 15, and Omar Hoyos scored 14. For Dominican Republic, Henry Tapia with 24 points was the top scorer of the match. Wilfrido Hernández added 19 points and Moisés Ortiz 12 for the Dominican side.

Dominican Republic was better in attacks 59-53, but Puerto Rico led in blocks 9-5 and service points 5-3, capitalizing on 31 errors from their opponents compared to 23 of their own.

Puerto Rico celebrates defeating Dominican Republic

Oswald Antonetti, coach of Puerto Rico: “Dominican Republic is the Central American runner-up who defeated us a few weeks ago in the Central American Games, and I believe that we have gradually improved with this team. We didn’t have preparation matches, and gaining some rhythm and level of play has helped us grow with this young group that can continue to develop and improve. Concentration and confidence are important for a young player, and that’s where you see the result”.

Klistan Lawrence, top scorer for Puerto Rico: “This victory is good, it was necessary, and we feel very good about it. It’s my first time playing in this position, and for me, it’s a positive aspect to be among the top scorers. I feel very good about that. Today, I was more focused and better connected with the setters, and that was important to achieve the victory”.

Canada advances to semifinals defeating United States 3-0

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 18,  2023 – Canada executed a strong tactical performance and overcame United States 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 27-25) in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals of the XVI Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup.

Canada will face Mexico in Saturday’s semifinals, while United States will play for fifth place against Colombia on Sunday.

In the other semifinal, Brazil will play against Chile won a five set thriller against Colombia in the other quarterfinal match.

Canada had a 10-3 advantage in blocks and 5-3 in service points, while United States was more effective in attacks 37-26, but they committed more errors with 36, compared to Canada’s 22.

Byron Keturakis and Fynnian McCarthy finished with 9 points for Canada, while Kyle McCauley scored 12 points for United States, accompanied by Parker Van Bauren with 11.

Canada’s coach Daniel Lewis and team celebrate

Daniel Lewis, coach of Canada:  “I’m really excited. We worked very hard this summer. These guys could only play this event, and they worked all summer and gave up their vacations for the Canadian flag. The staff worked really hard to create a good game plan, and we really wanted it to work.”

“This group is at the level they want to be. They could move on to the next international step, or maybe not, but they did need to execute a game plan well tonight, and they did. The reality is that this is their opportunity to learn and grow. And they did that tonight. I’m very proud of them.”

Fynnian McCarthy, captain of Canada: “I feel really good. We did things as we intended today. We were searching for a style of play throughout the tournament, and we finally found it and played to our potential for the first time, and it was a great result for us. We’re happy and focused, waiting for the next round.”

“We all played as a team, and everyone contributed. It’s great to see. Everyone was doing their job, and that’s all you can ask for. If everyone does their job, teams will have a lot of difficulty beating us.”

Chile takes away the semifinal from Colombia

Guadalajara, August 18, 2023.- Chile showed courage and great volleyball, coming back from a deficit to beat them 3-2 (25-23, 15-25, 17-25, 27-25, 18-16) and get the ticket to the semifinal of the XVI Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup.

After winning a tight first set, 25-23, Chile was overwhelmed by the attacks of Colombia who managed to win the next two sets comfortably, however, the excitement was included in the ticket for the match held at Arena Astros in Guadalajara.

In the fourth set, Chile lost a two-point lead (23-21) extending the game to point 27, which ended with an ace by Vicente Parraguire, to force for a fifth and final set.

Colombia held the advantage until the 13th point with a three-point difference, but Chile’s blocking stopped the Colombian momentum and with counterattacks they took the victory 18-16.

Parraguirre scored 28 points leading Chile to the semifinal, against Mexico or Brazil, of the Pan American Cup. Other outstanding players were Dusan Bonacic with 18 points and Matias Jadue with 13. For Colombia, Andrés Piza scored 18 points, Liberman Agamez 17 and Jharold Caicedo 15.

Chile was better in serves 5-2 while Colombia dominated the blocking 13-9. They finished even on 60 points per attack each with 39 errors from Chile to 28 from Colombia.

Parraguirre brothers celebrate Chile’s victory over Colombia

Daniel Nejamkin, coach of Chile: “They were very good, the game was very complicated, hard; we were 1-2 with Colombia playing really well, we made some moves to try to improve on some things and already in the fifth set down by three points, it was a demonstration of courage and volleyball”.

Vicente Parraguirre, Chile’s top scorer: “It’s an incredible feeling, the minutes have passed, and I still can’t believe it. This is what we are, we never give up and I am proud of my team, of my teammates, that each one put their will to get ahead, and we are going for that semifinal”.

Sebastián Ortiz, coach of Colombia: “It really hurts, nobody likes losing, but we really had a super good game against Chile, who has just played a Challenge Cup in Europe and is one of our main rivals in the South American Championship and well this result is an improvement that has been taking place year after year”.

Cuba achieves straight sets victory over Dominican Republic

Guadalajara, August 18, 2023.- Cuba contained the pressure of Dominican Republic to beat them in 3-0 (26-24, 25-23, 25-22) in the second game of classification matches for positions 7-10 in the XVI Men’s Pan American Cup of Volleyball.

It was the first win in the tournament for Cuba who now will face Peru, who defeated Puerto Rico 3-2, to define the seventh place in the event.

The Cubans led the attack 41-35 and were better in blocking 9-3; On serve, the Dominican Republic achieved 3 aces, but gave up 25 points due to unforced errors while Cuba finished with 28.

Best scorers for Cuba were Alejandro González with 16 points, Angel Suarez with 14 and Jakdiel Contreras with 10 while for the Dominican Republic Henry Tapia stood out with 15 points and Hector Cruz with 11.

Suarez of Cuba spikes

Mario Izquierdo, coach of Cuba: “Thanks to the efforts of the boys, to God and to what we had proposed, the first victory came with the boys behaving at a good level. We will always continue improving for some mistakes since this group was gathered with the objective of giving players, who are being evaluated in Cuba, an opportunity and to add experience. We have the NORCECA championship and the pre-Olympic soon and we are here to fulfill and work”.

Adrian Chirino, captain of Cuba: “Today we went out looking for our first victory against a team from the Dominican Republic that has good players, and it was achieved based on a united and happy game. As the tournament advances, we are gaining more experience and as we say in Cuba “getting into the box” to achieve victory”.

Peru beats Puerto Rico in close match at Men’s Senior Pan-American Cup

Guadalajara, August 18, 2023.- Peru prevailed in five exciting sets against Puerto Rico (22-25, 25-22, 31-29, 17-25, 15-11) in the first match of the classification of positions from 7 to 10 at the XVI Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup.

Puerto Rico commanded all the skills of the game thanks to the advantage acquired in the fourth set with a 25-17 score. Puerto Rico was better in attacks 64-61, 14-10 in blocking and 5-4 in aces, but this numbers were not enough to take the match away from Peru, who had 35 points in their favor due to errors from their opponent against their 29.

Sebastian Blanco was the top scorer for Peru with 22 points, captain Eduardo Romay finished with 17 points and Benny Bernaola 13 points. For Puerto Rico, Omar Hoyos finished with 24 points, Jamal Ellis with 17 and Klistan Lawrence with 15.

Peru will play for seventh place in this event, facing the winner of the match between the Dominican Republic and Cuba.

Monster block Peru

Juan Carlos Gala, coach of Peru: “I have seen how the team has been growing and improving during the competition, and that is extremely important because we can continue playing with other rivals and at another level. I am happy with the improvement shown by the team. We go out and play one on one against any team”.

Eduardo Romay, captain of Peru: “This match was important to climb in the ranking and personally and for the team it was a revenge, because in the last Pan American Cup the match finished 2-3, but in favor of Puerto Rico; now we returned the favor. Sometimes you can tell when we’re having a hard time finding the rhythm, but having a slow start and then finding it and getting the result is important to us.”

Sebastian Blanco, Peru’s top scorer: “At first I was very nervous, I felt that I had a lot of pressure in the game and I had to assume what the coach had told me. I started from less to more and the work I’ve done these days has been reflected in today’s result”.

Mexico finishes undefeated group C in Men’s Volleyball Pan American Cup

Guadalajara, August 17, 2023.- Mexico recovers after losing first set and to defeat Cuba 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-21) in closing match of pool C at the XVI Men’s Pan American Cup in Volleyball.

The Mexicans, supported by a large group of fans at Arena Astros in Guadalajara, fell in the first set against a Cuban team thirsty for victory; In the second set, Mexico recovered from a 13-19 deficit to tie the set at 21 and win the dramatic set 25-23.

In the third and fourth sets, the locals managed to maintain the advantage and win the match and leadership of group C, while Cuba ended without wins with 0-3 record.

For Mexico, Diego Gonzalez was the top scorer with 16 points, Josué Lopez with 15 and Yasutaka Sanay with 11. Alejandro Gonzalez was the top scorer from Cuba with 27 points.

Mexico was superior in attacks 50-46, blocks 13-7 and direct points from serves 5-2; per committed more unforced errors than his opponent (33-28).

Mexico celebrates win over Cuba

Azair Lopez, coach of Mexico: “Today Cuba came out to play their best game, they began with very aggressively serves, blocking and playing their complex 1 (K1) almost perfectly; we had not seen yet this level that Cuba showed today. It’s great that we saw this show because the guys were able to overcome that; we made the adjustments and luckily it worked out.

Diego González, Mexico’s best scorer: “We went in very anxious, wanting to give it all but we did not get the results at the beginning. We got desperate, they were pushing with their serves making it difficult for us to receive, but I think we were able to pull it off. Playing at home is something incredible, it’s one of the best emotions that can exist in sport and the support has been fantastic, I’m from Guadalajara and I’m very happy to play here”.

Mario Izquierdo, coach of Cuba: “As the competition has progressed, the boys have improved their performance so much so that the level of play has gone up, a sign that what these boys need is to play a little more. Today in the game the disposition was much better, that was a key factor, but Mexico knew how to take the game where they wanted”.

Colombia overcomes Peru’s pressure 

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 17, 2023 – Colombia overcame Peru’s pressure 3-0 (25-23, 29-27, 25-13), securing their second victory in Group C of the XVI Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup. 

After an intense first set that was decided in Colombia’s favor at the very end, Peru couldn’t keep a 23-20 lead in the second set, eventually losing it 29-27. Colombia dominated the third set with a comfortable lead. 

Colombia led in attacks 40-32, blocks 15-7, and services 6-0. Peru committed fewer unforced errors (18-24). 

Colombian Liberman Agamez, with 15 points from 11 attacks, 3 blocks, and a direct serve, was the top scorer of the match. Daniel Aponza also contributed to the victory with 12 points, including 5 blocking points, and Andrés Piza added 11 points. 

Peru’s captain Eduardo Romay scored 10 points. 

Agamez of Colombia over Peru’s block

Sebastián Ortiz, coach of Colombia: “The second set boosted our spirits to face the match. Then we were very focused and secured the victory 3-0, which possibly takes us to the quarterfinals”. 

Liberman Agamez, top scorer of Colombia: “It was important to win today. The second set gave us some trouble because Peru is a great team, and we knew it would be challenging. But after that second set, we regrouped a bit and managed the game. The key was reception and blocking; it helped us a lot and was very important”. 

Juan Carlos Gala, coach of Peru:  “We started the first set very poorly, we recovered, but couldn’t sustain it. In the second set, it was the same, our own mistakes allowed the opponent to stay alive, and in the third, everything fell apart. It’s very difficult to recover after a second set played like that, but well, we have to continue, this is not over”.

Canada advances to Quarterfinals with victory over Dominican Republic

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 17, 2023 .- Canada advanced to the quarterfinal round with a 3-1 victory (25-14, 17-25, 25-21, 25-16) over the Dominican Republic in Group B of the XVI Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup.

Canada secured second place in Group B with a 1-1 record, trailing behind Brazil with a 2-0 record, while Dominican Republic concluded pool-play with a 0-2 record.

Despite facing some challenges, Canada ended with a comfortable 8-0 advantage in service and an 11-6 lead in blocks. The attacks were balanced 47-45, in favor of the Canadians.

Isaac Hesling was the top scorer for Canada with 17 points, followed by Jordan Canham with 10 points. Dominican Wilfrido Hernández led all scorers in the match with 19 points, accompanied by Henry López with 11.

Canada pre match protocol

Daniel Lewis, coach of Canada: “Well, it was a very important victory for us. It wasn’t as important for us to win as it was to play better. I asked some of the players to adopt a slightly different style of play, and they were able to execute it. It’s really nice to get the win. Dominican Republic is a very strong attacking team, and they put a lot of stress on us, especially in that second set. We couldn’t adapt until the third and fourth sets. But I’m very proud of my boys. They were under a lot of pressure, and they executed well”.

Isaac Heslinga, top scorer of Canad: “We started a bit tense, but as we progressed in the match, we began to realize that almost everything was working out as we wanted, as we needed to, and we trusted our training. One positive aspect was ensuring that we stuck to our fundamentals in blocking. We took advantage on the service side, managing them well and keeping them effective. We started playing and developing as a team, found some rhythm, and ended with a good victory”.

Chile beats Puerto Rico in straight sets 

Guadalajara, August 17, 2023.- Chile was too much for Puerto Rico, defeating them 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-19) at the start of third day of XVI Men’s Volleyball Pan American Cup.

It was their first victory for Chile, who finished second in group A with 1-1 behind the United States (2-0), and now waits for a rival of the next phase.

Chile led the attack 37-32, the blocking 6-2 and the service 5-2, taking advantage of 27 errors by Puerto Rico against 13.

Bonacic from Chile attacks

For Chile, Vicente Parraguirre was the top scorer with 18 points and Tomas Gago contributed with 11 points. Klistan Lawrence had 12 points for Puerto Rico.

Daniel Nejamkin, coach of Chile: “Today the whole team played very well, we got the match. Everything we had anticipated was given to us, we were able to perform our best volleyball against Puerto Rico; we were able to focus well on serves, sometimes it doesn’t turn out so well, but today everything we thought happened, although we have a lot to improve”.

Tomas Parraguirre, Chile’s top scorer: “It felt really good to get back to our level after yesterday’s defeat. We are happy to continue advancing in this tournament and keep going. What we have been doing is preparing for the Pan American Games at home, but these tournaments are a goal in themselves, and we always want to play and fight with the bests”.

Dusan Bonacic, captain of Chile: “We are very happy, it was a categorical 3-0, we had control and the rhythm throughout the game, it was not something we expected because Puerto Rico is a tough opponent, but it’s good that everything went our way, I congratulate the whole team”.

Oswald Antonetti, Coach of Puerto Rico: “On one side there is frustration, disappointment, on the other we think that it is an inevitable process of growth with young players of 19-20 years old. We leave a little disappointed because we thought we could compete better, but I understand that we have grown and that will help us in the next games”.

Mexico defeats Colombia in straight sets 

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 16, 2023 – Mexico overcame the pressure from Colombia to defeat them 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-22) and secure their second victory in Group C, to close the second day of the XVI Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup. 

The host team managed to break Colombia’s pressure and secured an advantage in the closing moments of the first set, which they held onto thanks to the efforts of Diego González and Mauro Fuentes, who achieved four crucial points in the first set. 

Diego González and Mauro Fuentes were Mexico’s top scorers, each with 12 points. For Colombia, Liberman Agamez scored 14 points. 

Mexico dominated in attacks 38-29 and in service 3-0, but Colombia outperformed in blocks 10-6. Mexico scored 28 points from Colombia’s unforced errors while giving up 24 points. 

Mexico celebrates victory over Colombia

Jorge Azair López, coach of Mexico: “Today, we came in more focused, reducing the number of errors, especially in reception, which allowed us to stabilize our attack. We also disciplined ourselves in blocking, which was important to stop Colombia, who we saw as with aggressive attacks yesterday. The most important thing is that we played with more discipline”. 

Diego González, top scorer of Mexico:  “Yesterday, we had a tough start against Peru. We knew Colombia would come out for the victory, but thankfully, it went in our favor. We were focused; that’s my role. I feel like I’m in good form, and they need to use me”. 

Sebastián Ortiz, coach of Colombia: “After defeating Cuba, we were relaxed. We had a good rhythm of play, prepared for a long match, but Mexico played very well. We made several errors in reception and service, and we couldn’t get into the game”.

Peru dominates Cuba 3-0 in pool C 

Guadalajara, August 16, 2023.- Peru achieved an important victory in pool C by defeating defending champion Cuba in straight sets 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-19) on second day of the XVI Men’s Senior Pan-American Volleyball Cup.

Cuba lost to Colombia on the first day and Peru to Mexico. In the duel to try to advance to next round, the Peruvians arrived more focused and took advantage of the 32 points for errors from their opponents, only committing 12.

Peru took advantage of the attacks 39-30, but Cuba was better in blocking 10-5 and in serves 3-2. But the unforced errors were what tipped the scales in favor of Peru, which has a 1-1 record and will face off against Colombia this Thursday, while Cuba (0-2) will face Mexico.

The Peruvian captain, Eduardo Romay, finished with 14 points, while Sebastián Blanco and Maikel Jaramillo finished with 8 points each. Meanwhile, Cuba had Yohan León, with 12 points, as its best scorer.

Peru celebrates defeating Cuba

Juan Carlos Gala, coach of Peru: “The team played much better today, we organized our tactics, and it was an even match, unfortunately Cuba was not in its day, they could not play with their serve and that weakens them. We are happy, we come to this, to learn and when you win you also learn; It is one of the virtues that we have that we always try to learn something new. Now we wait for the match against Colombia”.

The middle blocker Daniel Urueña, from Peru: “Yesterday we were left with a bitter taste of not defeating the host, but today we came out more focused and organized to face Cuba, which is a power team, and we managed to get the victory. The strategy and discipline we had made the difference today.”

Mario Izquierdo, coach of Cuba: “We drew up a technical plan and we were not able to comply with it. We were playing even when the indications that the technical group raised were fulfilled, but after point 15, the athletes were not able to maintain tactical discipline while Peru fulfilled this better than us. We fell with our reception again and our complex 1 (K1) has not been very effective”.

Brazil tops Group B after beating Canada in straight sets.

Guadalajara, August 16, 2023.- Brazil secured first place in pool B by beating Canada 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-21) on second day of XVI Men’s Senior Pan American Cup.

Canada debuted the tournament and found a very strong Brazilian team in attacks and serves, scoring 10 aces, especially with Darlan Ferreira and Marcus Evangelista.

Brazil was better in attacks 36-28, in blocking they were surpassed by Canada 4-3, but made a large difference in serves 10-1, finishing with 24 errors against 26 by the Canadians.

Marcus and Darlan finished with 12 points each for Brazil, while Isaac Heslinga had 9 points for Canada.

Canada will play the Dominican Republic for second place in group B this Thursday at 4:00 p.m., while Brazil finished top in this pool undefeated advancing to next round.

Brazil celebrates defeating Canada

Carlos Schwanke, coach of Brazil: “we reached our first goal which was to advance to next round, now we must wait for our opponents, and we are going to work based on that. Once again it was a good game, it allowed us to give other players space to gain experience, which is an important part for us.”

Marcus, Brazil wing spiker: “I feel very good, we played well, we managed to overcome adversity and we controlled the game in difficult moments and above all we didn’t were too confident during the match. A good teamwork, I am very happy for everyone and now we must wait for our opponents since we are qualified for the next round”.

Daniel Lewis, coach of Canada: “Brazil is a great team, for them it was their second match, and they were already familiar with the game. The first set was one of adjustments for the boys, in the second they had already found their rhythm and played well, which you could see by the final score of the set. I think that at critical moments we weren’t making the right plays, we were able to extend the match to a fourth set, although Brazil handled the pressure well.”

Fynnian McCarthy, captain of Canada: “I feel a bit frustrated with how we started, we weren’t as good as we expected. Throughout the game we were growing and increasing our level matching to what we’ve trained for the last 10 weeks. We’re getting better and the first match is always difficult. I think we feel good about the path we’re on.”

The United States beats Chile 3-1 and is the leader of group A 

Guadalajara, August 16, 2023.- The United States got its second win in pool A by defeating Chile 3-1 (25-14, 21-25, 25-12, 25-21) at the start of the second day of the XVI Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup.

It was Chile’s debut in the tournament, who also will be closing the group stage against Puerto Rico tomorrow. 

The United States dominated in attacks, 52-39, blocking, 6-3 and serves 3-2, taking advantage of Chile’s 35 errors against their 28.

Parker Van Buren was the top scorer for the United States with 21 points, including 19 on attacks and Kyle McCauley finished with 13 points. For Chile, Tomas Parraguirre finished with 18 points and Vicente Bonacic 12 points.

Chile will face Puerto Rico tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in search of second place of group A and a ticket to quarterfinals.

USA triple blocks Chile

Andy Read, United States coach: “We have good players who do their job in every game, they came in with a very positive vibe, Van Buren, McCauley, Marshman, they all brought something to today’s match and that’s something very important. McCauley started very well, he was very energetic and that helped us even more.”

Kyle McCauley, USA Wing Spiker: “There was a great atmosphere in Guadalajara and that makes me and all the guys on the team feel very good for the game as we came out with great energy. We all contributed a lot to the win today and we feel satisfied about that.”

Daniel Nejamkin, Chile’s coach: “The United States played very well, we could never find our game; In the second set we managed to find ourselves a little more due to the opponent’s mistakes than due to our own successes’ points. We hope we can play better tomorrow.”

Mexico wins five-set battle against Peru

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 15, 2023 – Mexico won a dramatic five-set battle against Peru 3-2 (23-25, 25-10, 25-19, 30-32, 15-10) in a Group C match that concluded the first day of the XVI Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup.

Peru claimed the first set, which was closely contested with a tie at 15-15 in attacks. Mexico recovered quickly and easily secured the second and third sets, but in the fourth, Peru rallied and put up a strong offensive resistance. In the fifth set, Mexico took an early 5-0 lead, enough to secure their first victory.

Mexico outperformed in attacks 61-50, blocks 17-5, and service points 7-1. Peru committed 33 unforced errors compared to Mexico’s 40.

Diego González was Mexico’s top scorer with 24 points from 23 attacks and 3 blocks, followed by 17 points from Josué López and 13 from Axel Rodriguez. For Peru, Daniel Urueña finished with 18 points, and Eduardo Romay contributed 16 points.

Peru will face Cuba at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, and Mexico will play against Colombia at 8:00 p.m.

Monster Block Mexico vs Peru

Jorge Azair López, coach of Mexico: “We had many errors, I think the beginning is always tough. We got ourselves into a lot of trouble with reception and attacking, but the important thing is that we pulled through, and we’ll improve in the upcoming matches”.

Pedro Rangel, captain of Mexico: “We need to improve our mindset. We have the physical qualities, but at times, I feel like we get too confident, we let our guard down, and we can’t do that. We need to work on that because this group is very strong in other aspects”.

Juan Carlos Gala, coach of Peru: “These matches are like this. We had to face the home team, and our team was very inconsistent at times. The goal is to improve day by day, and we saw that in the way we reacted in the fourth set. I’m happy even though we didn’t secure the victory”.

Eduardo Romay, captain of Peru: “It was a match with a lot of ups and downs, we lacked consistency. We’re happy to have taken the fourth set; it helped us a lot emotionally. But I believe the second and third sets are unacceptable. For us, a fifth set was very valuable because I think we even had the chance to win”.

Colombia surprises reining champion Cuba in Pool C of the Men’s Pan American Cup

GUADALAJARA, Mexico August 15, 2023 – Colombia opened Pool C actions by surprising the defending champion Cuba with a 3-0 (26-24, 25-17, 25-20) victory in the XVI Men’s  Pan American Volleyball Cup at the Astros Arena.

Relying on strong serving and a solid blocking game that allowed them to organize their defense, Colombia secured a significant victory in a group that also includes Mexico and Peru.

Colombia led in attacks 35-33, blocks 9-6, and Cuba managed 4 aces compared to Colombia’s 2 , with Colombia also capitalizing on 30 unforced errors from their opponents while committing only 18.

Opposite hitter Liberman Agamez and middle blocker Leandro Mejía were the top scorers for Colombia with 11 points each, and Andrés Piza contributed 10 points. For Cuba, outside hitter Julio Cárdenas finished with 11 points.

On the second day of the event, Wednesday the 16th, Colombia will face Mexico at 8:00 p.m., and Cuba will play against Peru at 6:00 p.m.

Piza from Colombia attacks and overtakes Cuba’s blockers

Sebastián Ortiz, coach of Colombia: “Colombia has a strong service, and today we did very well with variations in service speed. Cuba had some weaknesses that we knew how to take advantage of. It was a great match and starting the tournament with a 3-0 win gives us five points, which is wonderful”.

Leandro Mejía, captain of Colombia: “We were working towards this based on the intense preparation we had. We know Cuba is a strong rival, and we implemented what we trained for and got the result. We served very well, tactically, and our blocking was well-organized, which helped us strategically”.

Mario Izquierdo, coach of Cuba: “Our reception was very poor, and our outside hitters couldn’t solve some moments. Colombia served effectively, and we couldn’t respond to that technical aspect that affected us. Our second complex didn’t work, and we made many serving errors”.

Adrian Chirino, captain of Cuba: “This is the first game as a group we’ve had in these months. Colombia’s team has good players, and they played their game, and we couldn’t adjust. It’s another experience for us. We made a lot of mistakes, and as the competition progresses, we’ll improve”.

Brazil beats Dominican Republic 3-0 in Pan American Cup

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 15, 2023 – Brazil had no trouble securing a 3-0 victory (25-17, 25-17, 25-17) over the Dominican Republic in the first match of Group B at the XVI Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup at the Astros Arena.

Brazil dominated the entire match with their service causing problems to the Dominicans defense. They led in attacks 37-26, blocks 7-4, and service points 9-0, with 22 Dominican  errors compared to 21 from Brazil.

Darlan Ferreira was the top scorer for Brazil with 15 points, followed by 12 from Marcus Evangelista. For the Dominican Republic, Henry Tapia and Hector Cruz each scored 7 points.

On the second day of the event, Wednesday the 16th, Brazil will play against Canada at 4:00 p.m., and the Dominican Republic will have a rest day.

Tapia from DOM facing Brazilian blockers

Carlos Schwanke, coach of Brazil: “We worked well, our serves were good, something that we managed to make an effect on the Dominican Republic, and it helped us have the perfect tactics to play against them. We played well, it’s the first match of the championship, and we did well with a focused team, aiming to play well”.

Matheus Goncalves, captain of Brazil: “The first game is always very difficult because there’s a lot of excitement, many emotions, and some anxiety, but it’s important to win the first game like this, 3-0. For us, it’s special to have the affection of the audience, the support of the Mexican people, and I hope it continues in the upcoming games as well”.

José Gutiérrez, coach of Dominican Republic: “Playing against Brazil is always a challenge, they are one of the best in the world for a reason. They applied a lot of pressure with their serves, breaking our reception, which put us in a complicated position. This is part of our growth; we have a long way to go, and we hope the players continue adding experience”.

United States starts with a 3-0 victory over Puerto Rico in Pan American Cup

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 15, 2023. – United States opened the XVI Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup with a 3-0 (26-24, 25-13, 25-23) victory over Puerto Rico in Pool A, at the Astros Arena in this City.

After a closely contested first set, the United States gained an advantage in the second set from their service, accumulating 7 points that were impossible for Puerto Rico to match. In the third set, Puerto Rico put up a fight, but they couldn’t manage to close the set.

United States led in attacks 44-23 and in service points 7-3, while both teams tied in blocks 6-6. Puerto Rico conceded 19 points on errors but couldn’t capitalize on 28 points from their opponents.

Parker Van Buren was the top scorer for the United States with 15 points, followed by Jacob Pasteur with 14 points and 10 from Patrick Gasman. For Puerto Rico, Jamal Ellis finished with 9 points.

On the second day of the event, Wednesday the 16th, United States will face Chile at 2:00 p.m., and Puerto Rico will have a rest day.

USA’S Libero Gooch Digging

Andy Read, coach of USA: “First, I want to acknowledge the work the organizers have done in providing such an excellent stage. It looks impeccable, and the audience is so engaged. I also want to congratulate Puerto Rico for their good work.”

Parker Van Buren, top scorer for the USA: “This is thanks to teamwork, the time we’ve trained together, the confidence we have in each other, and our commitment to doing what each of us is responsible for.”

Oswald Antonetti, coach of Puerto Rico: “There are good things, it’s a young team that needs to improve, gain a bit of character. It’s important for them to get to know each other, keep working, and aim for continuous growth. We got discouraged at one point; these are teams with a strong presence, and that’s part of what we need to improve.”

Omar Hoyos, captain of Puerto Rico: “It was a strong, closely-fought match. At the beginning, we shook off the nerves we had and started playing, although we lost that first set. In the second, we started poorly; it was our first game, and we believe we can take away good things and improve for what’s ahead.”

Pan American Senior Men’s Volleyball Cup with equal level, according to coaches

Guadalajara, August 14, 2023.- The XVI Pan American Senior Men’s Volleyball Cup that will give the last ticket to the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games for NORCECA Confederation and ranking points, will begin this Tuesday at the Astros Arena in Guadalajara.

Cuba, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic have already qualified to Santiago 2023 Games; but the cup will grant to the best NORCECA team ranked at the end of the competition the last ticket for the Pan-American Games.

The coaches of the 10 participating teams agree that this tournament will be very balanced since the Pan American Cup will allow to continue a training process for the new talents, who will get more experience and tactics.

Mario Izquierdo, head coach from Cuba: “We bring a fairly homogeneous group, with players from the base categories who are given the opportunity to get experience to guarantee the reserve for the national teams. For years we have been longing for a so-called ‘second group’, which gives a certain rest to the elite figures that we have established within the senior team.”

Daniel Nejamkin, head coach from Chile: “These help us to prepare for Santiago 2023 will allow us to get there with the best level. The team’s bet is to deliver the maximum in each of the matches and present the best possible level. It is normal to have new players, we are always looking for new talents that come from the base teams to follow the process for the senior team and the best are here. We take the incorporation of young people very naturally.”

Andy Read, head coach from USA: “There are some players who come from the youth process, and compared to the under-21 team this is much more experienced, we have many players who we believe will have the possibility to be in the future U.S. men’s national team. We hope to see them soon on the World Championship and World League rosters. We are looking to improve in the ranking of the tournament and hopefully we will go home with the gold medal.”

Carlos Schwanke, Head coach from Brazil: “We have new talents with the intention of giving them more international experience. When Brazil is in an event the idea is always to be in the first places, to represent the country well. We always try to place our players who are not able to be in the roster of the VNL or World Cups, so that when they go to these tournaments, they already have experience.”

José Gutiérrez, Head Coach from Dominican Republic: “This is our fourth participation in the Pan American Cup, but this year has more teams and that is a special meaning. The idea is to try to continue improving, that the men’s team follows the line of development, because we are showing that it has been growing. We want the team to be able to maintain what it has shown so far, beyond the result that can be presented because there are technical objectives that we need to meet.”

Jorge Azair López, Head Coach from Mexico: “This is a strong tournament, quite even because the powerful countries do not bring their main teams and that makes us think that we have a very even competition. We are at home and always the goal is to win the event. We are in a process with a young team, with rotation of players, but always thinking about going out to win.”

Daniel Lewis, Head Coach from Canada: “We have a really interesting group here, a combination of young and experienced players. Playing in Mexico is great, there are many good teams here and good youth players, that allows players who need to rest and train for other events. We expect a really good tournament, that’s why we’re excited and happy.”

Sebastian Ortiz, Head Coach from Colombia: “We bring a mixed team, with young people and experienced players, who will try to give the best presentation and will be as preparation for upcoming events such as the South American.”

Juan Carlos Alas, Head Coach from Peru: “It is our first tournament in a year, it will help us prepare for the South American Games, but we will not stop competing. We have prepared well, it will help to adjust elements for another competition, we are in a difficult group with powerful teams, but we will fight”.

Oswald Antonetti, Head Coach from Puerto Rico: “It is important to continue with a process with the young players, we know they are talented and will meet a serious level of play and level in the Pan American Cup and we will keep constantly growing and take advantage of every opportunity we have.”

Cuba seeks a three-peat in Men’s Senior Pan American Cup

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, August 14, 2023 – Cuba will aim for its third consecutive title in the XVI Men’s Senior Pan American Volleyball Cup to be held at the Astros Arena in Guadalajara, Mexico from August 15th to 20th.

The Astros Arena, located at the Avila Camacho Sports Complex of CODE Jalisco, is ready to host all the action of the finest volleyball in the Americas, an event that is part of the qualification system for the XIX Pan American Games Santiago 2023.

Ten teams will take part in the competition, with the main contender Cuba, who in 2019 halted Argentina’s pursuit for a third consecutive title, having won the editions of 2017 and 2018. The Cubans overcame Canada in 2022, accumulating a total of four gold medals in the history of the event.

United States has won the Pan American Cup five on five occasions, Cuba on four, Brazil three times, Argentina twice, and Mexico once. Argentina has the most silver medals with five.

Teams have been divided into three groups (two groups of 3 and one group of 4 teams), the top two group winners with the highest ranking will move directly into the semifinals, and the third-ranked group winner along with the second-place teams from each group will compete in the quarterfinals.

Group A consists of the United States, Puerto Rico, and Chile. Brazil, Dominican Republic, and Canada are in Group B, while Group C is composed of reigning champion Cuba, Mexico, Colombia, and Peru.

The preliminary round will take place from Tuesday, August 15th, to Thursday, August 17th, with four daily matches starting at 2:00 PM (local time).

The main competition venue (Astros Arena), training courts, dressing rooms, dining area, and medical services area have all met and exceeded the high expectations, passing the inspection held  by Jorge Villalobos and Berta Cuadra, members of the Pan American Volleyball Union (UPV) Control Committee.