United States beats Puerto Rico in first win at Final Six Pan Am Cup

TEPIC, Nayarit, Mexico, July 14, 2022.- United States beats Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 27-25) for their first win at the Men’s NORCECA Final Six Pan American Cup at the Amado Nervo Auditorium of Tepic, Nayarit.

The U.S. were challenged by Puerto in the final set, missing four match points before celebrating the first tournament win and serving Puerto Rico their first loss. The United States improved their record 1-2 and Puerto Rico dropped to 2-1.

United States’ advantage in blocking (9-1) and in serves (5-0) definitely worked to overcome Puerto Rico who came from winning to exhausting five-setters entering day three of the event. The Americans also held a slim 38-37 margin in kills. Puerto Rico committed one less error (25-26) than the U.S.

Outside hitter Kyle McCauley of the United States led all scorers with 13 points on 7 kills, 5 blocks and one ace, followed by middle blockers Nyerovwame Omene and Merrick Mchenry who tallied 11 and 10 points respectively.

Puerto Rico’s top scorer was outside hitter Pelegrin Vargas with 8 points.

On Thursday the United States plays to host Mexico and Puerto Rico against Cuba.

Brett Wildman (USA) against double block of Puerto Rico at Pan American Cup NORCECA Final Six

Nyerovwame Omene, Middle Blocker of United States: “As a team it’s just about steady growth and an operative incline, we came from losing to Canada and 3-2 to Cuba and we just focused on our system and our side of the net, not worrying about results. From our first performance to this one, we applied better to our system and believing in all fourteen guys, in one single game, one single point”.  

Peligrin Vargas, Top scorer of Puerto Rico: “It was a complicated match, we came in from two five-set matches, long matches and the body starts to feel it. United States played well against Cuba yesterday and they came with good energy. We must recover as soon as possible”.

Andy Read, Head Coach of United States: “I feel great, the guys feel great, it’s our first win in the tournament after a great matches against Canada and Cuba yesterday and today we beat Puerto Rico. Our ability to play at the level we do, I thought we played better last night and a little drop today; it’s really hard for young players to play hard all the time, but that’s what they have to do”.