The United States beat the Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-23) to open the 15th Pan American Cup, held at the Slush Puppie Sports Centre in Gatineau, Canada.
Despite a strong start by the Caribbean squad, the USA bounced back and tied the opening set at 11 and reached the second technical time-out with a narrow 16-14 lead. Solid attacks by Jake Hanes, Merrick McHenry and Brett Wildman and Patrick Gasman secured the first set 25-23.
The USA remained on top in the second set, leading 8-6 and 16-14. But the Dominican Republic kept fighting and Henry Tapia led them to a 23-22 lead, but the USA bounced back with an effective block and a strong attack by Jake Hanes secured win 25-23.
The third set appeared to go one way with the USA taking a healthy 7-1 lead and 16-12 at the second time-out. The Dominican Republic never gave up and with solid clocks managed to tie the set at 21. However, Jake Hanes’ attacks proved to be lethal and paved the way for another identical 25-23 set win and match victory.
Hanes led the winners’ performance with 20 points, followed by Gasman (11). Captain Henry Tapia was the main contributor from the Dominican Republic with 16 points.
Both teams play in Pool A with Chile and Cuba as the other contenders