(Photo by NORCECA)
PROVO, Utah – Four Cougars, two current and two former, helped Team USA finish fifth in the Pan American Cup last week in Gatineau, Canada.
Current players Price Jarman and Brenden Sander joined former teammate Jake Langlois as players coached under former associate head coach Rob Neilson. Neilson served as head coach for the Pan Am Cup.
“Our expectation was to come here and compete, and I think our guys learned a lot about what it takes to compete at this level,” Neilson said. “We would have liked to have placed a little bit better, but there were some good lessons learned for our guys.”
The U.S. Men’s National Team opened up play with a four-set win (25-18, 25-23, 23-25, 25-18) over Mexico on Tuesday. Langlois led all scorers with 18 points on a match-high 15 kills, two blocks and one ace. Jarman and Sander each added two kills in the win.
The team then fell in its next match against the Dominican Republic in straight sets (25-14, 25-12, 25-19) on Wednesday. Langlois led the U.S. with seven points on six kills and one block in the match.
Another loss ensued on Thursday, as the team came up short against Cuba in five sets (24-26, 25-21, 25-21, 19-25, 15-11). Sander added eight kills and an ace in the loss.
The U.S. Men’s National Team then lost out on its chance to compete for a medal after losing to Puerto Rico in four sets (25-21, 25-22, 20-25, 25-14) on Friday in the quarterfinals. Sander added 13 points on a match-high four blocks and nine kills.
The squad then rebounded by sweeping Venezuela (25-23, 25-14, 25-20) on Saturday. Langlois led the U.S. Men with 10 points on eight kills, one block and one ace.
The U.S. Men’s National Team finished the Pan Am Cup with two-straight victories and a measure of revenge as it beat the Dominican Republic in five sets (15-25, 25-22, 20-25, 27-25, 15-13) on Sunday, finishing in fifth place. Sander replaced Langlois in the first set and scored 12 points on 11 kills and one block for the match.
The U.S. finished the tournament with a record of 3-3 to go with its fifth-place finish.