B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 24, 2011) – The U.S. Men’s Pan American Games Volleyball Team came back from a 12-9 deficit in the fifth set to defeat Puerto Rico, 22-25, 25-19, 20-25, 25-16, 15-13 on Monday in its opening pool play match in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The U.S. Men (1-0) will play Canada at 2 p.m. PT in Pool B on Tuesday. Puerto Rico (0-1) will face Brazil.
U.S. opposite and Team Captain Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) led all scorers with 27 points on 18 kills, a match-high seven blocks and two aces. Outside hitter Tony Ciarelli (Huntington Beach, Calif.) added 24 points on a match-high 19 kills, three blocks and two aces.
The U.S. Men led in kills 56-50. They led in blocks, 15-14 and in aces, 4-2. The U.S. Men had a kill percent of 38.9 while Puerto Rico’s was 36.2.
“We won because of two things,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.) said. “First, our ability to adapt; we made some crucial adjustments throughout the match from a variety of different players. And for a young team like this, I found that impressive.
“Second, the serving of our captain Evan Patak carried the team when we struggled early in the match. He put on some runs that helped us win the second set and give us the confidence to beat Puerto Rico.”
After leading 7-4 in the fifth set, the U.S. Men fell behind Puerto Rico, 12-9 before the U.S. scored on a Puerto Rico back-row violation followed by two straight Patak kills to tie the score at 12-12. A trio of U.S. blockers gave the U.S. a lead. Puerto Rico scored with a kill off the block, but Ciarelli tooled the block himself to give the U.S. match point and outside hitter Eric Vance (Camarillo, Calif.) won the match with a kill.
Among other U.S. scorers, setter Kyle Caldwell (Newport Beach, Calif.) had six points on three kills and three blocks. He was also credited with 25 assists. Outside hitter Jordan DuFault (Lakewood, Calif.) added six points on six attacks.
Middle blocker Matt Rawson (Los Angeles, Calif.) scored five points on four kills and one block while middle blocker Scott Slaughter (Newport Beach, Calif.) added four points on four attacks. Vance finished with three points on two kills and one block.
U.S. libero Kirk Francis (Torrance, Calif.) was credited with 21 receptions and nine digs. DuFault earned 19 receptions and Ciarelli totaled eight digs.
Patak credited his teammates for their roles in the victory.
"We made some mistakes, but we played as a team," Patak said in a NORCECA press release. "After seeing the stats, this is an effort by a lot of players who contributed to the win and that is important to be successful in this tournament.”
Roberto Muniz paced Puerto Rico with 18 points on 12 kills and six blocks.
Speraw started Ciarelli and DuFault at outside hitter, Slaughter and Rawson at middle blocker, Patak at opposite, Caldwell at setter and Kirk Francis (Torrance, Calif.) at libero.
Vance played as a substitute and started the fourth set for DuFault. Middle blocker Nick Vogel (El Cajon, Calif.) also played as a substitute and started the fourth and fifth sets for Slaughter. Bourne also played as a substitute.
The score was tied at 15-15 in the first set when Puerto Rico used a kill and a block to lead by two. Rawson attacked to pull the U.S. to within one at 17-16, but Puerto Rico used a kill and block to go ahead by three. Puerto Rico reached set point at 24-21. Ciarelli scored with a back-row attack before Victor Rivera won the set for Puerto Rico with a kill.
The teams opened the second set close and were tied at 6-6 when Puerto Rico scored twice on a kill and U.S. error to lead 8-6 at the first technical timeout (TTO). Puerto Rico extended its lead to three at 10-7 and still led by three at the second TTO (16-13). Puerto Rico scored coming out of the break to lead 17-13 before Patak scored twice on a kill and block. A Puerto Rico error pulled the U.S. to within one at 17-16. With Puerto Rico leading 18-17, Patak scored with a kill, then took the serve and served for the next four points, including an ace and another kill along with blocks from Ciarelli and Caldwell to give the U.S. Men a 22-18 lead. Puerto Rico came back with a triple block to make it 22-19, but the U.S. scored the final three points of the set to take the victory.
Puerto Rico again led 8-6 at the first TTO of the third set but the U.S. tied it at 8-8 on Puerto Rico’s service error and a Patak block. With the teams tied 9-9, Puerto Rico scored three straight points on a kill, block and setter dump to lead 12-9. Team USA called timeout and Patak responded with a kill. The teams traded points and Puerto Rico still led by three at the second TTO, 16-13. The U.S. again tied the score with three straight points after the break, including two blocks. The teams were still tied at 19-19 when Muniz scored on a kill and the Caribbean nation added two more points to lead 22-19. DuFault scored a final U.S. point with an attack before Puerto Rico closed out the set.
The U.S. jumped out to an 8-5 lead at the first TTO of the fourth set and increased its lead to four at 11-7 before Puerto Rico came back with a kill and scored twice on U.S. hitting errors to pull to within one a t 11-10. Vance increased the lead to two with a block. The teams traded service errors before Ciarelli scored with an attack to give the U.S. the 14-11 edge. With the U.S. leading by three at 17-14, Ciarelli scored with a kill and the U.S. scored two more straight points behind the serving of Caldwell to lead 21-14. The teams traded points before the U.S. scored the final three points on a kill and block from Patak and a final block by Ciarelli and Vogel.
In the fifth set, the U.S. Men took a 7-4 lead when Puerto Rico got the ball on a U.S. service error. Puerto Rico blocked Patak two times in a row to tie the score. Tri Bourne (Honolulu, Hawaii) went in to replace Patak and was blocked to give Puerto Rico an 8-7 lead. A U.S. violation made it 9-7. A Puerto Rico net serve gave the U.S. a point, but Ezequiel Cruz came back with two straight kills to give Puerto Rico an 11-8 lead. Each team scored to make it 12-9 before Puerto Rico was called for a back-row attack violation and Patak followed with two straight kills to tie the score at 12-12. A trio of U.S. blockers gave the U.S. a lead. Puerto Rico scored with a kill off the block, but Ciarelli tooled the block himself to give the U.S. match point and outside hitter Eric Vance (Camarillo, Calif.) won the match with a kill.
U.S. Men’s Pan American Games Team
No Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
2 Tony Ciarelli (OH, 6-6, Huntington Beach, Calif., USC)
3 Evan Patak (Opp, 6-8, Pleasanton, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
5 Eric Vance (OH, 6-4, Camarillo, Calif., Cal State Northridge)
6 Nick Vogel (MB, 6-9, El Cajon, Calif., UCLA)
8 Kyle Caldwell (S, 6-9, Newport Beach, Calif., UCLA)
9 Scott Slaughter (MB, 6-7, Newport Beach, Calif., UCSB)
10 Matt Rawson (MB, 6-7, Los Angeles, Calif., Hawaii)
11 Matt Stork (OH, 6-5, Topanga, Calif., Cal State Northridge)
12 Kirk Francis (L, 5-11, Torrance, Calif., Long Beach State)
14 Cody Loe (MB, 6-8, Chatsworth, Calif., Cal State Northridge)
15 Jordan DuFault (OH, 6-4, Lakewood, Calif., UC Irvine)
16 Tri Bourne (OH, 6-5, Honolulu, Hawai'i, USC, Aloha)
Head Coach: John Speraw (UC Irvine)
Team Manager: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Assistant Coach: Jeff Nygaard (USC)
Therapist/Trainer: Charlie Sullivan (Springfield College)
Athletic Trainer: Aimee Miyazawa
Pan American Games Schedule (All times PT)
Oct. 24 at 1 p.m.: Cuba vs. Argentina
Oct. 24 at 6 p.m.: Venezuela vs. Mexico
Oct. 25 at 1 p.m.: Cuba vs. Venezuela
Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. Argentina vs. Mexico
Oct. 26 at 1 p.m. Argentina vs. Venezuela
Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. Cuba vs. Mexico
Oct. 24: USA def. Puerto Rico, 22-25, 25-19, 20-25, 25-16, 15-13
Oct. 24 at 4 p.m.: Brazil vs. Canada
Oct. 25 at 11 a.m.: Brazil vs. Puerto Rico
Oct. 25 at 4 p.m.: USA vs. Canada
Oct. 26 at 11 a.m.: Puerto Rico vs. Canada
Oct. 26 at 6 p.m.: Brazil vs. USA
Oct. 27 at 4 p.m.: A 2nd vs. B 3rd
Oct. 27 at 6 p.m.: B 2nd vs. A 3rd
Oct. 28 at 10 a.m.: A 4th vs. Quarterfinal loser
Oct. 28 at 5 p.m.: B 4th vs. Quarterfinal loser
Oct. 28 at noon: A winner vs. Quarterfinal winner
Oct. 28 at 3 p.m.: B winner vs. Quarterfinal winner
Oct. 29 at 11 a.m.: Classification 7-8
Oct. 29 at 1 p.m.: Classification 5-6
Oct. 29 at 4 p.m.: Bronze medal match
Oct. 29 at 6 p.m.: Gold medal match
Past U.S. Pan American Games Men’s Volleyball Finishes
1963: Silver (Brazil gold)
1971: Silver (Cuba gold)
1975: Fourth (Cuba gold)
1979: Fourth (Cuba gold)
1983: Fourth (Brazil gold)
1991: Fifth (Cuba gold
1995: Silver (Argentina gold)
1999: Seventh (Cuba gold)
2003: Fourth (Venezuela gold)
2007: Silver (Brazil gold)