BYU freshman outside attacker Ben Patch saved his best performance for the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team’s biggest preliminary round match at an international tournament.
Patch had a match-high 12 kills as the United States swept Mexico 25-18, 25-18, 25-20 to clinch the Pool A championship and a semifinals berth at the NORCECA Men’s Junior Championship on Wednesday in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Both the United States and Mexico entered their pool-play finale undefeated in its first two preliminary matches to set up this defacto pool-play championship match.
Patch had all 12 of his kills in the first two games and was one of two U.S. players with double-digit kills. Harvard outside attacker DJ White also added 11 kills against Mexico.
The United States in the victory out-blocked Mexico 13-1.
Pepperdine outside attacker Matt Tarantino had match-high four blocks. Patch, Loyola freshman middle attacker Nick Olson and USC setter Micah Christenson each contributed with two blocks.
Mexico outside attacker Sergio Perez in the loss had a team-high 10 kills.
With this victory, the United States completed its three pool-play matches without losing a game. In addition, no team has scored more than 20 points in a game against the United States so far this tournament.
The United States will play its semifinals match Friday against the winner of the quarterfinals match between Puerto Rico and Honduras.
Honduras finished the pool-play round in third place — including a loss to the United States — while Puerto Rico ended its pool in second place.
Mexico will play Guatemala in the other quarterfinals match on Friday. The winner of that match will advance to the semifinals against Canada, which went undefeated in Pool B.