Sander, U.S. get revenge vs. Canada, advance to Pan Am Cup finals

BYU outside attacker Brenden Sander made sure the United States avenged its loss to Canada last year and moved one match away from a championship.

Sander led the team with a tournament-high 20 kills as the United States defeated Canada 25-19, 25-22, 20-25, 25-20 in the Pan American Cup semifinals on Saturday in Gatineau, Quebec.

This was the second time during the international tournament that Sander had double-digit kills. In addition, the BYU incoming sophomore had one of the United States’ four aces in the victory.

Sander was the only U.S. player to finish with more than seven kills against Canada (2-1). Penn State outside attacker had seven kills, while USC middle attacker Andy Benesh added six kills.


The United States (4-1) and Canada were meeting for the first since Canada beat the United States in the 2015 U-21 NORCECA semifinals to clinch a spot at the upcoming FIVB U-21 World Championships. That loss also initially delayed the United States from earning a spot at the international tournament in September.

The United States in the rematch out-blocked Canada 9 to 8 and had three players with multiple blocks.

Loyola Freshmen All-American middle attacker Jeff Jendryk and Lewis opposite George Perinar led the United States with three blocks.

Canada outside attacker Brandon Koppers in the loss had a team-high 19 kills.

With this semifinal victory, the United States advances to play Brazil in the Pan American finals on Sunday. Brazil, the only remaining undefeated team in the tournament, beat Chile in the other semifinal match on Saturday.

The United States only loss so far at the tournament came against Brazil in group play earlier this week.