U.S. block too much in sweep of Dominican Republic

The United States saved its best blocking performance for its final match at the Pan American Cup.

The United States had a tournament-high 13 blocks as it swept the Dominican Republic 25-22, 25-15, 25-14 in the fifth-place match on Thursday in Mexico City at the continental event.


Five U.S. players had multiple blocks in the victory, including Long Beach State All-American outside attacker TJ DeFalco. In addition, former UC Irvine opposite Carson Clark and former Hawai’i middle attacker Taylor Averill each had a team-high three kills.

Clark led the United States (3-1) with seven kills against the Dominican Republic (1-3). Loyola All-American middle attacker Jeff Jendryk added six kills, while DeFalco finished with five kills.

Long Beach State All-American setter Josh Tuanigs guided the U.S. offense to have five starters finish with at least five kills.

Dominican Republic opposite Henry Santana Tapia in the loss had a match-high four blocks and added six kills.

This was the first match for the United States since losing to Canada in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. The U.S. team comprised of current college men’s volleyball players and recent college graduates went undefeated in the group-play stage of the tournament, including a four-game victory against the Dominican Republic.