Outside attackers TJ DeFalco and Brenden Sander left no doubt that the United States would be playing for a gold medal at the NORCECA Continental Championship.
The former BYU and Long Beach State All-Americans had a combined 25 kills as the United States swept Mexico 25-18, 25-16, 25-23 in the tournament semifinals on Friday in Winnipeg, Canada.
Both DeFalco and Sander were the only two U.S. players to finish with double-digit kills. Sander led all players with 13 kills, while DeFalco contributed 12 kills against Mexico.
DeFalco also had a match-high three aces as the United States compiled seven aces — six more aces than Mexico.
The United States now has a combined 34 aces through four tournament matches. In addition, the team has yet to lose a set entering the gold-medal match against Cuba on Saturday.
Ruiz De La Cruz Gonzalo in the semifinal loss led Mexico with 12 kills and was the only Mexican player to have double-digit kills.
Mexico will play the host nation Canada in the bronze-medal match on Saturday. Despite winning the Group A championship, Canada suffered a four-game loss to Cuba in its semifinal match on Friday.
The gold-medal match will be the second meeting between the United States and Cuba in a span of four days. The United State swept Cuba on Wednesday to win the Group B championship and earn a bye to the semifinals.