U.S. loses to Cuba to earn silver medal at NORCECA Championship

Photo courtesy of the FIVB and NORCECA

The gold medal and undefeated run for the United States came to an end in the championship match.

The United States finished with the silver medal at the NORCECA Continental Championship as it lost to Cuba 25-18, 21-25, 25-20, 25-20 in the gold-medal match on Saturday in Winnipeg, Canada.

Cuba in its gold-medal victory had 10 aces — five more aces than the United States. This was the most aces that the United States had allowed in a match during the international tournament.

Despite being out-hit .303 to .252, the United States had two players with double-digit kills.

Former Long Beach State All-American outside attacker TJ DeFalco for the second consecutive match had double-digit kills as he finished with 10 kills against Cuba. DeFalco’s former All-American college teammate opposite Kyle Ensing also had a team-high 10 kills.

The United States out-blocked Cuba 11 to 7, including former Loyola All-American middle attacker Jeff Jendryk leading the team with three blocks.

This was the second meeting between the United States and Cuba at the NORCECA Continental Championship. The United States swept Cuba on Wednesday in its pool-play finale to clinch the Group B title and earn a bye to the semifinals.

The United States entered the gold-medal match without losing a set in its first four matches.