Mexico pulls off stunning upset of U.S. in Pan American Cup semifinals

Photo courtesy of the FIVB and NORCECA

And just like that the gold-medal run for the No. 1 seed United States has come to an end.

The United States suffered an upset loss to the No. 4 seed Mexico 25-22, 29-27, 25-20 in the semifinals of the Pan American Cup on Wednesday in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The United States entered the semifinals after winning the group-play championship, including sweeping Mexico in the tournament opener. Despite the loss, the United States can still earn a spot on the medal podium if it beats the Dominican Republic in the bronze-medal match on Thursday.


Mexico in the victory out-hit the United States .321 to .200 and had two pin-hitters finish with more than a .350 attack percentage.

Opposite Diego Gonzalez had a match-high 16 kills, while outside attacker Josue Lopez contributed eight kills and led all players with three aces.

UC Irvine outside attacker Cole Gillis led the United States with both three blocks and 10 kills on a .316 attack percentage. In addition, UC San Diego outside attacker Kyle McCauley had nine kills and was the only other U.S. player with at least five kills.

The United States had opportunities to extend the match to at least a forth game.

The team was unable to convert multiple game-points in the second-game overtime. It also had an 18-17 lead in the opener before Mexico went on a 6-0 run en route to winning the game.

Mexico will advance to play Canada in the gold-medal match on Thursday.