Kyle McCauley did it on both the offensive and defensive ends to lead the United States to its first win at the NORCECA Pan American Cup Final Six.
The former UC San Diego outside attacker had a match-high five blocks and added seven kills on a .545 attack percentage as the United States swept Puerto Rico 25-23, 25-16, 27-25 on Wednesday in Mexico.
McCauley was one of four U.S. players to have more than five kills and hit more than .300 in the round-robin match. Penn State outside attacker Brett Wildman had a match-high nine kills, while UCLA middle attacker Merrick McHenry and Princeton middle attacker Nyerovwome Omene each contributed eight kills on a .583 attack percentage.
Setter Quinn Isaacson guided the United States to out-hit Puerto Rico .441 to .333 en route to the team ending its two-match losing streak to open the international tournament.
Former Purdue Fort Wayne outside attacker Pelegrin Vargas led Puerto Rico with eight kills. George Mason outside attacker Omar Hoyos also had six kills in Puerto Rico’s first loss at the Pan American Cup Final Six.
The United States limited Puerto to zero aces. Long Beach State libero Mason Briggs, McCauley and Wildman each had double-digit excellent receptions and more than a 75 percent excellent reception rate.
Both Briggs and Wildman added a team-high six digs.
The United States with this victory moves into fourth place with two remaining round-robin matches. The top-four teams at the end of the round-robin stage will advance to the semifinals.