A Freshman All-American came off the bench and helped Puerto Rico reach the medal podium at an international tournament.
Jamal Carballo Ellis was inserted in the lineup for the third game and had a game-high five kills as Puerto Rico swept Guatemala 25-19, 25-23, 25-14 in the bronze-medal match at the Central American and Caribbean Games on Sunday in El Salvador.
The Fairleigh Dickinson opposite finished with a .571 attack percentage against Guatemala en route to Puerto Rico winning its 14th all-time men’s volleyball medal at the games.
Ellis also was one of three Puerto Rican players with at least five kills. Middle attacker Jonathan Rodriguez had a team-high nine kills and zero errors on a .750 attack percentage, while former Purdue Fort Wayne outside attacker Pelegrin Vargas contributed seven kills.
The Puerto Rico offense committed eight errors the entire match and out-hit Guatemala .392 to .107.
Puerto Rico finished with seven blocks – four more blocks than Guatemala. Lewis middle attacker Antonio Elias led all players with three blocks, while Ellis added a block.
Elias and Ellis were two of three current NCAA players on the Puerto Rican roster.
George Mason outside attacker Omar Hoyos also came off the bench and contributed an ace and two kills against Guatemala.
This the second time at the Central American and Caribbean Games that Puerto Rico defeated Guatemala. The team opened the tournament sweeping Guatemala and finished pool-play undefeated to earn a bye to the semifinals.
Puerto Rico dropped to the bronze-medal match after losing to the Dominican Republic in five games on Saturday.
Puerto Rico won the first two points of the decisive game against the Dominican Republic, but the match was then delayed almost an hour because of ceiling water leak resulting in an unplayable court. The Dominican Republic following the delay rallied to beat Puerto Rico and earn a berth to the gold-medal match against Cuba.