The gold-medal run for Puerto Rico came up one match short.
Puerto Rico with a roster that featured five college men’s volleyball players lost to Mexico 25-27, 25-16, 26-24, 25-20 in the gold-medal match of the U23 Pan American Games qualification tournament on Friday in the Dominican Republic.
Mexico out-blocked Puerto Rico 11 to 6 en route to finishing the tournament undefeated. Both Lewis middle attacker Antonio Elias Rodriguez and St. Francis Brooklyn middle attacker Johan Leon had a block for Puerto Rico.
Mexico in the victory had three players finish with double-digit kills, including the tournament’s most valuable player Josue de Jesus Lopez who had a match-high 18 kills.
George Mason outside attacker Omar Hoyos had seven kills — the third-most kills for a Puerto Rican player during the gold-medal match. Hoyos concluded in the tournament as the eighth top scorer with 42 points.
Despite the loss and silver-medal finish, Puerto Rico qualified for the U23 Pan American Games. All four teams that reached the semifinals qualified for the tournament that will take place in November.