The comeback attempt for the United States fizzled out in the decisive moments and resulted in its first loss at the Pan American Cup.
The United States rallied from a two-game deficit but lost to the host-nation Dominican Republic 25-23, 25-18, 22-25, 17-25, 15-8 on Sunday in a match-up between undefeated teams at the international tournament.
Dominican Republic opposite Henry Tapia in the victory finished with both a match-high 18 kills and five aces. The team captain also added two blocks to help the Dominican Republic become the first team to clinch a semifinal berth.
UCLA middle attacker Merrick McHenry led the United States with six blocks and contributed offensively with six kills on a .600 attack percentage.
McHenry was one of six U.S. players with more than five kills. UC San Diego outside attacker Kyle McCauley finished with a team-high 14 kills, while UC Irvine outside attacker Cole Gillis had 11 kills.
CSUN middle attacker Daniel Wetter in the loss led the United States with three aces.
The United States dropped into second place following this loss but can still earn a spot in the semifinals if it wins one of two remaining group-play matches. The team will play winless Suriname in its next group-play match on Monday.