Briggs defensive brilliance helps U.S. sweep Chile at Pan Am Cup

Photo courtesy of the FIVB and NORCECA

Very little was hitting the ground with Mason Briggs in the back row.

The Long Beach State libero had a tournament-high 19 digs as the United States swept Chile 25-22, 25-17, 25-14 on Wednesday in Canada to clinch a quarterfinals berth at the Pan American Cup.

This was the second consecutive pool-play match that Briggs had double-digit digs. Briggs also had 13 digs in a sweep against the Dominican Republic – the teams first of two sweeps to open the international tournament.


The United States out-hit Chile .359 to .081 and had three players with more than five kills.

Former Ohio State opposite Jake Hanes led all players with 12 kills on a .400 attack percentage against Chile. Ohio State outside attacker Jacob Pasteur had 11 kills and hit .308, while former UC San Diego outside attacker Kyle McCauley added seven kills.

The United States in both its pool-play victories has limited its opponents to less than a .100 attack percentage.

The team finished with 10 blocks – seven more blocks than Chile. In addition, middle attackers Patrick Gasman and Merrick McHenry each had a match-high three blocks.

Chile in the loss played the second half of the match without its starting setter Matias Banda. Banda collided with a teammate midway through the second game resulting in about a 30-minute injury stoppage and Banda being sidelined for the rest of the match.

The United States enters its pool-play finale tied with Cuba for first place in Group A. The two teams will play each other Thursday in a de facto pool championship match with the winning team earning a bye to the semifinals.