Former Hawai’i middle attacker Patrick Gasman delivered whether it was at the net or from the service line.
Gasman finished with 12 kills on a .648 attack percentage and had a match-high three aces to help the United States sweep Puerto Rico 25-17, 29-27, 26-24 in the Pan American Cup quarterfinals on Friday in Canada.
Gasman was one of three U.S. players to finish with double-digit kills as the team out-hit Puerto Rico .324 to .238. Along with the middle attacker, former Ohio State opposite Jake Hanes had a match-high 14 kills and current Ohio State outside attacker Jacob Pasteur had 10 kills on a .400 attack percentage.
The United States ended with seven aces – five fewer aces than service errors. Princeton middle attacker Nyerovwome Omene also tied Gasman leading all players with three aces.
Long Beach State libero Mason Briggs had a match-high 13 digs against Puerto Rico. The 2022 Erik Shoji Award winner as the NCAA’s top libero leads the international tournament with both 55 digs and a 4.58 digs per game average.
Puerto Rico pin-hitters Kevin Lopez and Kilstan Lawrence each had a team-high 12 kills in the loss. Lopez and Lawrence were the only Puerto Rican players, though, to have more than five kills.
The United States will advance to play the host nation Canada in the semifinals on Saturday. Canada won its final two group-play matches to win the Group B championship and earn a bye to the semifinals.