It didn’t take long for Parker Van Buren to put up big offensive numbers at an international tournament.
The Loyola opposite had a match-high 14 kills as the United States swept Puerto Rico 26-24, 25-13, 25-23 in its group-play opener at the Pan American Cup on Tuesday.
Van Buren had back-to-back kills to close out the first-game overtime and jumpstart the team’s victory. The All-MIVA opposite also did not commit an attack error through the first two games and ended with a match-best .480 attack percentage.
Former Ball State setter Quinn Isaacson guided the offense to out-hit Puerto Rico .322 to .118, including the team having a .455 attack percentage in its 12-point second-game win.
Two U.S. players finished with double-digit kills against Puerto Rico. Along with Van Buren, Ohio State outside attacker Jacob Pasteur had 14 kills on a .375 attack percentage.
The United States had seven aces – four more aces than Puerto Rico – with UCLA outside attacker Ethan Champlin led all players with three aces.
Fairleigh Dickinson opposite Jamal Ellis Carballo in the loss led Puerto Rico with seven kills. George Mason outside attacker Omar Hoyos also had five kills against the United States.
The United States will play Chile in its group-play finale on Wednesday.
If the United States beats Chile, it will finish atop the group-play standings and earn a berth to the semifinals on Saturday.