U.S. sweeps Dominican Republic to advance to NORCECA gold-medal match

Photo courtesy of the FIVB

Garrett Muagututia took full advantage of being reinserted into the starting lineup.

Muagututia finished with a team-high 11 kills and zero errors on a .611 attack percentage as the United States swept the Dominican Republic 25-22, 25-12, 25-14 in the NORCECA Continental Championship semifinals on Saturday in Charleston, West Virginia.

The former UCLA outside attacker was one of several reserves who U.S. coach John Speraw opted to place in the starting lineup against the Dominican Republic. Those changes, though, did not prevent the United States from hitting more than .500 for the third time in four matches at the international tournament.

Former UCLA setter Micah Ma’a guided the offense to out-hit the Dominican Republic .611 to .135. The United States committed four errors the entire match and had a .630 attack percentage in the final game to secure the sweep and berth in the gold-medal match.


The United States had four players with more than five kills against the Dominican Republic.

Along with Muagututia, former Loyola outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke and former Ohio State opposite Jake Hanes each contributed eight kills. Former Hawai’i middle attacker Taylor Averill added six kills on a perfect 1.000 attack percentage.

Averill also led all players with four blocks.

Hector Alexis Cruz Cepin in the loss ended with a match-high 12 kills. Cepin was one of two Dominican Republic players to have more than two kills against the United States.

The United States with this victory will advance to play Canada in the gold-medal match on Sunday.

Canada defeated Cuba in five games in its semifinal match on Saturday to reach the gold-medal match. Former Stanford libero Justin Lui led players with 12 digs and 11 exception service receptions against Cuba.