Senior BYU sensation Taylor Sander led the United States as it held off the Dominican Republic to win its first pool play match of the men's Pan American Cup, 26-24, 25-14, 22-25, 21-25, 15-7 on Monday in Mexico City.
Sander, an outside hitter from Huntington Beach, Calif., led the United States' effort with 19 points on 15 kills, three blocks and one ace. Middle blocker Jacek Ratajczak (Warsaw, Poland) added 14 points on eight kills, three blocks and a match-high three aces.
After the United States won the first two sets, the Dominican Republic came back to win the next two thanks to Elvis Contreras, who led all scorers with 22 points.
“It was a good match for both teams,” U.S. head coach, and former BYU coach, Shawn Patchell said. “We felt nervous in the beginning, had some trouble in the third and fourth sets. We could not stop [Jose Miguel] Caceres, but pulled out and improved our service. I am happy for this win.”
Former Cougar Russ Lavaja scored one point on one kill as a substitue at middle blocker.
The United States is 1-0 in Pool B and will play Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday and host Mexico on Wednesday.
For the full release, visit teamusa.org.