The Long Beach State alum-laden team picked up two wins to take the B Pool title in the Pan-Am Cup, with a tough five-set win over Mexico and a four-set victory over Puerto Rico.
However, both the United States (2-0) and Puerto Rico (1-1) will have to play in Thursday’s quarterfinals. Idle Brazil joined Argentina in Friday’s semifinals with a better points-ratio (1.105) than Team USA (1.085), which will face Dominican Republic on Thursday.
Match 1: USA def. Mexico, 19-25, 25-23, 25-18, 26-28, 15-9
The 49er fingerprints were all over this one, as Dean Bittner notched 21 kills and three blocks, and fellow former-49er Robert Tarr added 16 kills and 4 blocks.
“We had to scratch and fight for the victory,” team captain (and Long Beach State alum) Tyler Hildebrand said. “We had to play our best against these guys.”
The fourth 49er on the squad, Dustin Watten, was credited with 19 receptions on 27 attempts and a match-high 11 digs on 43 attempts.
Match 2: USA def. Puerto Rico, 19-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-23
The red, white, and blue had an easier time against the host team, with a four-set victory on Wednesday evening. Tarr had 12 points to help put the US over the top. The classification round is Thursday, and we'll keep you updated on how the local boys are doing.From reports by USA volleyball