USA notches second win despite mistakes against Guatemala

WINNIPEG, Canada, September 3, 2019 -  The United States faced a determined late challenge from a hard-working Guatemala team, but still came out with the 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 26-24) win on the second day of the 2019 NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship in Winnipeg, Canada.

Brenden Sander stood out for the U.S. with 16 points, followed by Torey Defalco (12) and Mitchell Stahl (11). Gerardo Paz reached double digits for Guatemala with 15 points.

Guatemala capitalized USA’s mistakes, getting 25 points off of USA errors, but in the end the more experienced, bigger team prevailed.

The US faces Cuba tomorrow to wrap up pool play; while Guatemala plays the Dominican Republic.

USA, head coach, John Hawks: “A win’s a win… We can pick this apart, but credit to Guatemala for coming out and playing hard and making us work.  It put us in a position where we were in a stressful situation, so at the end of the day some guys stepped up.  We need to go back at the video and watch what we did and see how we react to prepare for the next match (Cuba).  Cuba is a very physical team and we need to be ready for them.”

Brenden Sander of the US team: “Honestly overall it wasn’t the cleanest from us. We had a few communication issues and I think part of the match is getting through those communication issues, and we started communicating better and got the win in the end.  Props to Guatemala for adapting and swinging no matter what – they put us in a tough position, but we were able to ultimately come out with the win.”

Guatemala head coach, Reider Lucas Mora: “We were against a very strong team with a lot of experience, and as a team we talked about sticking to our game plan, doing what we know, but the U.S. experience and skill showed through in the end.  But I am proud of what my players did today – it’s an honor to play against teams such as the U.S.  We are making the most of our experience at this tournament.”