New Bruins Lead U.S. to Gold
UCLA freshmen Zach Rama and Andrew Rowan helped to lead the U.S. Men's Volleyball U21 team to the gold medal at the Pan American Cup competition held this past week in Havana, Cuba. The U.S. defeated host Cuba in five sets in the semifinals and then swept Mexico in the championship match. Rowan, a 6-7 setter from Trabuco Canyon, Calif. who attended J Serra High School, was named the tournament's Best Setter, Best Server and MVP. Rama, a 6-9 outside hitter from Phoenix, Arizona who graduated from Sandra Day O'Connor High School, was selected Best Attacker.
Oct. 4 – U.S. d. Mexico 25-13, 24-26, 25-21, 22-25, 15-12
Rowan set the team to a .344 attack percentage while Rama added 20 kills
Oct. 5 – U.S. d. Dominican Republic 25-21, 25-15, 25-21
Rowan set the team to a .571 hitting percentage and had 1 ace; Rama had 9 kills and 7 digs
Oct. 6 – U.S. d. Chile 25-18, 25-23, 25-17
Rowan set the team to a .402 attack percentage; Rama added 10 kills and 3 aces
Oct. 7 – U.S. d. Cuba 25-21, 25-14, 20-25, 24-26, 15-12
Rowan had 7 aces and set the team to a .296 percentage; Rama had 15 kills and a block
Oct. 8 – U.S. d. Mexico 25-19, 30-28, 25-14
Rowan had an ace and set the team to a .324 attack percentage; Rama added 12 kills, 2 blocks, 1 ace
With the win, the U.S. qualifies for the 2023 FIVB World Championships as the top finishing NORCECA team. The U.S. team was coached by Andy Read. The victory meant that USA Volleyball has swept all four gold medals in the 2022 age group Pan American Cups (Men's U21, Women's U21, Girls U19 and Boys U19).