Matadors Past and Present to Represent United States in Pan American Games

Former Cal State Northridge All-Americans Cody Loe and Eric Vance and current Matador Matt Stork will be among 11 players playing for the United States men's volleyball team in the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Stork is one of four current collegiate players in the roster joining Tony Ciarelli (USC), Nick Vogel (UCLA) and Kyle Caldwell (UCLA). The senior from Topanga, Calif., started his Matador career as a setter but has since moved to the outside hitter position. Stork, who averaged 1.99 kpg in limited action in 2011, is expected to be one of Northridge's primary hitters when the 2012 season opens in January.

Vance, an All-American in 2008 and 2009, ranks fifth in Northridge history with 1,668 career kills and is second in career aces with 181. Vance, who hails from Camarillo, Calif., has recently played professionally in Puerto Rico and France.

Loe was an All-American in 2008, his only season at Northridge. That season the redshirt freshman from Chatsworth, Calif., was named AVCA Newcomer of the Year after averaging 3.29 kpg while hitting a team-high .436.

The U.S. team, slated in Group B, opens pool play against Puerto Rico on Monday, Oct. 24. The Americans will also play Canada (Oct. 25) and Brazil (Oct. 26) in pool play. The Quarterfinals begin Oct. 27, the Semifinals on Oct. 28 and the Gold Medal match is scheduled for Oct. 29.

The Pan American Games is a multi-sport competition held every four years for North and South America countries. It is the largest multi-sport event besides the Olympics.

The upcoming Pan American Games are later in the year than previous tournaments, which prevented some players from participating because of commitments to overseas clubs and colleges.

"I have to think that other teams are in the same situation as us," UC Irvine and U.S. Pan American Games Team head coach John Speraw said in a statement. "I have no idea what level the other teams are going to be. We're going to take advantage of every opportunity we have to make this the best team possible. We are going to work really hard and represent USA Volleyball the best we can."

The United States finished the last Pan American Games in 2007 in second place losing to Brazil in the championship match. The last time the United States won the Pan American Games was in 1987.

2011 U.S. Men's Pan American Games Team

No Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
2 Tony Ciarelli (OH, 6-6, Huntington Beach, Calif., USC)
3 Evan Patak (Opp, 6-8, Pleasanton, Calif., UC Santa Barbara)
5 Eric Vance (OH, 6-4, Camarillo, Calif., Cal State Northridge)
6 Nick Vogel (MB, 6-9, El Cajon, Calif., UCLA)
8 Kyle Caldwell (S, 6-9, Newport Beach, Calif., UCLA)
10 Matt Rawson (MB, 6-7, Los Angeles, Calif., Hawaii)
11 Matt Stork (OH, 6-5, Topanga, Calif., Cal State Northridge)
12 Kirk Francis (L, 5-11, Torrance, Calif., Long Beach State)
14 Cody Loe (MB, 6-8, Chatsworth, Calif., Cal State Northridge)
15 Jordan DuFault (OH, 6-4, Lakewood, Calif., UC Irvine)
16 Tri Bourne (OH, 6-5, Honolulu, Hawai'i, USC)

Head Coach: John Speraw (UC Irvine)
Team Manager: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Assistant Coach: Jeff Nygaard (USC)