Colton Cowell leads US to fifth-place finish at Pan American Cup

Colton Cowell helped the U.S. go 3-2 at the Pan American Cup this week. -- HAWAII ATHLETICS file photo

King Kekaulike High School graduate Colton Cowell had seven kills and three blocks to help the United States defeat Puerto Rico in the fifth-place match of the Pan American Cup on Friday in Colima, Mexico.

Cowell, one of three University of Hawaii players on the U.S. roster, totaled 10 points as the Americans swept Puerto Rico 25-17, 25-23, 25-18.

The win wrapped up a 3-2 run through the tournament for the U.S.

In pool play, the U.S. started with a 25-10, 25-17, 25-17 win over Guatemala on Sunday. Cowell led the Americans with seven kills while also serving up two aces.

The next day, Cowell had a team-high 16 kills and 17 points in the United States’ 25-22, 19-25, 25-22, 25-19 loss to Chile.

On Tuesday, Cowell posted eight kills, a block and three aces in a 25-20, 25-19, 25-20 victory over the Dominican Republic.

Cowell again led the team in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, but the U.S. couldn’t get past Argentina, falling 25-23, 25-22, 25-22. Cowell had nine kills and an ace.

Cowell is coming off a breakout season with the UH men. The redshirt junior outside hitter became a regular starter and helped lead the Rainbow Warriors to the Big West Conference title and a spot in the national championship match, where they lost to Big West rival Long Beach State.

Other UH players on the Pan Am squad were setter Joe Worsley and libero Kupono Fey. The team was coached by Rainbow Warriors assistant coach Milan Zarkovic.