Men's Junior National Team Journal for July 1, 2008

July 02, 2008, 12:31 a.m. (ET)

Tom Pingel is Managing Director of High Performance Indoor National Programs for USA Volleyball. He is serving as the team leader for the U.S. Men's Junior Team as it competes at the NORCECA Men's Junior Continental Championship in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Tuesday, 7/1 12:15p

No rest for the weary as we arrived back to the hotel about 12:30a last night.  Hungry as no food available post-match and no places to get anything at or near the hotel.  Hungry also for a better result today.  After downloading and synchronizing video and a quick view of Puerto Rico, it was time for a quick night’s rest.

Breakfast at 8a; bus to practice at 8:30a for 9:30-10:30a practice.  The team got back to the hotel around 11:15a.  Craig and I skipped practice to catch the bus with Canada to their 11a bus to the arena for their match v Puerto Rico in order to stat and video.  So, Canada’s turnaround was even quicker.

The 8a breakfast was much better stocked – scrambled eggs, pancakes, a mixture of refried beans and rice and… a choice of Pepsi or cream soda.

Canada proved that they are definitely for real as they came back to drop another loss on Puerto Rico: 22-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-19, 15-11.  This raises Canada to 2-0 and drops Puerto Rico to 0-2 in our pool.  The top 3 of the 4-team pool advance to playoffs.

A big thank you to Erik Shoji’s mom, Mary, and Joe K.’s grandmother for serving up the P.B&Js to the team as a pre-match snack!

Match Time!

We start Crider (set) Troy and Bourne (OH), Caldwell (OP), Jaynes and Ellis (MB) and Shoji (lib).

USA is better than at just about any time last night and DOM is worse than about any time yesterday.  We’ll take it!!!   It really wasn’t much of a game as USA rolls 25-15.

Same starters in game 2 and same results – USA wins 25-20. 

Why mess with a winning combination.  USA starts the same way, but this game is back and forth, but USA surges at the send to win 25-20 and the match 3-0.  A nice point percentage, which may come in handy in the case of a tie-breaker as with FIVB, point percentage is the first tie-breaker – not head-to-head match result or game percentage.

Unofficially leading the way for USA was Tyler Caldwell with a team-high 21 points (2 aces, 18 kills and a block).

Patchell:  “This was a very good and very needed win for us.  We held down our errors and controlled the serve/pass game.  Because we passed better, it enabled our offensive tempo to increase.  We’ll have to be on our game against a very explosive Puerto Rican team tomorrow.  Both of us are in must-win situations.

More tomorrow,