Tom Pingel with Men's Junior National Team

July 04, 2008, 2:42 a.m. (ET)

Thursday, July 3 – Part 2

Upon returning to the hotel the primary focus of the team was lunch and rest – not necessarily in that order.

The rains have once again returned, but so far, the leak has not (knock, knock).  The first quarterfinal went surprisingly quickly.  In what many of us thought may be a long match, apparently the Domincan players used too much energy thanking us and celebrating our victory over PUR, which moved the DR back into the quarters as they lose to Mexico, 25-21, 25-15, 25-20.

We’re up next versus Guatemala.

We start Joe K. (S); Jaynes and Ellis (MB), Troy and Bourne (OH); Caldwell (OP) and Shoji (L).  We start flat – very flat and fall behind by 4 points.  Slowly things begin to roll back our way.  Joe Sunder enters the game at opposite.  It wasn’t pretty but we eek out set #1 25-22.

Guatemala doesn’t look like much, but they have a couple of guys that jump pretty well and take big swings at the ball.  That being said a good share of their 22 points were compliments of USA miscues.

We begin game 2 the same as game 1 except Sunder is in for Caldwell at opposite.  We jump out to a quick 6-2 lead.  Nadazdin enters for Ellis in the middle.  Muesenfechter enters for Troy on the left. USA prevails handily, 25-12.

We start 3 the way we ended 2 with Crider (S), Nadazdin and Jayne (MB), Sunder (OP), Muesenfechter and Bourne (OH) and Shoji (L).  The game resembles game 1 in that it’s quite close throughout and USA making too many errors.  At 18-17 (USA), the rains return and there is a slight delay.  This time we play through it.  We eek it out 25-23.

We play Cuba in the 2nd semi tomorrow.  Mexico plays Canada at 5p.

Weather permitting.