Tom Pingel with Men's Junior National Team

July 05, 2008, 1:37 a.m. (ET)

Friday, July 4

The coaches chose not to practice this morning, given that we played 2 matches yesterday.

In what was no surprise, DOM defeated ESA and PUR defeated GUA in classification matches earlier in the day.

We start as we started yesterday.  We hang with Cuba for while, but we can’t match their physical presence and seem a bit intimidated at times. 0We lose game 1 25-19.

We start the same and the results are basically the same.  We can’t contend with the pace of their attack or jump serve.  We even have some problems with their float serves.  We drop set #2, 25-18.

We’re the same way to start 3, except Brian Muesenfechter starts for Bourne.  Despite trading points early and making a mini run on serves by Caldwell and Troy, it was Cuba’s match for the taking and they took it – 25-20 in the 3rd to win 3-0.

Tomorrow we play for 3rd against the loser of the 2nd semifinal pitting Mexico v Canada.

Lots of Independence Day fireworks, but unfortunately it was Cuba lighting the fuse.

Hopefully, I’ll be reporting a bronze medal victory for USA in tomorrow’s final installment.