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Day 6 in Italy: Moving Day

Aug. 30, 2009, 5:30 p.m. (ET)

Aug. 30, 2009

They call the third day of a Professional Golf Association tournament "moving day.” Players are positioning themselves to be in or out of contention for the championship.Members of the U.S. Boys' Youth National Team take the bus to their first match.

We had our third day of competition today and unfortunately we are moving to Bassano de Grappa tomorrow morning. The U.S. Boys' Youth National Volleyball Team rebounded big time today in a four-set win over Japan, 25-23, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23. But with our boys in the stands, Iran crushed a sluggish Serbia 3-0. Iran was on fire and had the "moving day motivation.” So Iran and Serbia move into contention and the USA moves east of here about 70 miles to Bassano to battle for ninth With the above results, the USA, Iran and Serbia all ended up with a 2-1 match record. Ties are broken by what is called point differential and we had a lower differential. “Points for” are divided by “points against” so the higher number determines finish.  Iran: 1.151, Serbia: 1.039 and USA: 0.941.

Connor Olbright got the nod at setter and took advantage of the start. He played very well, distributing the ball well to his starters (Sander- 21 kills), Dejno (17K), Rowe and Davis (8K each) and Taylor(16K), blocking effectively and serving aggressively. 

The entire team played with much more enthusiasm and it was evident from first serve that we were going to atone for yesterday's poor performance. Defense was like night and day, blocking much better, serving improved and a sense of urgency was evident. Passing was off the charts better than yesterday with Evan Mottram (8 digs) very solid. We had been having problems with float serves and all six of Japan's starters were unleashing excellent floaters. Evan along with Taylor and Jeremy handled them all. It was possibly good that all of Japan's players used the jump float because we got into a good groove. Teams who have a lot of different serves seem to pose more problems. Our team posted a .399 hitting percentage, which will win most matches.

So it is on to Bassano de Grappa tomorrow morning at 10:45. We move into a new four-team pool that includes Egypt, Algeria and Brazil. We begin with Algeria at 10AM on Tuesday, Sept. 1st. 

Sorry but I have no pictures to post today but with a new town and new gym looming, KP will be back in full form tomorrow. Bassano de Grappa is suppose to be a very quaint Italian village that is famous for Grappa (editor’s note: a fragrant, grape-based pomace brandy). There will be some excellent teams in the two pools including France (European champs), Brazil (winner of six of 10 World Youth Championship titles) and Poland. Japan and Puerto Rico round out the field. Advancing to the top eight are Italy, Serbia, Argentina, India, Iran, Tunisia, Russia and Spain. 

Out of Jesolo,

KP

View Ken Preston's photo gallery.

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