By Karen Price | Sept. 21, 2018, 12:39 p.m. (ET)

Members of the U.S. men's volleyball team celebrate their win at the FIVB World Championship on Sept. 21, 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

 

The U.S. men’s volleyball team is on a roll, picking up right where it left off after an undefeated first round of the FIVB Men’s World Championship in beating Canada, 25-17, 25-14, 21-25, 25-17, to open the second round on Friday in Sofia, Bulgaria.

After losing two of three battles against Canada in 2017, this is the first time the U.S. faced its neighbors to the north this year. 

Team USA has now won six matches in a row in pursuit of its second world championship title and first since 1986. The U.S. also won the silver medal in 1994. 

After winning Pool C and going 5-0 in Bari, Italy, the men moved to Sofia for the second round of the tournament. 

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Two-time Olympian and 2016 bronze medalist Matt Anderson had five kills and an ace in the first set against Canada and his Rio teammate Aaron Russell had five kills and a block as the U.S. opened with a victory. 

They started the second set on a tear, going up 13-4 aided in part by a six-point serving run from Dan McDonnell, and cruised to a 25-14 victory to take a 2-0 lead.

Finishing a three-game sweep wasn’t going to be an easy task, however, and Canada forced its way back into the match with a 25-21 victory in the third set, but the U.S. didn’t waste another opportunity to put the match away with a 25-17 victory.  

Anderson was the leading scorer with 22 points, followed by Russell with 17. 

The three-week tournament only gets progressively more difficult. The second round consists of the top four teams from each of the first-round pools playing in four pools. From the second round, six will move on to the third round and play in a round-robin format to determine semifinalists and finalists. 

The U.S. will next face Bulgaria (3-2) on Saturday and Iran (4-1) on Sunday as part of second-round play. 

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.