Members of the U.S. men's volleyball team celebrate a point at the FIVB World Championship on Sept. 21, 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The U.S. men’s volleyball team has been unstoppable so far at the FIVB World Championship, and that continued Saturday with a 25-20, 25-20, 25-18 win over host Bulgaria in the second match of the second round.
Olympic bronze medalist Aaron Russell led the U.S. in scoring with 16 points and added four blocks and Taylor Sander had 12 points, while two-time Olympian Matt Anderson added 11 with three blocks in the win.
With the win, the U.S. clinched the top spot in Pool G and now has a 7-0 record at the tournament. That qualifies them for the third round with one second round match still to play. The men are seeking their first world championship since 1986.
Bulgaria took a 9-7 lead in the third set, attempting to stave off the three-set sweep by the Americans. They still led 11-10 but eventually the U.S. tied it, 12-12, in a push to put the match away. Several minutes later Team USA was up, 17-14, and appeared to be in the driver’s seat. The Americans kept Bulgaria at bay, extending to a 23-17 lead that was too much to overcome.
Team USA will wrap up the second round with a match against Iran on Sunday. The second round consists of the top four teams from the first round playing in four pools. From there, the top six teams will move on to the third round and play in a round-robin format to determine semifinalists and finalists.