IRVINE, Calif. (Aug. 29, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team finished the 2015 USAV Cup with a loss to Brazil, 25-20, 31-33, 25-18, 29-27 on Saturday at the Bren Center at UC Irvine.
The U.S. Men finished the four-match exhibition series with a 1-3 record. The U.S. Men will leave Monday for Japan where they will compete at the FIVB World Cup (Sept. 8-23). The top two finishers at World Cup qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Japan.
“It’s a challenge to play Brazil,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw said. “It gives you a look at some of your weaknesses. It’s a team that really grabs our attention so it’s allowed us to really focus. We’ve learned some things and it’s exciting to play high-level volleyball before the tournament gets started.”
Focus may have been an issue on Saturday as the U.S. Men struggled with 25 service errors and were charged with 13 reception errors as Brazil served 10 aces. Brazil led in kills (55-52) and had a .384 hitting efficiency while the United States’ was .370.
U.S. opposite Matt Anderson led all scorers with 26 points on 24 kills and two blocks. Holt scored 12 points on nine kills and three blocks. Outside hitter Aaron Russell totaled nine points on nine attacks.
Outside hitter Ricardo Lucarelli led Brazil with 20 points 16 kills and four aces.
The U.S. fell behind 15-8 in the first set, but got scoring runs from Taylor Sander and Russell to pull to within three at 19-16. However Sander had to leave the match with an injury and Brazil used a 3-0 run to pull ahead 22-16 and went on to win the set.
The U.S. took a 14-10 lead in the second set, but Brazil pulled even at 15-15. Brazil reached set point at 24-22 but the U.S. tied it on an Anderson strike and Brazil violation. A U.S. serve into the net gave Brazil set point at 31-30, but Anderson scored with a kill and Micah Christenson added an ace to put the U.S ahead 32-31. Brazil’s next attack went out of bounds and the U.S won the set.
Brazil led 12-11 in the third set when the U.S. serve went out of bounds and Lucarelli served for two more points to put Brazil ahead 15-11. Speraw brought Kawika Shoji in at setter, but the U.S. never recovered.
It seemed like the U.S. Men might force a tie-breaker when they led 14-11 in the fourth set and took set point at 24-23. But Lucarelli tied the score with a tip. Brazil took match point twice before the U.S. took another set point at 27-26. But Brazil scored with a kill, a block and a final Lucarelli ace to end the match.
Outside hitter: Taylor Sander and Aaron Russell
Middle blocker: Max Holt and David Lee
Opposite: Matt Anderson
Setter: Micah Christenson
Libero: Dustin Watten
Kills: Anderson 24, Russell 9, Holt 9, Lotman 3, Sander 2, Lee 2, Christenson 2, Jablonsky 1
Blocks: Lee 5, Holt 3, Anderson 2, Lotman 2, Christenson 1
Aces: Christenson 1, Lotman 1
USAV Cup Schedule and Results
Aug. 23: Brazil def USA, 20-25, 25-23, 36-34, 20-25, 15-13
Aug. 25: Brazil def USA, 25-17, 25-22, 25-22
Aug. 26: USA def Brazil, 24-26, 25-22, 25-22, 21-25, 15-11
Aug. 29: Brazil def USA, 25-20, 31-33, 25-18, 29-27
U.S. USAV Cup Roster
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1. Matt Anderson (OH/OPP, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
2. Aaron Russell (OH, 6-9, Ellicott City, Md., Penn State)
3. Taylor Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)
4. David Lee (MB, 6-8, Alpine, Calif., Long Beach State)
6. Paul Lotman (OH, 6-7, Lakewood, Calif., Long Beach State)
7. Kawika Shoji (S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
9. Murphy Troy (Opp, 6-8, St. Louis, Mo., Southern California)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)
12. Russell Holmes (MB, 6-8, Fountain Valley, Calif., BYU)
16. Jayson Jablonsky (OH, 6-5, Yorba Linda, Calif., UC Irvine)
17. Max Holt (MB, 6-9, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
21. Dustin Watten (L, 6-0, Long Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
22. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
Brazil's Roster for USAV Cup
1 Bruno Rezende (setter)
2 Isac Santos (middle blocker)
3 Eder Carbonera (middle blocker)
5 Otavio Pinto (middle blocker)
9 Raphael de Oliveira (setter)
10 Sergio Santos (libero)
12 Luis Felipe Fonteles (outside hitter)
16 Lucas Saatkamp (middle blocker)
17 Evandro Guerra (opposite)
18 Ricardo Lucarrelli dos Santos (outside hitter)
19 Mario Pedreira Jr (libero)
20 Renan Buiatti (opposite)
22 Mauricio Borges Silva (outside hitter)
25 Lucas Loh (outside hitter)
Head Coach: Bernardo Rezende