COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 16, 2017) – The U.S. Men’s National Team lost an epic battle to Brazil, 28-26, 15-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-13 on Saturday at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup in Osaka, Japan.
The U.S. Men (2-2) will finish the tournament on Sunday against Italy (2-1) at 7:40 p.m. PT. All the Grand Champions Cup matches will be shown live and replayed on the Olympic Channel and live on nbcsports.com/live.
Just looking at the numbers, it seems like the U.S. should have won the match.
The U.S. Men led Brazil in kills (65-63) while the teams tied in blocks (13-13) and aces (3-3). The U.S. scored 28 points on Brazil’s errors while committing 26. The U.S. had a .372 hitting efficiency behind setter Micah Christenson. Brazil hit .312 behind setter Bruno Rezende.
“I thought we played much better than earlier in the tournament,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw said. “We had some opportunities, particularly in the first set, that we let get away.
“There are just some elements of our system that are not where they need to be. As a result, we lost too many scoring opportunities.”
The match came down to the fifth set. The U.S. trailed 10-12 when middle blocker David Smith got the ball to drop and Christenson followed with an ace.
With the score tied 12-12, Brazil outside hitter Ricardo Lucarelli Souza got a kill off the block and opposite Wallace De Souza followed with a right-side strike to give Brazil match point. Opposite Matt Anderson scored one more time on a kill before Wallace ended it with a kill.
Anderson led all scorers with 27 points on 25 kills and two blocks. Christenson led the U.S. in blocks with four and aces with two.
U.S. Starters vs. Brazil
Outside hitters: Taylor Sander and Aaron Russell
Middle blockers: Max Holt and David Smith
Opposite: Matt Anderson
Setter: Micah Christenson
Libero: Erik Shoji
U.S. Statistics vs. Brazil
Kills: Anderson 25, Russell 11, Smith 10, Sander 9, Holt 7, Christenson 3
Blocks: Christenson 4, Smith 3, Russell 2, Anderson 2, Holt 1, Sander 1
Aces: Christenson 2, Sander 1
Digs: Shoji 11, Christenson 10, Anderson 6, Russell 3, Smith 1, Holt 1, Sander
FIVB World Grand Champions Cup
U.S. Men’s Roster
1. Matt Anderson (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. Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
7. Kawika Shoji(S, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
10. Thomas Jaeschke (OH, 6-6, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)
14. Ben Patch (Opp, 6-8, Provo, Utah, BYU)
15. Carson Clark (Opp, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
17. Max Holt (MB, 6-10, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
19. Taylor Averill (MB, 6-7, San Jose, Calif., Hawaii)
20C. 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)
Head Coach: John Speraw
Team Manager Nate Ngo
Assistant Coaches: Rob Neilson and Brian Thornton
Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Team Doctor: Andrew Gregory
Consultant Coach: John Crawley
Consultant Coach: Mike Wall
Strength Coach: Tim Pelot
All times PT
Sept. 12: Brazil def. France, 27-25, 27-25, 25-22
Sept. 12: Iran def. Italy, 25-19, 23-25, 28-26, 29-31, 15-11
Sept. 12: USA def. Japan, 25-21, 25-18, 25-13
Sept. 12: Italy def. Brazil, 15-25, 27-25, 27-25, 18-25, 15-12
Sept. 12: Iran def USA, 20-25, 17-25, 27-25, 25-21, 15-12
Sept. 13: France def. Japan, 25-15, 25-23, 25-23
Sept. 14: Brazil def. Iran, 25-22, 25-19, 25-13
Sept. 14: USA def. France, 25-20, 25-17, 25-16
Sept. 15: Italy vs Japan, 25-23, 22-25, 25-20, 25-22
Sept. 15: Brazil def. USA, 28-26, 15-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-13
Sept. 15 at 11:40 p.m.: France vs Italy
Sept. 16 at 3:15 a.m.: Japan vs Iran
Sept. 16 at 7:40 p.m.: Italy vs USA
Sept. 16 at 10:40 p.m.: Iran vs France
Sept. 17 at 2:15 a.m.: Brazil vs Japan