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U.S. Men Rally Past Argentina with Tough Serve

June 08, 2013, 10:13 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans, Manager, Communications, Phone: (719) 228-6800, E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org
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WICHITA, Kan. (June 8, 2013) – John Speraw got his first victory as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team as the United States defeated Argentina, 22-25, 27-25, 25-19, 25-16 in an FIVB World League match on Saturday at Charles Koch Arena.

The two teams will each move on in World League Pool A with 1-1 records. The U.S. Men will play again on June 14-15 against France in Tulsa, Okla. (BUY TICKETS) Argentina will host Brazil on June 14 and 16.

After losing to Argentina on Friday, the U.S. Men had to rally on Saturday from a first-set loss and hold off two Argentina set points in the second set. Serving, which was a problem for the U.S. Men in Friday's loss, proved to be an important factor in Saturday’s victory, as Team USA led in aces 10-1.

“Today, when we were down really big in that second set and were able to come back, I think that was really important for us,” Speraw said. “Obviously the serve-and-pass game made the difference.”

The United States’ Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.), who was named the player of the match, led all scorers with 18 points on a match-high 14 kills, two blocks and two aces.

“Obviously our serving was a lot better tonight, which put pressure on them as opposed to them putting pressure on us last night,” Anderson said. “I think we passed overall pretty well so we were able to run our offense.”

David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) added 11 points on six attacks and a match-high five blocks. Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.), who substituted in the second set and started the next three, totaled 11 points on 10 kills and one block.

Ivan Castellani paced Argentina with 17 points on 13 kills and four blocks. Pablo Bengolea added 13 points on 12 attacks and one block.

Argentina led in kills, 51-49, but the U.S. led in blocks 12-8.

Among other U.S. scorers, David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) finished with 10 points on five attacks, four blocks and one ace. Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.), who started the first and second sets at opposite, compiled seven points on six kills and one ace. Kawika Shoji (Honolulu), who substituted at setter in the second set and started the next two, scored four points on two kills and two aces.

Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.), who started at setter, totaled two points on two attacks. Garrett Muagututia (Oceanside, Calif.), who started at outside hitter, scored one point with an ace.

Libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu) led the team in digs with six and was credited with 10 excellent receptions. Anderson led the team in excellent receptions with 22.

Argentina opened up an 8-5 lead in the first set, getting kills from Castellani, Sole, Pereyra and Uriarte. The United States got two kills from Troy. With Argentina leading 10-9, Crer scored with a kill, then took the serve for an ace and Bengolea kill and the U.S. called timeout down 13-9. Argentina led 16-13 at the second technical timeout (TTO). With Argentina leading 21-16, the United States got kills from Smith and Lotman to pull to within three and Argentina called timeout. The team traded points until Argentina reached 23-16. Troy connected on an attack for the U.S., then took the serve and scored on an Argentina error and an ace to pull the United States to within one at 23-22. Argentina called timeout and scored on a Sole kill to reach set point. Sole blocked a Troy attack to with the set for Argentina, 25-22. Argentina led in attacks, 18-13.

Argentina took a 6-3 lead in the second set, as Pereyra, Castellani and Bengolea all scored. The United States called timeout, but Argentina kept up the pressure and led 8-4 at the first TTO. With Argentina leading 12-5, Speraw brought in Shoji for Thornton. With Argentina leading 15-10, Anderson scored with a kill. Troy got a block and Argentina’s next attack went long to pull the United States to within two points at 15-13. Argentina called timeout. Sole ended the run with a kill from the middle that gave the South Americans the 16-13 lead the second TTO. With Argentina leading 20-17, the United States used an Argentina serving error, Troy kill and Anderson block to tie the score. The teams battled back and forth. Argentina reached set point first at 24-23, but then served into the net. Argentina reached a second set point at 25-24, but Lotman fought it off with a kill. Lee scored with a block to give the U.S. its first set point and Lotman scored with a kill of a set from Smith to give the United States the 27-25 win.

Argentina opened up leads of 3-1 and 6-4 in the second set before the U.S. tied it at 6-6. Argentina led 8-7 at the first TTO. With the score tied 10-10, the U.S. scored twice to lead 12-10. The U.S. increased the lead to 16-12 at the second TTO, scoring on two kills from Lotman and an Anderson ace. The U.S. reached set point at 24-18. Argentina’s Castellani responded with a kill. But Argentina’s next serve went long to give the U.S. the 25-19 set win.

The U.S. Men took an 8-6 lead at the first TTO of the fourth set, including an ace by Anderson and kill from Lotman. Argentina struggled with errors, but also got a block from Bengolea and kill from Castellani. Argentina tied the score at 9-9, but the United States answered with a block from Kawika Shoji and Lee followed by two straight Argentina errors to lead 12-9. The United States led 16-12 at the second TTO. Clark took the serve for the U.S. leading 20-15 and immediately scored with an ace. He served for two more points to bring the U.S. to match point at 24-15. Pereyra held off the loss with a kill before Clark ended it with a successful attack.

For additional information on the U.S. Men's Volleyball National Team in FIVB World League action, click here. To view the FIVB World League home page, click here.

2013 U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team
12-Man Roster for FIVB World League on June 7-8 in Wichita, Kan.

No. - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 - Matt Anderson (OH, 6-10, West Seneca, N.Y., Penn State)
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)
10 - Tony Ciarelli (OH, 6-6, Huntington Beach, Calif., Southern California)
11 - Brian Thornton (S, 6-3, San Clemente, Calif., UC Irvine)
13 - Matt Rawson (MB, 6-7, Westchester, Calif., Hawaii)
15 - Carson Clark (Opp, 6-8, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
18 - Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA)
20 - David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
22 - Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)

Head Coach: John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.)
Team Manager: Chris Jackson (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Assistant Coach: Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Mike Sealy (Santa Monica, Calif.)
Consultant Coach: Andrea Becker (Martinez, Calif.)
Physiotherapist/Athletic trainer: Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa)
Technical Coordinator: Anton Willert (Berlin, Germany)
Doctor: Andrew Gregory (Nashville, Tenn.)

2013 U.S. Men’s World League Schedule
June 7: Argentina def. USA, 25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 26-24
June 8: USA def. Argentina, 22-25, 27-25, 25-19, 25-16
June 14-15: France at USA, Tulsa Convention Center Arena in Tulsa, Okla. BUY TICKETS
June 28-29: Bulgaria at USA, Reno Events Center in Reno, Nev. BUY TICKETS
July 5: USA at Poland, Spodek in Katowice, Poland
July 7: USA at Poland, Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, Poland
July 13-14: USA at Brazil, Maracanazinho in Rio de Janeiro

Related Athletes

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Matt Anderson

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David Lee

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Paul Lotman

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Erik Shoji

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Kawika Shoji

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Murphy Troy

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Brian Thornton

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Carson Clark

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Garrett Muagututia

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David Smith