BYDGOSZCZ, Poland (Sept. 14, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Team battled to the bitter end, but then saw their run at the FIVB World Championship end with a 19-25, 28-26, 25-20, 23-25, 15-11 loss to Argentina on Sunday at Luczniczka Hall.
|Micah Christenson and David Lee block against Argentina.|
The U.S. finishes with an overall record of 6-4 and places fourth in Pool E. The top three teams – France, Poland and Iran – will advance to the third round along with Brazil, Russia and Germany from Pool F. The crowd of 5,100 at Luczniczka cheered loudly for Argentina, as it would help Poland if the U.S. Men lost.
“I’m just really disappointed that we didn’t finish the summer a little bit better,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw (Los Angeles) said. “I feel like the summer was better than the way this is ending for us.”
After pulling off four straight victories, three over teams ranked in the top six in the world, the U.S. couldn’t overcome Argentina’s powerful hitting, serving and blocking.
“I thought we’d come out with a little more intensity and focus in this match,” U.S. middle blocker and Team Captain David Lee said. “We didn’t play our best match in a situation where we needed to play our greatest match of the tournament.”
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The U.S. led in kills, 60-52, but saw Argentina lead in blocks (11-9) and aces (10-7). Argentina took advantage of 36 U.S. team errors while committing 29.
Opposite Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) led the U.S. with 17 points on 15 kills and two blocks. He had a rough night with a hitting efficiency of .250. Outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) had a similarly rough night with a hitting efficiency of .222. He finished with 14 points on 14 kills.
Middle blockers Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) totaled 15 and 12 points respectively. Holt scored on 13 kills and two blocks. Lee had eight attacks, three blocks and two aces.
Outside hitter Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.), who started the World Championship on the bench and finished as a starter, scored 11 points on nine attacks, one block and one ace. His hitting efficiency was .381. He also led the team in excellent receptions with 16.
Setter Micah Christenson (Honolulu, Hawaii) scored five points on one kills, two blocks and two aces. He was credited with 20 excellent sets and also led the team in digs with 14.
The U.S. Men fell behind in the first set by as many as four points. With Argentina leading 15-12, Anderson scored with a kill and Holt took the serve, serving for the next four points, including an ace and kills from Lee and Anderson, to put the U.S. ahead 17-15. Later, with the U.S. leading 17-16, Sander scored with a kill and Christenson followed with two straight aces, separated by an Argentina timeout to give the U.S. the lead for good.
The U.S. reached set point in the second set at 24-23, but was stopped by an Argentina block. It reached set point again at 26-25, but was stopped again before Argentina took over and won 28-26.
Argentina jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third set and increased it to five at 12-7. The U.S. couldn’t get closer than three points for the rest of the set. The U.S. led the fourth set at 23-19 when Argentina scored three straight points on two U.S. errors and a block to pull to within one. With the score, 23-22, the final three points of the match were scored on serving errors.
The fifth set was tied 8-8 when Argentina went on a 4-0 scoring run to win the match and eliminate the U.S. Men from the FIVB World Championship.
U.S. Roster for the FIVB World Championship
No. Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1. Matt Anderson (OH/Opp, 6-9, West Seneca, N.Y., 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)
10. Tony Ciarelli (OH, 6-6, Huntington Beach, Calif., USC)
11. Micah Christenson (S, 6-6, Honolulu, Southern California)
15. Carson Clark (Opp, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
17. Max Holt (MB, 6-9, Cincinnati, Ohio, Penn State)
18. Garrett Muagututia (OH, 6-5, Oceanside, Calif., UCLA)
19. Alfee Reft (L, 5-10, Oxnard, Calif., Hawaii)
20. David Smith (MB, 6-7, Saugus, Calif., UC Irvine)
21. Nick Vogel (MB, 6-9, San Diego, Calif., UCLA)
22. Erik Shoji (L, 6-0, Honolulu, Hawaii, Stanford)
Head Coach: John Speraw
Team Manager: Andrea Becker
Assistant Coaches: Matt Fuerbringer and Mike Wall
Technical Coordinator: Anton Willert
Consultant Coaches: Tyler Hildebrand, Kathy DeBoer, Tim Pelot
Athletic Trainer: Aaron Brock
Doctors: David Dyck and Christopher Lee
2014 FIVB Men’s World Championship
Schedule and Results
Pool D (Top four advance)
France (4-1; 12 points)
Iran (4-1; 11 points)
USA (3-2; 9 points)
Italy (2-3; 5 points)
Belgium (1-4; 5 points)
Puerto Rico (1-4; 3 points)
2014 FIVB World Championship Schedule – Pool D
View the entire World Championship schedule
Iran def Italy, 25-16, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22
USA def Belgium, 25-21, 17-25, 25-16, 21-25
France def Puerto Rico, 25-23, 25-22, 26-24
Iran def USA, 25-23, 25-19, 19-25, 18-25, 17-15
Belgium def Puerto Rico, 25-19, 25-17, 25-20
Italy def France, 20-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-13, 15-12
USA def Puerto Rico, 25-15, 25-8, 25-20
France def Iran, 25-18, 14-25, 25-19, 29-27
Italy def Belgium, 26-28, 25-15, 25-16, 28-26
France def USA, 19-25, 25-17, 25-15, 25-21
Iran def Belgium, 25-23, 25-15, 21-25, 25-20
Puerto Rico def Italy, 19-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-22
France def Belgium, 25-14, 21-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-12
Iran def Puerto Rico, 25-17, 25-22, 25-14
USA def Italy, 25-18, 25-20, 23-25, 25-17
Second Round (Top three advance)
France (17 pts; 5-2)
Poland (16 pts; 6-1)
Iran (15 pts; 5-2)
USA (14 pts; 4-4)
Serbia (9 pts; 3-4)
Argentina (8 pts; 3-4)
Italy (5 pts; 2-7)
Australia (0 pts; 0-7)
USA def Poland, 29-27, 25-22, 25-27, 25-23
USA def Serbia, 23-25, 31-29, 25-17, 25-21
Bydgoszcz (All times ET)
USA def Australia, 25-15, 25-19, 25-20
Argentina def USA, 19-25, 28-26, 25-20, 23-25, 15-11
Third Round: Sept. 16-19 in Łódź or Katowice
Final Round: Sept. 20-21 in Łódź or Katowice