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U.S. Men Fall to Argentina in World League Opener

June 07, 2013, 9:26 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 7, 2013) – Argentina used tough serving and defense to defeat the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team, 25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 26-24 in the first match of the 2013 FIVB World League for both teams on Friday at Charles Koch Arena.

The FIVB World League is the premier annual international men’s volleyball tournament. The teams will meet again on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT to conclude their first Pool A weekend series. The U.S. is ranked fifth in the world by the FIVB, while Argentina is ranked ninth.

Argentina led the U.S. Men in kills (52-43) while the United States held the edge in blocks (13-11) and aces (6-5). However the U.S. Men were hurt by committing 30 team errors while Argentina had 26.

The United States was led by Tony Ciarelli’s (Huntington Beach, Calif.) 11 points on nine kills, one block and one ace. Murphy Troy (St. Louis, Mo.) added nine points on nine attacks in two sets of play, while Paul Lotman (Lakewood, Calif.) tallied nine points on five kills and four blocks in starting the final two sets. David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) contributed nine points on five kills and four blocks.

Argentina was led by Pablo Bengolea who scored 16 points on 15 attacks and one ace. Sebastian Solé chipped in 12 points on eight kills and four blocks. Argentina libero Alexis González was named the most valuable player of the match.

“Our passing wasn’t very good,” U.S. Captain Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) said. “That, in turn, makes our offense a little more difficult. It puts pressure on the setter to put up hittable balls for us… And they were consistent in their serves, which constantly put pressure on us to make a good pass.”

The United States was credited with 16 digs, but also 16 digging errors. Argentina had 15 digs and 12 errors.

“Early in the match we didn’t pass or set very well,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.) said. “I think that caused us a lot of problems, especially when we did have opportunities in transition.

“When I made some substitutions, I think things got better. Paul Lotman did a nice job passing. I think our passing improved.”

Among other U.S. scorers, Anderson started the first two sets and scored seven points on five kills, one block and one ace. Carson Clark (Santa Barbara), who started the third and fourth sets at opposite, added seven points on six attacks and one ace. David Smith (Saugus, Calif.) totaled six points on three kills, one block and two aces.

Setter Kawika Shoji (Honolulu), who started the third and fourth sets after substituting in the second, scored four points on one kill, two blocks and one ace.

Shoji and setter Brian Thornton (San Clemente, Calif.), who started the match, combined to set the U.S. Men to a 39.1 kill percent.

Libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu) led the U.S. in digs with four. Ciarelli led the team in excellent receptions with 33. Erik Shoji added 15.

“I think this match highlights a lot of the weaknesses on our team right now and it gives us a lot to work on when we go back to the gym,” Anderson said.

Speraw started Anderson and Ciarelli at outside hitter, Lee and Smith at middle blocker, Thornton at setter, Troy at opposite and Erik Shoji at libero. Lotman started the third set for Anderson. Kawika Shoji took over for Thornton during the second set and Clark started for Troy in the third set.

Argentina started strong, taking an 8-5 lead at the first technical timeout (TTO) on three kills, two blocks and three U.S. errors. They expanded the lead to 16-12 at the second timeout, scoring the final point on a kill straight down by Bengolea. Coming out of the break, Argentina scored twice on a U.S. service error and block by Sole. Leading 19-15, Argentina scored two more straight points on a Bengolea kill and an ace from Bruno. The U.S. came back with a Troy kill and Ciarelli ace to pull to cut the lead to 21-17, but two straight U.S. errors put Argentina back ahead 23-17. Anderson scored with a block before Argentina scored the final two points on Pereyra’s kill off the block and a U.S. hitting error.

The teams were tied 7-7 in the second set when a U.S. service error gave Argentina the 8-7 lead at the TTO. Argentina scored twice more on a tip and U.S. error to lead 11-7. Argentina led 16-12 at the second TTO. The South American side led by four at 20-16 when its next serve went out of bounds and Lee responded with a kill off an overpass. Leading 20-18, Argentina called timeout, but Lee came back with a block. An Argentina violation tied the score at 20-20. Bengolea  answered with a kill. A U.S. error, another Bengolea kill and a block by Castellani gave Argentina set point. Troy scored with an attack before a U.S. service error ended the set. Argentina scored on 10 U.S. team errors while committing only four. The U.S. led in kills 12-10.

The teams were tied in the third set 6-6 when the United States got an ace from Smith and Argentina was called for a double contact to give the U.S. the 8-6 lead. The U.S. still led by two at 14-12 when it scored on two straight Argentina errors to go up 16-12 at the second TTO. Castellani connected on two straight attacks to bring the South American side back to 16-14. The U.S. increased its lead to four at 19-15 after a Smith ace and block by Lee, but Argentina came back with three straight points and Speraw called timeout. The teams battled back and forth until the U.S. reached set point at 24-22 and a block by Kawika Shoji gave the U.S. its first set victory of 2013.

With the United States leading 5-2 in the third, Sole scored on a kill for Argentina, then served the next four points as the South Americans grabbed a 7-5 lead and led 8-6 at the first TTO. A combination of Argentina attacks and U.S. mistakes helped the South Americans take a 15-9 lead. The U.S. fought back to pull to within two at 23-21 and Argentina called timeout. Pereyra responded with a kill to give Argentina match point. Lee came back with a quick kill and Shoji added and ace to pull the U.S. back to within one. Lee scored with a block to tie the score at 24-24. A Bengolea kill followed by Pereya’s ace gave Argentina the victory.

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 7-8: Argentina at USA, Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kan. BUY TICKETS
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