USA advance to semifinals in World League
CURITIBA, Brazil, July 5, 2017 – At the edge of
elimination, the U.S. Men’s National Team found a way to win yet
another match in the FIVB World League Final Round on Wednesday
and will advance to Friday’s semifinal.
The U.S. Men bounced back from a 3-2 loss to France to defeat
Serbia on Wednesday, 25-22, 25-23, 19-25, and 25-22 in Curitiba,
Brazil. France and Serbia will play Thursday to determine which
will advance to the semifinals.
Although the United States’ five-set loss to France on Tuesday
was disappointing, it also gave the U.S. one point toward a
tie-breaker. If Serbia were to beat France on Thursday, giving
all three teams 1-1 records, the United States’ four points
would still be good enough to advance.
“The best thing about our team is our composure, our
togetherness,” Team Captain Kawika Shoji told the FIVB. “There
was no panic (after the loss to France). We knew our destiny was
in our hands.”
Taylor Sander led all scorers with 22 points on a match-high 18
kills (.517 hitting efficiency), a match-high three aces and one
block. Jaeschke, who didn’t play at all in World League pool
play due to injury, added 14 points on 13 kills and one ace.
Opposite Ben Patch led the team in blocks with three.
“It’s always interesting to see how your team is going to
respond after you have a disappointing loss 24 hours earlier,”
U.S. Head Coach John Speraw said. “I was most pleased with how
we came out early in the match and had a really good first set
and how we held on when Serbia made a nice run to come back. I
think that set a good tone for us.
“I just felt real proud of our guys and the way they responded
in the latter part of the fourth set.”