United States’ Win Sets up Showdown with Canada
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, September 29, 2017 –
The United States will be focused on a showdown with Canada
after beating Costa Rica 25-11, 25-7, 25-8 on Friday in the
quarterfinals of the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship at
the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
The U.S. Men (3-0) advance to Saturday’s
semifinal where they will face Canada (2-0). Canada has defeated
the United States the last two times they have played.
Costa Rica (2-2) will play for fifth-eighth on
Saturday in hopes of making it to the second qualifying
The United States put on a show for the large and
enthusiastic crowd, leading Costa Rica in spikes (39-7), blocks
(9-1) and aces (10-0). Costa Rica scored 18 points on U.S.
U.S. outside hitter Aaron Russell led all scorers
with 12 points on eight spikes and a match-high four blocks.
Opposite Ben Patch had 11 points, including a match-high 10
attacks. Setter Kawika Shoji, outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke and
middle blocker Mitch Stahl each had three aces.
Outside hitter Alberto Blanco led Costa Rica with
six points on five spikes and one block.
U.S. Head Coach John Speraw: “We’ve talked a lot
about honor this week and how we represent, especially playing
on our home court. We need to make sure we go out and play with
total effort and 100 percent focus on how we’re going to
compete. We took care of our side of the net.”
U.S. Middle Blocker Mitch Stahl: “Whenever you
wear these colors on your chest, this flag, it’s not difficult
to get up for any match. It’s pretty cool. It’s a great
experience, a great opportunity and a great honor to play for
your country and represent our nation.”
Costa Rica Head Coach Juan Acuna: "The U.S. is very strong. It
was a challenge for us. Sometimes we were better at receiving,
but the U.S. attack was really good. Our goal is to pass to the
Worlds. We've played very hard. This tournament has given us a
little bit of experience to play with such teams as Mexico. We
hope to get the fifth place and play in the second qualifier."
Costa Rica Team Captain Alberto Blanco: "We knew that they were
a very strong team. We managed to improve our receiving and
we're really happy with how we played, regardless of the score.
It is really difficult to receive from the tall players because
the ball goes faster and more inclined."