Stanford grad Kevin Hansen helped United States men's national volleyball team captain Reid Priddy celebrate his birthday on Friday, as both players made significant contributions to the Americans' 23-25, 25-14, 25-27, 25-20, 15-7 victory over Cameroon at the FIVB World Championship in Ancona, Italy.
The U.S. improves to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in Pool L. The Americans advanced into the next round (Pool O) after the Czech Republic swept Cameroon, 25-17, 25-18, 25-17, on Saturday morning.
Priddy, who turned 33, scored 26 points on 22 kills (.430 hitting percentage) and four aces. Opposite Clay Stanley, a Honolulu native, finished with 27 points on 21 kills (.440 hitting percentage), one block and a match-high five aces.
"It's been a difficult year and a half. We've had a lot of adversity, family issues, problems with the team and it's been difficult to find our team rhythm," Priddy said. "And I'm not sure we found that tonight either. Tonight's match seemed like a street fight. Cameroon played a good match."
As a team, the United States hit at a 42 percent clip, with 65 kills and 15 errors on 119 attempts. The Americans also recorded 53 digs, led by Hansen with 14 digs. Hansen scored four points on one attack and three blocks and was credited with 46 running sets and no faults on 116 attempts. A running set is defined as a set from a player that puts their hitter against one blocker or none.
USA Women's basketball
Stanford grad Jayne Appel came off the bench to record six points and four rebounds in 10 minutes as the United States national team downed Spain, 106-70, Saturday at Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic in the World Championships.
"I think it was good for us to come out and start off this series of games with intensity and enthusiasm," Appel said. "I think our chemistry is where we want it to be at this point in the tournament."
Tamika Catchings led the Americans with 14 points, while Sylvia Fowles had 13 points and a game-high six rebounds.
The U.S. and host Czech Republic meet for the gold medal on Sunday night.