The United States men's national volleyball team bent but did break in beating Australia, 25-21, 25-20, 22-25, 23-25, 15-10, on the second day of the FIVB Men's World Championships in Bari, Italy on Thursday.
Matthew Anderson once again led the world No.2 Americans with 21 points on 19 kills and two aces. Taylor Sander added 16 kills and Aaron Russell contributed 14 for the U.S., which gets the day off before meeting No. 4 Russia on Saturday.
"We didn't play that great against Serbia yesterday," U.S. coach John Speraw said. "I just think we've got better volleyball ahead of us. We're definitely not peaking early."
Stanford grad Erik Shoji started all five sets at libero.
The U.S. led in kills (60-52) and aces (7-3) and Australia led in blocks (10-4). The teams were practically even in unforced errors, with the U.S. scoring on 38 Australia errors while committing 37.
"Today was difficult," Sander said. "It was difficult after last night because we went five sets. It was a hard match. Australia brought in some new players who had a lot of energy. We need to get better."
Men's water polo
UCLA grad Max Irving scored four times and UOP alum Alex Obert added three goals as the U.S. grabbed its first win of the FINA World Cup on Thursday, beating South Africa, 15-6, in Berlin.
Stanford redshirt sophomore Ben Hallock added a goal for the Americans, who sprinted to a 5-0 first-quarter advantage.
The U.S. plays in Friday's quarterfinal round against a team yet to be determined.
Stanford commit Rachel Heck finished the first round of the Evian Championships in Evian-les-Bains, France with a 1-under 70 on Thursday and is tied for 27th place, five strokes behind co-leaders Maria Torres of Puerto Rico and Spain's Calota Ciganda, each with a 65.
Stanford grad Mariah Stackhouse shot a 3-over 74 and is in a 70th place while Cardinal sophomore Albane Valenzuela shot a 75 and is tied for 78th.