United States men are a volleyball smash hit in Cannes


Benjamin Patch recorded 17 points on 15 kills and two blocks and the United States men's national volleyball team won its second straight Volleyball Nations League contest Friday, beating Argentina 25-22, 25-19, 21-25, 25-21 in Cannes, France.

Taylor Sander added 14 kills for the Americans (3-4, 1-0), who play Germany on Saturday. Max Holt added eight kills and four blocks.

"The first match of the new weekend of VNL is always a little bit nerve-wracking," said Patch, who led all scorers. "We knew Argentina was going to be a tough team. Defensively, they are very scrappy and they dig a lot of balls."

Former Stanford All-American Erik Shoji, USA's libero, led the defensive effort and setter Micah Christenson helped the U.S. record a .454 hitting percentage.

The U.S. recorded 54 kills and nine blocks to Argentina's 50 and 7. Argentina led in aces (6-4). The U.S. scored 29 points on Argentina’s errors and committed 24.

After winning the first two sets, the U.S. fell behind in the third and never closed the gap despite a strong effort. The team fell behind 12-8 in the fourth set before using a 6-0 run to take the lead for good.

Middle blocker Mitch Stahl left the match during the third set with an apparent hand injury.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA Volleyball

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