Mens Volleyball

Argentina 3, Team USA 1

Date of competition: Friday, June 7, 2013

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Argentina used tough serving and defense to defeat the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team, 25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 26-24 in the first match of the FIVB World League for both teams on Friday at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita.

The FIVB World League is the premier annual international men’s volleyball tournament. The teams will meet again on Saturday at 5 p.m. PT to conclude their first Pool A weekend series.

The U.S. is ranked fifth in the world by the FIVB, while Argentina is ranked ninth.

Argentina led the U.S. Men in kills (52-43) while the United States held the edge in blocks (13-11) and aces (6-5). However the U.S. Men were hurt by committing 30 team errors while Argentina had 26.

The United States was led by Tony Ciarelli’s 11 points on nine kills, one block and one ace. Murphy Troy added nine points on nine attacks in two sets of play, while Paul Lotman tallied nine points on five kills and four blocks in starting the final two sets. David Lee contributed nine points on five kills and four blocks.

“Our passing wasn’t very good,” U.S. Captain Matt Anderson said. “That, in turn, makes our offense a little more difficult. It puts pressure on the setter to put up hittable balls for us… And they were consistent in their serves, which constantly put pressure on us to make a good pass.”

The United States was credited with 16 digs, but also 16 digging errors. Argentina had 15 digs and 12 errors.

“Early in the match we didn’t pass or set very well,” U.S. Coach John Speraw (Irvine, Calif.) said. “I think that caused us a lot of problems, especially when we did have opportunities in transition.

“When I made some substitutions, I think things got better. Paul Lotman did a nice job passing. I think our passing improved.”

Among other U.S. scorers, Anderson started the first two sets and scored seven points on five kills, one block and one ace. Carson Clark, who started the third and fourth sets at opposite, added seven points on six attacks and one ace. David Smith totaled six points on three kills, one block and two aces.

Setter Kawika Shoji, a Stanford grad, who started the third and fourth sets after substituting in the second, scored four points on one kill, two blocks and one ace.

Shoji and setter Brian Thornton, who started the match, combined to set the U.S. Men to a 39.1 kill percent.

Libero Erik Shoji, also a Cardinal grad, led the U.S. in digs with four. Ciarelli led the team in excellent receptions with 33. Erik Shoji added 15.

“I think this match highlights a lot of the weaknesses on our team right now and it gives us a lot to work on when we go back to the gym,” Anderson said.

Speraw started Anderson and Ciarelli at outside hitter, Lee and Smith at middle blocker, Thornton at setter, Troy at opposite and Erik Shoji at libero.

Lotman started the third set for Anderson. Kawika Shoji took over for Thornton during the second set and Clark started for Troy in the third set.

-- B.J. Evans/USA Volleyball

posted by Rick on Jun 8, 2013 at 12:49 am

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