COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 10, 2018) – Players from the U.S. Men’s National Team lost a second friendly match to Argentina’s national team, 25-21, 23-25, 25-19, 25-22 on Thursday.

The teams will play one more friendly match Friday night.

The U.S. Men’s players are using the matches to prepare for the Pan American Cup and FIVB World Championships.

The U.S. Men led Argentina in aces (8-4), but also had more serving errors (24-18). The teams were tied in blocks (8-8) and Argentina led in kills (49-44).

The United States hit .365 behind starting setter James Shaw while Argentina hit .381 behind Maximiliano Cavanna.

Outside hitter Brenden Sander led the U.S. Men with 16 points on 11 kills, two blocks and a match-high three aces. Opposite Kyle Ensing, who left the match in the third set, finished with 12 points on nine kills, two blocks and one ace.

Outside hitter David Wieczorek scored eight points on five kills, two blocks and one ace.

Opposite Jose Luis Gonzalez led Argentina with 16 points, including 11 kills and three blocks. Outside hitter Facundo Conte added 14 points on 13 kills and one ace.

The U.S. Men led 8-6 in the first set before Argentina tied it at 8-8. At 9-9, Argentina scored four straight points behind the serving of outside hitter Facundo Conte, who had an ace in the run, to take the lead for good.

The U.S. Men trailed 17-13 in the second set when Sander scored with a kill, giving the serve to Shaw. Middle blocker Mitch Stahl had a kill and Shaw scored an ace to tie the score at 17-17. Argentina led 18-17 on Shaw’s service error, but the U.S. got two straight blocks from Stahl (on middle blocker Agustin Loser) and Ensing (on Conte) and two straight aces from Sander (at Conte) to lead 21-18. Argentina tied the score at 23-23 when Wieczorek scored with a kill and followed with an ace to give the U.S. Men the set win.

The U.S. led the third set 8-6 but Argentina tied it at 8-8. At 9-9, Argentina scored four straight points to take the lead. U.S. Head Coach Rob Neilson substituted opposite Carson Clark for Ensing, outside hitter Kupono Fey for Wieczorek and middle blocker Matthew Pollock for Mitch Stahl, but the U.S. never recovered.

Argentina jumped to a 5-0 lead in the fourth set and led 8-4 at the first technical timeout. The U.S. kept fighting and finally tied the score at 18-18, but Argentina scored on two attacks by opposite Martin Ramos. Two kills from Sander tied the score again at 20-20, but errors caught up to the U.S. and Argentina reached match point at 24-21. An attack from Fey gave the U.S. one more point before Conte ended the match with a kill.

Outside hitters: Brenden Sander and David Wieczorek
Middle blockers: Jeff Jendryk and Mitch Stahl
Setter: James Shaw
Opposite: Kyle Ensing
Libero: Michael Brinkley
Substitutes: Micah Ma’a (S), Kupono Fey (OH), Carson Clark (Opp), Matt Pollock (MB), Larry Tuileta (L)

Kills: Sander 11, Ensing 9, Wieczorek 5, Jendryk 4, Shaw 4, Stahl 4, Clark 3, Fey 2, Pollock 2
Blocks: Wieczorek 2, Sander 2, Ensing 2, Pollock 1, Jendryk 1
Aces: Sander 3, Shaw 2, Stahl 1, Ensing 1
Digs: Shaw 12, Brinkley 9, Wieczorek 6, Ensing 5, Sander 4, Fey 4, Clark 4, Jendryk 4, Tuileta 3