COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 18, 2016) – The U.S. Men’s National Team suffered its first loss of the 2016 FIVB World League to world No. 1 Brazil, 25-19, 25-15, 22-25, 25-22 on Saturday at Carioca Arena in Rio de Janeiro.
The United States (2-1) will move on to its next World League stop in Rome where it will play Belgium (June 24), Australia (June 25) and Italy (June 26). Brazil finishes the weekend at 3-0.
Saturday’s match started at 11:20 p.m. in Brazil and the U.S. Men got off to a sleepy start, struggling in the first two sets before coming back in the third to lead 19-13 and win 25-22. The U.S. also led 19-16 in the fourth set, but Brazil came back strong before a large home crowd of 9,573 and took the victory. Brazil’s blocking and receiving were strong points for the South Americans.
To add to the U.S. woes, starting middle blocker Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) rolled his ankle in the third set and had to leave the match. Before having to leave he had scored nine points on six kills, two blocks and an ace. He was replaced by David Smith (Saugus, Calif.).
U.S. opposite Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) led all scorers with 19 points on a match-high 17 kills, one block and one ace. Outside hitter Taylor Sander (Huntington Beach, Calif.) was the only other U.S. player in double figures with 11 points on 11 kills. Middle blocker David Lee (Alpine, Calif.) finished with a team-high four blocks.
Outside hitter Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.) replaced starter Aaron Russell in the second set and gave the team a boost with his consistent serving and passing. He was also a force at the net with five kills and two blocks.
Brazil dominated the statistics, leading in kills (50-46), blocks (12-10) and aces (6-4). The South Americans had a .327 hitting efficiency while the U.S. hit .257 behind starting setter Micah Christenson (Honolulu, Hawaii) and backup Kawika Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii), who set part of the second set.
Brazil scored on 29 U.S. errors while committing 21.
U.S. Starters vs. Brazil
Outside Hitters: Taylor Sander and Aaron Russell
Middle Blockers: Max Holt and David Lee
Opposite: Matt Anderson
Setter: Micah Christenson
Libero: Erik Shoji
U.S. Statistics vs Brazil
Kills: Matt Anderson 17, Taylor Sander 11, Max Holt 6, Reid Priddy 5, David Lee 4, Aaron Russell 3
Blocks: Lee 4, Priddy 2, Holt 2, Anderson 1, Christenson 1
Aces: Priddy 1, Anderson 1, Christenson 1, Holt 1
Digs: Anderson 7, Erik Shoji 7, Taylor Sander 5, Priddy 4, Christenson 2, Russell 1, David Smith 1, Lee 1