The U.S. Collegiate National Team – China finished back-to-back matches with Zhejiang, a professional team from the Chinese Volleyball League, by sweeping its opponent in three sets in Jiashan City Friday, 25-12, 25-23, 25-9.
On Thursday, the U.S. made too many errors: nine service, 11 reception and 14 attack errors; 34 in total. Zhejiang played more efficiently, winning the match in four, 21-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-21.
“We played against their top team,” said head coach Chris Tamas. “They were a very good serving and passing team, and at any level serving and passing is going to be key. I felt we fell a little short in that department. I thought we learned a lot of valuable lessons.”
Tonight, the team saw dramatic improvements in communication and execution, cutting the errors down to 18 with receiving errors dropping from 11 to four.
For the second match in a row, opposite Stephanie Samedy (Univ. of Minnesota) was the leading scorer for the U.S. on Thursday with 15 points on 39 attacks. Jenna Rosenthal (Marquette Univ.) had a nice match at the net with 11 points, eight kills on 13 attacks with three blocks.
“I think it’s very important to remember that performance and outcome are two very different things,” Rosenthal said before the second match with Zhejiang. “Of course, we’re not happy with the outcome and we’re going to work to do better tonight.
“We’re all confident in our abilities and we know what we can do better,” she said. “It was stuff on our end that hurt us. A lot of the errors came from us. And I think that’s good because fixing ourselves is infinitely better than trying to control what the other side of the net does. Knowing that the change is within us, that gives us all the confidence in the world.”
In Friday’s match, the U.S. was led in scoring by its two 6-8 middles, Dana Rettke (Univ. of Wisconsin) with 10 points and Rachael Kramer (Univ. of Florida) with nine (five kills on seven attacks). The middles led a dominant performance on the block. Rettke had four blocks, giving the U.S. an edge in blocking 13-2. Plus, Kramer had three aces; the U.S. had an ace advantage of 9-2.
May 22 … USA v. Shanghai Bright Ubest … W … 25-22, 17-25, 17-25, 25-20, 15-8
May 24 … USA v. Zhejiang Jiaxing Xitang … L … 21-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-21
May 25 … USA v. Zhejiang Jiaxing Xitang … W … 25-12, 25-23, 25-9
May 29 … USA v. Beijing BAIC Motor in Beijing
May 30 … USA v. Hebei in Beijing
All teams are professional teams that play in the top division of the Chinese Volleyball League.
Prior to the match, the team explored the Ancient Village of Xitang together with the Zhejiang team. The Ancient Village has canals running through it; the team started its visit with a boat ride through the canals. The players enjoyed seeing examples of everyday life in China. Staff from restaurants and shops stopped the team for photos.