COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 11, 2018) – Players from the U.S. Men’s National Team battled host Argentina on Friday, but fell in five, 19-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-18, 15-12 in a friendly match at Gorky Grana Stadium in Moron.
The U.S. Men went 0-3 against Argentina. They were using the matches using the matches to prepare for the Pan American Cup and FIVB World Championships.
The U.S. Men led in kills (63-47) and aces (9-7) while Argentina led in blocks (16-10). The U.S. Men had 22 service errors as compared to 11 for Argentina.
The U.S. Men hit .397 behind setter Micah Ma’a while Argentina hit .333 behind a combined effort from setters Luciano De Cecco and Maximiliano Cavanna.
U.S. opposite Kyle Ensing led all players in scoring with 22 points on a match-high 20 kills, one block and one ace. Outside hitter T.J. DeFalco scored 15 points on 10 kills, two blocks and a match-high three aces.
Outside hitter Brenden Sander totaled 13 points, including a team-high three blocks. Middle blockers Mitch Stahl and Jeff Jendryk also scored 13 points each.
Argentina middle blockers led the team’s scoring as Augustin Loser finished with 16 points and Sebastian Sole added 15.
Libero Michael Brinkley was credited with a match-high 21 digs and 21 receptions, 52 percent positive. DeFalco led in receptions with 36, 53 percent positive. Sander had 29 receptions, 55 percent positive.
Argentina started Cavanna for De Cecco in the third set and for the rest of the match.
The U.S. took an 8-7 lead to open the match and increased it to 12-8 behind aces from DeFalco and Stahl and kills by Sander and Ensing. The U.S. reached set point at 24-18. Argentina scored twice before Ma’a ended it with a kill.
The U.S. took an 8-2 lead in the second set including three kills by Ensing, one from Sander and a DeFalco ace. With the U.S. leading 20-13, Argentina used a 7-2 run to pull to within two at 22-20. Sander came back with two straight kills and Stahl ended it with an ace.
The U.S. held a 15-11 lead in the third. Argentina tied it at 15-15 and the teams battled back and forth. At 20-20, Argentina scored on two straight blocks from Sole. Ensing scored on a kill, but the United States followed with a service error. Ensing had another kill. Argentina reached set point on another U.S. service error. Jendryk held off one set point with a kill. Argentina won it with a kill from outside hitter Tomas Lopez.
The United States led the fourth set 18-17 when a service error opened an 8-0 scoring run for Argentina behind the serving of Cavanna.
Argentina jumped to a 4-1 lead in the fifth set tiebreaker. The U.S. pulled to within two at 5-3, but Argentina scored two more points to put the set out of reach.
U.S. STARTERS VS ARGENTINA
Outside hitters: T.J. DeFalco and Brenden Sander
Middle blockers: Jeff Jendryk and Mitch Stahl
Setter: Micah Ma’a
Opposite: Kyle Ensing
Libero: Michael Brinkley
Substitutes: Kupono Fey (OH), James Shaw (S), Matt Pollock (MB)
U.S. STATISTICS VS ARGENTINA
Kills: Ensing 20, Stahl 11, DeFalco 10, Sander 10, Jendryk 9, Ma’a 3
Blocks: Sander 3, Jendryk 2, Stahl 2, Fey 1, Pollock 1, Ensing 1
Aces: DeFalco 3, Stahl 2, Jendryk 2, Ma’a 1, Ensing 1
Digs: Brinkley 21, Sander 10, Ensing 10, Ma’a 9, DeFalco 6, Jendryk 5, Stahl 4