The USA volleyball men’s indoor team was back in action against the ROC. The ROC is the Russian Olympic Committee. A reminder to everyone that they can not compete under the Russian flag due to violating the performance enhancing drugs policy. Russia’s men is ranked third in the world. The USA is ranked fourth. USa volleyball was looking to build off an impressive win against France and keep riding the hot hands.
Sets 1 and 2
The first set was contested but won by the Russians by a score of 25-23. The second set was much more competitive. The US and ROC exchanged blows as kills came from everywhere and everyone. The US took a timeout when Russia closed the gap to make it 21-20 in set two. A key service error by TJ Defalco tied it at 24. However, more costly errors made it 26-25 in favor Russia, and forced an American timeout. Maxwell Holt was responsible for the service error. Russia took set two 27-25. Artem Volvich, Dmitry Volkov, and Egor Kliuka came up clutch when the Russians needed it most. A crucial third set awaited.
Micah Christenson made a great hustle play to keep the ball in, which made it 7-4. Unfortunately, Holt made another error to tighten up the score again. In the blink of an eye, it was 8-8. That warranted a USA timeout. More errors plagued the US and kept the third set either locked up or in a slim differential. Team USA forced the ROC to take a timeout with a 16-12 lead. Them it grew to 19-13. Kliuka kept bringing the power as he tried to bring his team back. Volkov’s power proved to be too much as an out of bounds serve gave the US the 25-21 win.
Set 4 started off crazy. It was back and forth at the score was tied at 5. The US took a 13-10 lead as the back and forth theme continued. They continued to buckle down with 19-15 lead. Mitchell Stahl came to life and brought so much power with his swings, including some errors. The ROC battled back again to close the gap 21-20 as momentum gained in their favor. They tied the set at 22 and shortly after took the lead. The wheels fell off the wagon shortly after as the ROC took the match 25-23. Self inflicted errors burned the United States. They need to clean it up to move out of pool B.