Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

U.S. Block Party: A Thrilling Victory for the U.S. Men’s National Team

U.S. Men’s National Team

The U.S. Men’s National Team showcased their exceptional blocking and receiving skills, outshining Bulgaria’s hard-hitting performance in an exhilarating match during the FIVB World League pool play. The Americans emerged victorious with a 23-25, 25-21, 27-25, 25-21 win, displaying their dominance at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Arena. This impressive result brings the U.S. to a 6-1 record, while Bulgaria unfortunately falls to 0-7. Excitement continues to build as the U.S. Men prepare to face Australia (0-7) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. CT.

The Art of Blocking and Serving

The U.S. Men’s team demonstrated their prowess in blocking, with a remarkable 13-5 advantage over their European counterparts. Middle blocker David Lee from Alpine, Calif., contributed significantly with four blocks, while outside hitter Reid Priddy from Richmond, Va., added three. The American team also excelled in serving, securing a 4-1 difference in aces. Both teams encountered some difficulties and errors. Bulgaria managed to score 33 points thanks to U.S. errors, but they also committed 29 errors themselves.

Reid Priddy - U.S. Men's National Team

In the second set, Reid Priddy made a significant impact as a substitute for Thomas Jaeschke. His precise and effective plays contributed to stabilizing the U.S. team. Priddy’s performance, at the age of 38, impressed his teammates and fans alike. “I thought Reid was one of our best blockers. He’s got some unorthodox blocking that makes it difficult for the opponent,” lauded David Lee.

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The Key Role of Erik Shoji

Erik Shoji, the U.S. libero from Honolulu, Hawaii, showcased his exceptional skills in returning Bulgaria’s hard-hitting attacks. His agility and quick reflexes proved instrumental in the team’s success. Bulgaria, known for their exceptional serving ability, faced a formidable challenge in breaking through the U.S. team’s defense.

Overcoming Challenges and Seizing Opportunities

U.S. Head Coach John Speraw acknowledged the challenges faced but appreciated the team’s resilience in overcoming them. “There were certainly times when we did not execute as desired, allowing Bulgaria to gain significant advantages. However, the team demonstrated composure and managed to weather those runs, ultimately emerging victorious,” said Speraw. The strong mental fortitude shown by the U.S. players was commendable as they fought back and won crucial sets.

Standout Performances and Statistics

Tsvetan Sokolov from Bulgaria led all scorers with an impressive 24 points, thanks to 21 attacks, two blocks, and one ace. For the United States, Taylor Sander, hailing from Huntington Beach, Calif., stood out with 16 points, while Matt Anderson from West Seneca, N.Y., contributed 15 points.

U.S. Starters vs. Bulgaria

  • Outside Hitters: Taylor Sander and Thomas Jaeschke
  • Middle Blockers: David Lee and David Smith
  • Opposite: Matt Anderson
  • Setter: Micah Christenson
  • Libero: Erik Shoji

U.S. Statistics vs. Bulgaria

  • Kills: Sander 13, Anderson 12, Smith 10, Lee 8, Jaeschke 4, Priddy 4, Christenson 3
  • Blocks: Lee 4, Priddy 3, Anderson 2, Christenson 2, Sander 2
  • Aces: Lee 1, Anderson 1, Sander 1, Priddy 1
  • Digs: E. Shoji 11, Smith 7, Lee 4, Christenson 4, Priddy 4, Jaeschke 2, Sander 2, Anderson 2
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1. How did the U.S. Men’s National Team perform in the FIVB World League pool play?
The U.S. Men’s National Team showcased their blocking and receiving skills, leading them to a well-deserved victory against Bulgaria.

2. Who were the standout players in the match?
Tsvetan Sokolov from Bulgaria scored the most points, while Taylor Sander and Matt Anderson impressed with their performance for the United States.

3. What is the current record of the U.S. Men’s National Team?
The U.S. team now boasts an impressive 6-1 record, demonstrating their dedication and skill.

4. When is the next match for the U.S. Men’s National Team?
The U.S. Men’s National Team will face Australia in their upcoming match on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. CT.


The U.S. Men’s National Team’s triumph against Bulgaria highlights their exceptional blocking and receiving skills. Their victory not only solidifies their impressive 6-1 record but also demonstrates their resilience and determination in the face of challenges. As they prepare for their next match against Australia, fans eagerly anticipate another thrilling performance from the U.S. team.

To stay updated on the U.S. Men’s National Team and their upcoming matches, visit Alpinetgheep.