Thursday, 23 May 2024

Young U.S. Men’s Squad Falls to Japan

A young group of U.S. Men’s National Team players recently faced off against a more experienced Japanese squad in a USAV Cup match. Although the U.S. team put up a strong fight, they ultimately fell to Japan with a final score of 25-23, 25-20, 19-25, 25-20.

These matches are crucial for Japan, as they are using them to prepare for their last opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games at the Asian Olympic Qualifier. On the other hand, the young U.S. players are competing for spots on this summer’s international rosters, including the FIVB World League and the Pan American Cup.

Assistant Coach Matt Fuerbringer recognizes the drive and determination of the U.S. players, stating, “They’re fighting for roster spots. They’re fighting for future roster spots and they’re fighting for the USA when they’ve got the uniform on. I think they had a lot to fight for.” The competition within the team only serves to push everyone to improve and push the starters even further.

Unfortunately, Head Coach John Speraw was not present at the match as he was coaching his UCLA men’s volleyball team in the NCAA National Collegiate Championship semifinals. Despite his absence, the U.S. players gave their all on the court.

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In terms of statistics, Japan had the edge in kills with 53 compared to the United States’ 51. They also maintained a higher hitting efficiency of .465, while the U.S. had a .379 hitting efficiency. Japan outperformed the U.S. in blocks with a score of 8-4, but the U.S. retaliated with aces, leading 4-3. Will Price of the U.S. Men’s team stood out with three aces. However, both teams struggled with service errors, with Japan committing 21 and the U.S. Men committing 16.

Garrett Muagututia, an integral player who helped the U.S. win the FIVB World League in 2014, led the U.S. team with 17 points, thanks to his 15 kills, one block, and one ace. Muagututia admitted that he had to step up his game in order to support his teammates and make them feel comfortable in this highly competitive atmosphere.

Dustin Watten, a key member of the U.S. Men’s team who contributed to their victory in the 2015 FIVB World Cup, also displayed leadership skills during Friday’s match. Although nerves were present, Watten believed that the team settled down and performed well overall.

Here are the U.S. starters for Friday’s match:

  • Outside hitter: Joshua Taylor and Garrett Muagututia
  • Middle blockers: Dan McDonnell and Taylor Averill
  • Opposite: Carson Clark
  • Setter: Kawika Shoji
  • Libero: Dustin Watten

The match showcased the players’ skills and determination, with notable performances from Muagututia, Price, Kris Johnson, McDonnell, Greg Petty, Josh Taylor, Jonah Seif, and Averill.

In conclusion, the U.S. Men’s team may have fallen to Japan, but the match served as an opportunity for the young players to showcase their talent and fight for their spots on the international rosters. With their dedication and continuous improvement, the U.S. team is bound to make strides in future matches.

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FAQs

  1. What were the final scores of the match?

    • The final scores were 25-23, 25-20, 19-25, 25-20 in favor of Japan.
  2. What is Japan preparing for with these matches?

    • Japan is using these matches to prepare for their last chance to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games at the Asian Olympic Qualifier.
  3. What are the U.S. players competing for?

    • The U.S. players are competing for spots on this summer’s international rosters, including the FIVB World League and the Pan American Cup.
  4. Who led the U.S. team in points during the match?

    • Garrett Muagututia led the U.S. team with 17 points, including 15 kills, one block, and one ace.

Conclusion

Although the U.S. Men’s team faced a tough challenge against a more experienced Japanese squad, their performance showcased their determination and skill. These matches serve as a platform for the young players to prove themselves and compete for spots on international rosters. With their continuous improvement and dedicated efforts, the U.S. team is poised for future success.