USA men rally past Türkiye, move into FIVB Worlds quarterfinals


The strong summer continues for the USA as the Americans are into the FIVB Men’s World Championships quarterfinals.

Sunday they won the first two sets and then rallied for 25-21, 25-17, 22-25; 19-25, 15-12 victory over Türkiye in Gliwice, Poland. 

Now the USA (3-1) will Poland (4-0). Poland beat the Americans in four last week in the pool play.

The next round begins Wednesday but the bracket won’t be completely filled out until the round of 16 is completed. Saturday, Slovenia beat Germany in four and Italy did the same to Cuba. Then Sunday, after the USA won, Poland swept Tunisia. 

Monday, the Netherlands plays Ukraine and France plays Japan, and then Tuesday Serbia plays Argentina and Brazil plays Iran.

The USA, which lost to France in the Volleyball Nations League final earlier this summer, had four players with nine or more kills against Türkiye.

David Smith led with 14 kills, three blocks and a dig. 

“Credit to Türkiye,” Smith told Volleyball World. “They came back; they didn’t give up, but that’s what you’d expect at this phase of the World Championships. Türkiye showed some real strength and mental toughness,.

“We had to scramble a bit to find a solution, but thankfully we were able to do that at the end. I am really proud of the guys for sticking with it. It was a really tough game mentally, but we did a great job and it’s going to make us better going forward.”

Matt Anderson had 12 kills, two blocks, an ace and seven digs. Aaron Russell had 12 kills — including the match-ender — an ace and three digs. TJ DeFalco had nine kills, an ace and three digs. Jeff Jendryk had seven kills and a block.

Erik Shoji had nine digs.

Türkiye had a spectacular performance from Adis Lagumdzija, who had 29 kills, two blocks an a dig.

“That one was tough,” USA coach John Speraw said via social media. “Playoffs often have moments like tonight and those moments can provide great learning experiences … Winning that fifth set took guts.”

Erik Shoji celebrates a point against Türkiye 9-4-22 Volleyball World photoErik Shoji celebrates a point against Türkiye/Volleyball World photo



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