Sports

Brazil tops USA in men's volleyball exhibition match

 
Courtesy USA Volleyball

The U.S. men’s national volleyball team fell to Brazil on Sunday, 25-21, 26-24, 25-21 in an exhibition match in Sao Paolo.

The match was the first of two exhibitions the teams are playing in Brazil. They will play again Tuesday in Manaus.

On Aug. 18-19, the teams will play two USAV Cup matches at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Each match will start at 5:30 p.m. and will be live streamed at USAVolleyball.org.

Brazil is ranked No. 1 in the world and is the defending Olympic champion. The U.S. is ranked No. 2 and took bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

“Tough match but always great to play in Brazil,” U.S. coach John Speraw tweeted after the match. “We will learn and be better in Manaus.”

Playing with its top team, Brazil led the match in kills (41-36), blocks (7-5) and aces (5-4). The U.S. Men were hurt by 16 service errors.

Opposite Ben Patch led the United States with 12 points on a match-high 11 kills and one ace. Outside hitter T.J. DeFalco added 10 points on nine kills and one block. Middle blocker Jeff Jendryk had two aces for the United States and middle blocker David Smith had two blocks.

Brazil led the first set 19-13 when the U.S. scored twice on a block and Brazil’s net violation. With Brazil leading 20-15, outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke scored out of the back row. Patch followed with a kill off the block. But after that the U.S. scored only single points.

The U.S. trailed in the second set 19-16 when outside hitter Garrett Muagututia, substituting for Jaeschke, scored on a kill and Jendryk followed with two straight aces to tie the score. Brazil reached set point first at 24-23, but DeFalco scored with a kill. Brazil won the set on a kill and a U.S. hitting error.

The third set was tied 10-10 when Brazil used a 4-1 scoring run to take a lead it never relinquished.

Both teams are preparing for the FIVB Grand Champions Cup on Sept. 12-16 in Japan.

The last time the two teams played was in the semifinals of the 2017 FIVB World League where Brazil won, 3-1. At the 2016 Olympic Games, the U.S. beat Brazil in pool play, 3-1. Brazil went on to win the gold medal while the U.S. took bronze.

The two teams also played four USAV Cup matches around Southern California in 2015, with Brazil taking three of the four.

— B.J. Hoeptner Evans/USA Volleyball

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