The U.S. men’s national volleyball team had little trouble beating Guatemala, 25-12, 25-14, 25-10, in the opening pool play match Tuesday at the NORCECA Men’s Continental Championship at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
The U.S. have Wednesday off and will play Dominican Republic on Thursday at 6 p.m.
The top-seeded Americans went into the match as heavy favorites and worked to make sure they did not let down the U.S. fans who came to cheer them on.
“We don’t get opportunities like this to play in front of our home fans a lot,” setter Micah Christenson said. “We want to play good volleyball and we want to give the best that we can and play clean volleyball; give a good show. That’s playing USA Volleyball; scrapping for every dig and playing as hard as we can no matter who is on the other side of the court.”
The U.S. led in aces (13-0), kills (35-16) and blocks (5-2). The U.S. had a hitting efficiency of .674 behind Christenson’s setting.
U.S. opposite Matt Anderson led all scorers with 16 points on a match-high 12 kills, one block and three aces. Outside hitter Aaron Russell added 14 on eight kills, one block and five aces. Outside hitter Taylor Sander scored 10 points.
“Sometimes when you’re playing teams at NORCECA and you don’t know much about them and the chances are high that you’re going to win, you can ease off,” U.S. Head Coach John Speraw said. “We talked a lot about how we just need to play USA Volleyball and I thought our guys did a great job of that.”