Aug. 13, 2007
BANGKOK, Thailand - The United States Men's Volleyball Team completed pool play undefeated with a 3-0 win over Chinese Taipei Monday at the World University Games in Bangkok. After going 5-0 in Pool C matches, the U.S. advanced to the medal round and will play the Ukraine Wednesday.
Head coach Alan Knipe switched up the lineup Monday and utilized several players that hadn't seen substantial floor time at the Games yet. Regardless, the Americans rolled to a 25-19, 25-20, 25-22 victory.
"I had a lot of confidence that the guys that haven't been playing a lot could win the match, and I thought they did a great job," said Knipe. "They made a few errors early, but it kind of reminds me of the first match that we played with our other guys and they made errors - partly the first real match jitters. I thought they settled down and played really well as the match went on."
Jayson Jablonsky (UC Irvine), C.J. Macias (IPFW), and Matt Proper (Penn State) each totaled 10 points. Macias had seven kills, two blocks, and a service ace, while Jablonsky and Proper collected all of their points on kills.
Former UC Santa Barbara player Evan Patak (Pleasanton, Calif.) came in as a substitute and recorded four points and three kills. It was the first match of the WUG that Patak didn't lead the U.S. in scoring.
The U.S. squad was challenged Sunday by a strong Polish team, but eked out a 3-2 victory behind 19 points and 17 kills from Patak. Team USA dropped the third and fourth sets and came from behind in both the second and fifth sets for the win (25-22, 34-32, 22-25, 17-25, 15-13).
"To get down 0-5, in the fifth, and to win, doesn't happen very often," said Knipe. "I think the guys are doing a nice job showing composure, and they believe that as long as there's time left on the scoreboard, they can still score points. And, they can score points in bunches."
The U.S. will have Tuesday off before entering the medal round Wednesday against the Ukraine, the No. 2 team in Pool A, at the Sports Authority of Thailand.