Lausanne, Switzerland, September 26, 2017 – The USA made a winning start to their pursuit of a place at the Italy-Bulgaria 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship with a win over Guatemala in their first match at the NORCECA Continental Qualifiers on Tuesday.
There were also victories for Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico.
The NORCECA Continental Qualifiers take place from September 26-October 1. The top three teams in the 10-team field earn berths at the 2018 World Championship, while two more teams will come from a second NORCECA qualifier that will be held later in the year.
The USA will host the tournament at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado when nine teams will aim to book a place at the World Championship that runs from September 10-30 across Italy and Bulgaria.
John Speraw’s team beat Guatemala 3-0 (25-12, 25-14, 25-10) and opposite Matt Anderson led scoring with 16 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,” 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.”
Trinidad and Tobago defeated St. Lucia, 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-17) with opposite Ryan Stewart scoring 10 points. Mexico also won in straight sets, 3-0 (25-7, 25-16, 25-10) over St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Costa Rica defeated Martinique 3-1 (25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 25-21).
“We were tactical the first two games, but in the third set Martinique figured out our tactics and we had to change some things in the fourth set,” Costa Rica Coach Juan Acuna said. “Heading into our next match, we are not going to change our tactics much.”