Anderson and Sander help USA secure victory and cement first place in Pool C


Bari, Italy, September 16, 2018 – With the help of their top players, the United States claimed on Sunday a 3-0 win against Cameroon (25-18, 25-20, 25-14) at PalaFlorio in Bari and cemented their first place in Pool C, even before their last matchup with the still winless Tunisia. Matthew Anderson and Taylor Sander paced Team USA with 9 points each followed by middle blocker Taylor Averill (8). Nevertheless, the top scorer of this match was the opposite hitter of Cameroon, David Patrick Feughouo, who put 10 points to his name.

The clash between Cameroon and USA opened the fifth day of the tournament at PalaFlorio. After the heroic three-point victory over Russia the night before, which provided a further boost to their ambitions, Anderson and his teammates were aiming to take another three points and cement their first place in Pool C. The result of the match was nevertheless not obvious at all: this match had much importance for Cameroon, ranked one point below Australia and still fighting to qualify for the next round.

USA coach John Speraw resorted to his usual starting six, except for Maxwell Holt replaced by Jeff Jendryk. The same holds for Cameroon, except for Junior Charles Engohe, who stepped in for team captain Nathan Wounembaina, who suffered an injury the day before. With the help of Anderson’s service, USA were leading 8-3 and 16-10 at the first and second technical timeouts of the opening set. Cameroon tried to level the score, but USA kept the distance until the final 25-18 win.

In the second set, the African team did not give up and tried to stop the American run. At the first technical break, Cameroon grabbed an 8-5 lead, but USA went ahead 16-13 and ended the set at 25-20 with an ace by Anderson.  As the USA were leading 2-0, coach Speraw replaced Sander with Jake Langlois and, in the final section of the match, setter Kawika Shoji (brother of the libero Erik) took to the court as well. The coach of Cameroon, Blaise Mayam, decided to provide an opportunity to Jean Pierre Ndongo, Yvan Kody and Bana Hassana, but this did not change the course of the game. USA finished the last set off 25-14 and won 3-0, thus keeping the first place in Pool C with four wins and 10 points from four matches.