USA resist Australian comeback as Anderson, Sander seal another 3-2 victory


Bari, Italy, September 13, 2018 – Team USA claimed on Thursday their second 3-2 victory (25-23, 25-20, 22-25, 23-25, 15-10) in as many matches they have contested in Pool C of the 2018 FIVB Men’s World Championship this far. Matthew Anderson top scored with 20 points for USA, as the team coached by John Speraw had to stand the furious comeback mounted by Australia, who came back from two sets down.

Taylor Sander added 16 points to the USA’s tally. The Australian opposite Lincoln Williams, recorded as many as 21 points – testament to his stellar performance as he literally changed the course of the game after replacing team captain Paul Carroll towards the end of the second set.

The first clash of the second day of action at PalaFlorio offered an intriguing game with the United States vying for their second victory in the tournament after edging Serbia 3-2 the night before. The Volleyroos, on the other hand, had to come back from a 0-3 heavy loss to Russia. The line-up of both teams compared to the first day of competition did not change.

The two rivals played a close first set. Australia team captain Carroll and his teammates kept the score tight, but despite their attempts, Australia did not manage to win the opening set. Taylor Averill’s block sealed a 25-23 win for USA. The USA increased their advantage in the second set, while Australia coach Mark Lebedew tried to change the course of the game by using his two timeouts as well as some of his reserve players. Nevertheless, the USA did not give up and won the second set as well (25-20).

The decision to change many of their starters allowed Australia to take the advantage at the second technical timeout of the third set. Sander wiped the block away and closed the gap, but Williams looked inspired and claimed a first set point for Australia. Anderson cancelled it after an excellent set of Micah Christenson. Nevertheless, Paul Sanderson’s hit sealed the first set win by the Australian team (25-22) in the competition. The course of the match changed completely in the fourth set. Australia set the pace of the game and USA did not manage to come from behind. Australia edged USA 25-23 but the Americans responded swiftly in the tiebreak leading from start to end to claim their second straight victory in the tournament (15-10).