USA men collect World Championship spot
Colorado Springs, United States, May 18, 2014 – The United States earned a berth to the 2014 FIVB World Championship by sweeping Guatemala 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-15) in the Men’s NORCECA World Championship Qualification Tournament Third Round Pool O that concluded Sunday evening at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Guatemala will compete in the final round of NORCECA World Championship, joining the three second-place finishers in other pools to determine NORCECA’s fifth and final team in the 24-country FIVB World Championship.
David Lee sparked the U.S. with 11 points, including four blocks. Carson Clark matched his total with 11 points in victory. Andy Leonardo led Guatemala with 10 points.
The U.S. held a 5-2 advantage in blocks and a 36-24 margin in kills. Both teams notched six aces in the match.
The Americans did not lose a set in the qualification tournament, yielding an average of just 11.67 points per set during pool play.
In the bronze medal match, St. Lucia defeated Haiti 3-2 (15-25, 25-23, 18-25, 25-21, 15-12).
Joseph Clercent sparked St. Lucia’s comeback with 21 points and Julian Bissette added 20 points. Volvick Dupuy tallied 16 points to lead Haiti. Teammate Ralph Adolph scored 13.
United States Captain Sean Rooney: “In the finals you have to expect that a team not only will play their best against us but also will be more aggressive than last time. Last time we beat them pretty handily. Their only choice is to step up their game from the service line and be more aggressive in attack and that’s what they did. For us, we had to turn it on right away in order to compete and beat them the way we wanted to.”
United States Head Coach Sean Speraw: “It was probably a little tougher than we expected. In retrospect, maybe we should have. Teams are going to come in with nothing to lose and swing as hard as they can. Guatemala played great and we should give them a lot of credit. They came in with a lot of enthusiasm. They made a lot of great plays. They did some different things that we didn’t see in the first match. We didn’t play our best volleyball but we got the win so off to World Champs we go.”
Guatemala Head Coach Alvinzi Pelaez: "I am really happy. We really gave everyone a good show against the USA. We know the final score was 3-0, but it was a hard-fought 3-0 match. We always fight to the bitter end in each set. This match, and this tournament as a whole, will help develop our team better to be the best in our region. We are ready for the next tournament."