Ancona, Italy, September 30, 2010 – The Czech Republic swept the USA in straight sets (25-19, 25-22, 25-22) in the opening second-round match in Pool L of the 2010 FIVB Men’s World Championship at the PalaRossini in Ancona, Italy.
Jan Stokr led the Czechs with 15 points, including three aces. Jiri Popelka added 13 points, while teammate Peter Platenik contributed 12. USA were led by three players with 11 points apiece: Sean Rooney, William Priddy and Clayton Stanley. A deciding factor in the match was the Czech serve, with six aces to the Americans' zero. Both teams had seven blocks.
The United States, who won Pool D in the first round with a 3-0 record, now play Cameroon on Friday while the Czech Republic, who finished 2-1 and in second place in their first-round pool, have a rest day before facing Cameroon on Saturday.
It was a tight start to the opening set but the Czech Republic led at both the first and second technical timeouts (8-6 and 16-14). Thanks to highly effective blocks and a good attack percentage Jan Svoboda’s team took a 22-17 lead. The U.S. tried to change their tactics but the Czech Republic maintained their advantage and closed the set with a wonderful pipe by Stokr (19-25).
The USA began well in the second set and after holding their own earned a four-point advantage at 17-13 and seemed to be racing away. But the Czechs responded in the nick of time and a series of blocks enabled them to tie the score at 18-18. The set concluded with the strong serving and the decisive attacks of Popelka (23-21) and Platenik (25-22).
In the third set USA again began well and took a 6-4 lead, but the Czech service soon stifled their initiative. The middle part of the set was level-pegging until some tremendous Czech blocks gave them an 18-15 lead and control of the set. USA made a mini-comeback through Rooney but their last attack failed and that was that.