USA national teams: Men 4th in World League, women 3-0 in Grand Prix

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The USA's Jeff Jendryk goes high to tip against Canada/FIVB photo

The USA men finished fourth in the recent World League, while the USA women are rolling along in the Grand Prix.

The men, who got out of pool play in Europe to advance to the final round of pool play in Curitiba, Brazil, made it to the semifinals, but lost to Brazil and then in the match for the bronze medal lost to Canada.

After going 4-5 in matches in Serbia, France and Poland but getting the right combination to advance, the USA lost to France 27-25, 20-25, 26-24, 17-25, 15-12. But coach John Speraw’s team bounced back with a win over Serbia 25-22, 25-23, 19-25, 25-22, which got the Americans into the semifinals.

However, France was too strong again, this time 25-19, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21. Finally, the USA lost to Canada 18-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-21 to finish the tournament 5-8 overall.

John Speraw talks to his players during the Canada match/FIVB photo

“I’m really proud of the fact that we were able to get this far and have an opportunity here,” USA coach John Speraw said. “I am disappointed at how we played the last couple matches. We passed the ball really well and usually when you win that serve-pass battle you should be in a better position to win.

“We need to kill the ball better. We need to set the ball better. We need to be smarter offensively. It’s such an important part of the game.”

Click here for a USA Volleyball recap of the Canada match and a summary of the USA’s time in the tournament.

In the final, France beat Brazil 21-25, 25-15, 25-23, 19-25, 15-13 before 23,000 fans.

Tori Dixon and Carli Lloyd put up the block for the USA against Italy/FIVB photo

The USA women beat Russia Russia 22-25, 25-19, 25-27, 25-16, 15-11 on July 7 to open play in Kunshan, China. They they beat Italy 25-21, 25-22, 25-19 and China China 25-22, 25-22, 25-21 for their third victory in three days.

Next up is Turkey on Friday in Macau, China, followed by matches against Italy and China.

Click here for the USA Volleyball recap of the China match and a complete summary of the tournament.

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