In the first of three friendlies against Argentina to close the week, the Americans lost to the host team 3-1 on Wednesday in Morón, Argentina in suburban Buenos Aires.
Argentina took the victory 3-1 (25-18, 25-19, 17-25, 25-23) over a very young American team that was made up of mostly collegiate players or recent college graduates. Rob Neilson served as the USA National Team first assistant Rob Neilson. Both teams hit at a high efficiency percentage. UCLA 2018 VolleyMob First Team All-American Micah Ma’a set Team USA to 44% hitting percentage and a .347 efficiency percentage, while Maximilliano Cavanna set Argentina to 45% hitting and an equal .347 efficiency rate.
The big advantage for the Argentines came in service receipt. They had a 50% positive reception and 24% excellent reception, led by Alexis Gonzalez, who had a 76% positive reception on 21 attempts. The Americans were at just 36% positive and 13% excellent.
This younger American roster did better in one area than their senior counterparts. They had 7 service aces and 14 service errors on 86 attempts. While that is a slightly-lower aces rate (1 in every 12 attempts versus 1 in every 10 attempts) than the team had at the Nations League, it’s a significantly lower errors rate (1 ace for every 2 errors, versus 1 ace for every 3.4 errors in the Nations League).
Argentina’s top scoring effort came from Bruno Lima, who had 16 total points with 14 kills on 33 swings. Sebastian Sole had 11, and hit 67%, plus a whopping .600 efficiency rate out of the middle.
The US was led in scoring by Brenden Sander, who will start his pro career this fall in Italy, with 14 points. He had 10 kills on 27 swings with 4 errors. Opposite Kyle Ensing had 10 points, with 8 kills on 15 swings. Jeff Jendryk, who like Ensing spent most of the summer with the National Team, had 4 kills and 3 blocks.
The Americans out-blocked Argentina 8-3.
The USA beat Argentina 3-2 in both teams’ first match of the Nations League, though Argentina also used a much better roster for that match.
U.S. Men’s Roster for Argentina Friendlies
3C Micah Ma’a(S, 6-3, Kaneohe, Hawaii, UCLA)
4 Kupono Fey (OH, 6-5, Honolulu, Hawaii, Univ. of Hawaii)
5 James Shaw (S, 6-8, Woodside, Calif., Stanford)
6 Mitch Stahl (MB, 6-8, Chambersburg, Pa., UCLA)
8 T.J. DeFalco (OH, 6-5, Huntington Beach, Calif., Long Beach State)
9 Carson Clark (Opp, 6-6, Santa Barbara, Calif., UC Irvine)
12 Matthew Pollock (MB, 6-9, Orland Park, Ill., Pepperdine)
14 David Wieczorek (OH, 6-8, Chicago, Ill., Pepperdine)
15 Brenden Sander (OH, 6-4, Huntington Beach, Calif., BYU)
18 Kyle Ensing (Opp, 6-7, Valencia, Calif., Long Beach State)
24 Larry Tuileta (L, 6-2, Honolulu, Hawaii, Univ. of Hawaii)
25 Jeff Jendryk (MB, 6-10, Wheaton, Ill., Loyola of Chicago)
27 Michael Brinkley (L, 5-10, Huntington Beach, Calif., UC Irvine)
Head Coach: Rob Neilson
Assistant Coach: Milan Zarkovic
Technical Coordinator: Nate Ngo
Medical Support: Madison Schultze
Aug. 8: Argentina vs USA, Gorky Grana Stadium in Moron
Aug. 9: Argentina vs USA, UNTREF in Villa Lynch
Aug. 10: Argentina vs USA, Gorky Grana Stadium in Moron