Playing in front of a raucous crowd in-favor of Brazil, the United States were unable to pull through for a win. Brazil will now move on to the championship match, while USA will face the loser of Canada-France in the 2017 FIVB World League Third-Place match.
BRAZIL DEF. USA (25-20, 23-25, 25-20, 25-19)
The U.S. out-spiked Brazil 55-51, but were a lot less efficient. Brazil had just 19 attack errors while USA racked up 38. Beyond that, blocks (5-4 in favor of Brazil) and aces (6-4 in favor of the U.S.) were fairly even as Brazil won in four sets.
Ricardo Lucarelli Souza, who had eight points in total for the match, showed up early as Brazil won the first set 25-20 to take a 1-0 set lead.
In set two, the United States responded. They almost lost the lead late, but they won the final two points in the set for a 25-23 win. Taylor Sander (20 points) and Thomas Jaeschke (12 points) were prevalent in the set win to tie the match at 1-1. Ben Patch (11 points) and David Smith (10 points) were the other Americans with double-digit points.
Set three swung back to Brazil’s favor. Wallace De Souza (18 points), Lucas Saatkamp (13 points) and Mauricio Borges Almeida Silva (12 points) led the Brazilians to another 25-20 win. After the U.S. stayed close early in the fourth, Brazil hit a run and eventually pulled away for a 25-19 fourth-set victory and a 3-1 win.
“We’re very happy with the performance,” Brazilian captain Bruno Rezende told FIVB. “The team was focused, mature and clear-minded all along the game. That was the key point for the win – we were much more regular, with much less errors and that helped us to be at a great volleyball level. USA is a very complicated team to play against and if you let them grow, they put you into trouble. We were very good on side-out and counterattack; it’s something to be proud about. We’re building a new group and this is a reward for all our hard work.”
Brazil now moves on to the World League Championship match tomorrow where they’ll await the winner of France-Canada.
The United States have already improved their finish from last year when they ended in fifth-place. Now they’ll go for third in the bronze-medal match against the loser of the second semifinal.