Loss to Thailand drops U.S. spikers out of medal contention

The U.S. men’s volleyball team  fell to Thailand, 25-15, 23-25, 25-19, 25-23 on Wednesday at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China, and lost the chance to play for a medal.

The U.S. Team finishes pool play at 3-2 and in third place in Pool D. The Czech Republic won the pool at 5-0 and Thailand was second at 4-1. The U.S. will now play for ninth-16th place. It will start against Japan at midnight PT on Friday.

Thailand scored 35 points off U.S. errors while committing 18. The teams were even in attacks (49-49) with the U.S. holding the edge in blocks (8-5) and Thailand leading in service aces (9-7).

The U.S. hitting efficiency was 0.324 and its kill percent was 48.0. Thailand’s hitting efficiency was 0.444 and its kill percent was 54.4.

“Tonight was about match management,” U.S. Head Coach Gordon Mayforth  said. “Thailand has many of their national team starters and they know how to manage a match better. The difference in the game was errors – 35 for USA and only 18 for Thailand.

“We will now focus on the next three games and play the best  we can for the ninth through 16th position. We all understand that we are still wearing USA on our chest. It matters how we finish and the image we leave.”

Outside hitter Brad Lawson (Stanford) led the U.S. effort with 15 points on 13 kills (0.571 hitting efficiency), one block and one ace. Opposite Murphy Troy (USC) added 14 points on 12 attacks and two aces. Outside hitter Jeff Menzel (UCSB) finished with 12 points on nine attacks, two blocks and one ace.

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