Menzel, U.S. closing in on WUG playoff berth

Jeff Menzel continued to stand out as the U.S. National men’s volleyball team split its most recent two pool play matches at the World University Games.

Menzel led the way with 28 points on 23 kills and five blocks as Team USA dropped a thrilling 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-27, 15-13 decision to the Czech Republic on Monday.  It was the first loss of the tournament for the Americans.

On Tuesday, the recent UCSB grad had eight points on five kills, one block and a pair of service aces as the U.S. Team bounced back with a comfortable 25-21, 25-13, 25-20 victory over the United Arab Emirates in Shenzhen, China.

To advance out of pool play, the U.S. must defeat Thailand on Wednesday.  Head coach Gordon Mayforth says that his team knows the importance of that match.

“Tomorrow against Thailand, it is winner take all,” he said. “The team knows for us, playoffs start tomorrow. Thailand has their whole national team here, and it will be a good test for our guy. But I am sure we are up to the task.”