Matt Anderson USA Argentina Volleyball Nations League 2024-min

Veteran Matt Anderson scored 12 points in his first match in the VNL 2024

Using the players selected by head coach John Speraw to represent the country at the Paris Olympics for the first time in the Volleyball Nations League 2024, the United States began the second week of the tournament’s Preliminary Phase with a sweep of Argentina on Tuesday, in Ottawa, Canada.

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The Americans, who sent a different group of players to play in Antalya, Türkiye, two weeks ago, getting just a win in four matches, were dominant against the South Americans at the TD Place, triumphing 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 26-24) in the opening match of Pool 4.

Outside hitters Aaron Russell and Torey Defalco, with 13 points each, and opposite Matt Anderson, with 12, led the American offense to their second victory in the VNL 2024.

“We struggled a little bit with our service, but always relied on our system and the way we play,” Anderson commented. “We ended up taking the first week off because we wanted to give some of the guys who finished their club seasons late a few more days to rest. It’s a really important summer and a long one and we need to be ready. We expected some hiccups along the way today and we definitely had them, but we’ll watch the game film and make the adjustments that we can. We need a few more wins this week as we try to qualify for the VNL Finals.”

The top scorer of the Tokyo Olympics, Argentinean opposite Bruno Lima was the most productive player on the court, tallying 15 points, with 13 kills, one block and one ace.

“I thought we had a good start, especially when it came to serving and scoring off of counter-attacks,” Lima reflected. “Maybe if we had won the first set things could be different, especially from a mental standpoint. But the Americans also played well and they managed to do it for a longer period of time than we did. We need to forget this match and prepare for the next one and put more energy into it.”

Bruno Lima USA Argentina Volleyball Nations League 2024-min

Bruno Lima's 15 points weren't enough to help Argentina take a set from the USA

The victory made the Americans move one spot up in the VNL standings, getting to six points (two wins) and going from 12th to 11th place. They also added 7.57 FIVB World Ranking points with the sweep and remained in second place, but are now much closer to second-placed Italy (360.02 to 361.86).

Still looking to qualify for the Paris Olympics, Argentina also kept their spot in the World Rankings, continuing in eighth place, but saw their total drop to 300.56. The first national team outside the qualification zone, Serbia have 238.51 points. They are tenth in the VNL 2024 with six points (two wins).

Both teams will be on the court on Thursday, with the Americans facing world champions Italy at 16:30 local time (20:30 GMT) and the Argentineans battling hosts Canada at 20:00 local time (02:00 GMT, Friday).

Volleyball Nations League 2024: schedule and results

Still on Tuesday, the Canadians will play in front of their fans for the first time in the VNL 2024. They will face continental rivals Cuba at 20:00 local time (02:00 GMT, Wednesday).

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