USA loses in five games to Korea, to await World Championship fate
The U.S. Youth Boys’ National Team will have to wait to find out its semifinal fate at the World Championship.
No. 9 United States lost to the previously winless No. 19 Korea 25-20, 20-25, 18-25, 25-19, 15-11 in its consolation second-round pool-play finale on Friday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The loss temporary puts the United States (2-4, 1-2 Pool H, 3 points) in a three-way tie for second place in Pool H with Korea (1-5, 1-2 Pool H, 3 points) and No. 2 Russia (3-2, 1-1 Pool H, 3 points). The top two teams in Pool H following the three-match consolation second round will advance to the semifinals for ninth-place.
In order for the United States to advance to the semifinals, Russia would have to lose its pool-play finale to first-place No. 4 Iran in three or four games and the United States would have to win the point-differential tie-breaker.
No team in the consolation second round can finish the 16-team international tournament better than ninth place.
Iran and Russia will play each other later tonight. Iran has already clinched a spot in the ninth-place semifinals with second-round victories against the United States and Korea.
Outside attacker Aaron Russell, a Penn State incoming freshman recruit, led the United States with 16 kills against Korea.
Russell was one of three U.S. players to finish the match with at least nine kills.
Outside attacker Matthew Tarantino, a Peppderine incoming freshman recruit, had 10 kills, while outside attacker Cody Caldwell, a Loyola incoming freshman recruit, had nine kills.
The United States out-blocked Korea 14-11 in the loss as Nikola Antonijevic had a match-high five blocks.
This is the first victory for Korea in the first two rounds of the international tournament.
The United States entered this match in third place in Pool H and trailing second-place Russia by one point.
The United States upset Russia in its second-round pool-play match Thursday to snap a three match losing streak. The victory was also the highest ranked team a U.S. junior or youth team has defeated in tournament-play this year.