Aug. 10, 2007
BANGKOK, Thailand - The United States men's volleyball team improved to 2-0 at the 2007 World University Games with a straight-set victory over Sweden Friday in Thailand. Former Gaucho Evan Patak led all players with 16 points.
In Pool C play, the U.S. banged out a 25-18, 25-21, 25-21 victory over the Swedes at Thammasat University. It was the second straight 3-0 win for the Americans as they opened the WUG Thursday by defeating Germany.
Patak, an opposite hitter from Pleasanton, Calif., led the U.S. offense in both matches. Against Sweden, he planted 12 kills and dropped in a pair of service aces.
Paul Lotman out of Long Beach State chipped in with 10 kills, while Andy Hein (Pepperdine), Robert Tarr (Long Beach State), and Jonathan Winder (Pepperdine) each had two blocks.
Sweden's Marcus Nilsson led his team with 15 points, which included a match-high 14 kills. Mattias Andersson finished with six blocks.
"I'm not sure we were really clean out of the gate today and ready to go," said U.S. head coach Alan Knipe. "We were a little more prepared yesterday. It took us a little while to get our focus, and once we did, we did a pretty good job. We struggled to deal with the higher set - it was slower than what we're used to. I thought that we adjusted as the match went on. The only time that we struggled, really, was when we made some unforced errors. But overall, I think the guys are starting to get comfortable playing with each other."
The U.S. continues pool play Saturday against Japan at Assumption University. Japan is 1-1 thus far at the Games as it defeated Chinese Taipei 3-0 and dropped a 3-1 decision against Poland.
The World University Games, sponsored by FISU, the International University Sport Federation, bring together top collegiate athletes from around the world for 11 days of competition in a multi-sport Olympic-style event. The World University Games or Universiade, which include both summer and winter versions, are held every two years for student-athletes between the ages of 17 and 28. Eligible athletes must be registered for a full course of study at a university or have obtained their degrees within a year of the Games. The 2007 Games run from August 8-18 with more than 160 countries and nearly 12,000 athletes competing.