TOKYO - The U.S. men’s national volleyball team continued to storm through the 2007 FIVB World Cup on Friday with a 25-18, 27-25, 25-19 victory over host Japan before a crowd of 10,000 at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
The win improves Team USA’s record to 7-2 and keeps it in third place. However, Bulgaria, which was tied with the United States for third, kept the pressure on by defeating previously unbeaten Russia (25-21, 23-25, 25-22, 22-25, 15-12) on Friday.
The top three World Cup finishers qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games. The United States and Bulgaria sit tied at 7-2. The U.S. men are technically in third due to the tiebreaker, which is point differential. Brazil and Russia are both 8-1, with Brazil leading the tiebreaker.
The U.S. men still have to play Argentina (5-4) and Russia. Bulgaria still plays Japan (3-5) and Argentina. Russia will play Brazil and the United States. Brazil will play Russia and Japan.
On Friday, Reid Priddy (Richmond, Va.,) led the U.S. scorers with 16 points on 12 kills and a match-high four blocks. Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) added 15 points on 13 kills and two blocks. Riley Salmon (League City, Texas) scored 12 points on eight kills, two blocks and a match-high two aces.