Team USA Takes a Breather, Defeats Uzbekistan in Straight Sets
By Robert Weinstock
SOFIA, Bulgaria — Fresh off a hard-fought victory against Russia on Saturday, Team USA cruised to a 25-9, 25-13, 25-16 win against a spunky but error-prone Uzbekistan team Sunday morning at Arena Armeec Sofia.
“Uzbekistan is a new team, adding to the usual lineup of international contenders. We were impressed as to how scrappy they were,” co-captains Pia Marie Paulone and Ann Whited both said.
With the win, the U.S. is 3-0 in pool play, with upcoming matches against Poland and Italy before the medal round.
Whited led the team with 10 kills. Kelly Kyle had eight kills and seven digs, and Ludmila Mounty-Weinstock had six kills. Paulone had 18 assists in just two sets, and Sarah Tubert added another eight. Alison O’Hara had three block solos and one block assist.
However, the team had a dismal 16 percent attack percentage in the third set and offset its 11 service aces with an equal number of service errors.
“Because of this [match], we were able to identify some aspects of our team’s performance that we need to polish up before we go further in competition,” Paulone and Whited said.
The U.S. faces Poland on Monday, July 29, at 7 p.m. (noon Eastern Time) at Arena Armeec Sofia.