The match wasn’t for a medal, but the United States at least finished the World University Games with a victory.
The United States defeated Norway 25-19, 23-25, 25-16, 25-14 on Sunday in Shenzhen, China, to finish the 21-team international tournament in 13th place.
The United States (5-3) had three players finish the match with at least nine kills — including UC Irvine outside attacker Carson Clark who had a match-high 18 kills.
This was the second consecutive match that Clark led the United States in kills. The senior and U.S. Men’s National Team member had a team-high 16 kills in the United States’ victory against Sweden in the 13th-place semifinals match on Saturday.
Clark’s former UC Irvine teammate Cory Yoder, who ended his college career in April, had 10 kills in the victory. In addition, former USC outside attacker Tri Bourne added nine kills against Norway (2-5).
UCLA middle attacker Thomas Amberg had a match-high four blocks as the United States out-blocked Norway 8-6.
Despite winning its first two matches of the tournament, the United States lost two of its three final pool-play matches and failed to qualify for the quarterfinals. The team also lost its consolation bracket opener to Japan to fall into the 13th-place bracket.
This was the first time since 2007 that the United States competed in the World University Games, a biannual event comprised of current and recently graduated college students.
The 13th-place finish was the United States’ worst finish at the World University Games in the last 10 years. The United States entered this tournament having won the bronze medal in two of the last four World University Games.