The nationally televised tournament opener for the United States did not last long.
Former Lewis outside attacker Greg Petty had a team-high eight kills as the United States lost to the Czech Republic 25-22, 25-16, 25-10 on Thursday in South Korea to begin its group play at the World University Games.
Petty was the only U.S. player to finish with more than five kills in the match televised on ESPNU. In addition, the United States had as many attack errors, 24, as kills against the Czech Republic.
Czech Republic outside attacker Dominik Fort led all players with nine kills and four blocks.
The Czech Republic out-blocked the United States 11 to 6. Petty, Lewis middle attacker Bobby Walsh and UC Irvine outside attacker Kyle Russell each led the United States with two blocks.
This was the first official match for the U.S. team comprised of recent college graduates and current college players. The team before the start of the international tournament had a brief training session in the United States and played in two exhibition matches in South Korea.
The United States will continue group play with a match against Australia on Friday in South Korea.
If the United States loses any of its four remaining pool play matches it could be potentially eliminated from reaching the quarterfinals.