Russia blocks U.S. upset bid in World Championship pool-play finale

The defending-World Championship gold medalists played like it against the United States.

The United States concluded its FIVB U-21 World Championship pool-play matches as it lost to first-place Russia 25-17, 25-17, 25-15 on Sunday in Mexico.

Russia (3-0, 9 points) in its third consecutive sweep to open the tournament out-blocked the United States 14 to 6. In addition, nine Russian players had at least one block against the United States (0-3, 1 point).


Loyola middle attacker Jeff Jendryk, USC middle attacker Andy Benesh and Pepperdine outside attacker Colby Harriman each led the United States with two blocks.

Jendryk in the loss also finished with a match-high seven kills, while Hawai’i outside attacker Kupono Fey added six kills.

This was the second consecutive match that Jendryk led the United States in kills. The Freshmen All-American had six kills and zero attack errors in a three-game loss to Poland on Saturday.

Opposite Sergei Pirainen in the victory led Russia with seven kills to help the team secure the Pool B championship.

With this loss, the United States will move into the World Championship consolation bracket but still has a chance at a top-10 finish in the international tournament.

The United States will play Iran (1-2) on Tuesday in its first of three consolation bracket pool play matches. The other teams in this pool with the United States and Iran will be Mexico (1-2) and Japan (0-3).