UC Irvine outside attacker Francessco Sani had his best performance at the FIVB U19 World Championship to almost put an end to the U.S. losing streak.
Sani finished with both a match-high 18 kills and two aces as the United States lost to Brazil 24-26, 25-23, 21-25, 25-17, 15-10 in the ninth-place quarterfinals on Wednesday in Tunisia.
Sani was one of two U.S. players to finish with double-digit kills. UCLA outside attacker Alex Knight contributed 13 kills in the team’s third consecutive loss at the international tournament.
This was the fourth match during the World Championship that Knight finished with double-digit kills — the most double-digit kill performances of any U.S. player.
BYU middle attacker Gavin Julien also added seven kills on a 46.7 percent offensive efficiency against Brazil.
Brazil in the victory out-blocked the United States 11 to 2. Leandro Campos De Oliveira Junior led all players with five blocks, while Leonardo Henrique Andrade coming off the bench midway through the third game finished with three blocks.
The U.S. offense has been blocked 10 or more times in two consecutive matches. Argentina ended with 10 blocks in a sweep against the United States in the Round of 16 on Tuesday.
The United States during this three-match losing streak has dropped from being in medal contention to being able to finish the tournament no higher than 13th place.
The team will now face Germany in the 13th-place semifinals on Thursday. Germany suffered a three-game loss to Cuba in its ninth-place quarterfinals match on Wednesday.