UC Irvine outside attacker Carson Clark came through for the United States and helped the team avoid the dubious title of finishing in the bottom five at the World University Games.
Clark had a match-high 16 kills as the United States defeated Sweden 25-21, 24-26, 25-10, 27-25 in the semifinals match for 13th place on Saturday in Shenzhen, China.
With the victory, the United States (4-3) is guaranteed at least a 14th-place finish in the 21-team international tournament. The United States will play the winner of the semifinals match between Mexico and Norway in the consolation match for 13th place on Sunday.
Clark, who is the youngest member of the U.S. Men’s National Team and is competing for a spot on the 2012 London Olympics roster, had his best offensive match of the tournament on 42 attacks — almost 20 more attempts than any other U.S. player.
Along with Clark, former USC outside attacker Tri Bourne finished with 11 kills and a match-high five blocks against Sweden (1-6). UCLA middle attacker Thomas Amberg also added 10 kills and three blocks.
The United States out-blocked Sweden 9-7 in the victory.
This is the second win in the United States’ last five matches at the tournament. The United States lost two of its three final pool-play matches to fail to qualify for the quarterfinals, and then lost to Japan in its consolation match on Friday to drop into the semifinals for 13th place.
Sweden entered this match after losing its consolation match to Australia in five games on Friday. Sweden’s lone win at the World University Games came against winless Hong Kong, China in the preliminary round.