The defending World Championship champions regained its swagger and in the process put the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team one match away from elimination.
No. 6 Brazil defeated No. 9 United States 25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 25-19 to move into a tie for second place with the United States in Pool A on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro.
The top two teams in each pool following the three-match pool-play round will advance to the World Championship second round. With its victory, Brazil (1-1, 1-1 Pool A) holds the head-to-head tie-breaker over the United States (1-1, 1-1 Pool A) for the final spot into the next round.
Brazil outside attacker Ricardo Lucarelli-Souza had a match-high 18 kills against the United States.
This was the second consecutive match Souza led the team in kills. Souza had a team-high 18 kills in Brazil’s pool-play opener, a five-game loss to No. 13 Japan on Monday.
Along with Souza, Brazil had four players finish the match against the United States with at least seven kills.
Pepperdine outside attacker Maurice Torres led the United States and tied Souza with a match-high 18 kills. Torres also had an ace and a game-high six kills in United States’ four-point win in the second game that evened the match at 1-1.
BYU outside attacker Taylor Sander ended the match with 17 kills. In addition, UC Santa Barbara middle attacker Dylan Davis had nine kills, while Long Beach State outside attacker Taylor Crabb had eight kills.
Davis and Sander each had a match-high three blocks as the United States out-blocked Brazil 8-7.
The United States entered this match against Brazil after sweeping No. 15 Bulgaria in its pool-play opener Monday.
This is the first time since the 2005 World Championship that the United States has failed to win its first two matches in pool play.
The loss also puts the United States’ chances of advancing to the second round in jeopardy. The United States has advanced beyond pool play in the last four World Championship.
In order for the United States to advance to the second round in this World Championship it must defeat first-place Japan (2-0, 2-0 Pool A) on Wednesday.
Japan defeated Bulgaria (0-2, 0-2 Pool A) in five games on Tuesday to move into sole possession of first place.
Brazil will play last-place Bulgaria on Wednesday in its final pool-play match.
If the United States defeats Japan and Bulgaria defeats Brazil, the United States will advance to the second round. However, if the United States and Brazil win it would create a three-way tie for the two Pool A spots in the second round, and the two teams advancing would be decided by tie-breakers.