U.S. overwhelms Bahrain for first win at U21 World Championship

Photo courtesy of the FIVB

Outside attackers Dillion Klein and Zach Rama put an end to the U.S. losing streak.

Both Klein and Rama had double-digit kills and hit more than .300 as the United States defeated the host-nation Bahrain 25-18, 25-22, 22-25, 25-21 in the 13th-place semifinals at the FIVB U21 World Championship on Saturday.

Klein finished with a match-high 16 kills on a .303 attack percentage to help the United States earn its first win at the international tournament and snap its six-match losing streak. This was the fourth consecutive match that the USC Freshman All-American led the United States in kills.


Along with Kelin, Rama contributed 12 kills and hit .320 against Bahrain.

The UCLA outside attacker also led all players with both seven kills and two aces in the final game of the victory. Klein also had six kills and game-high two blocks in the fourth game.

The United States out-hit Bahrain .223 to .077, including limiting the host nation to a negative attack percentage through the first two games.

Middle attacker Marc Smith led all players with five blocks and was one of three U.S. players with multiple blocks. In addition, the United States finished with 12 blocks – five more blocks than Bahrain.

The United States with this victory will advance to play Mexico in the 13th-place finals on Sunday. Mexico defeated Tunisia in four games in the other semifinal match on Saturday.

This will be the second time in four days that Mexico and the United States have played each other at the tournament. Mexico defeated the United States in four games in their second-round finale on Thursday after both teams had already been relegated to the 13th-place semifinals.