Pau, France, June 10, 2017 - Ruthless Benjamin Patch
and Taylor Sander
scored a team-high 15 points each to offer the United States of America their second straight victory in the 2017 FIVB Volleyball World League's second weekend as the Americans cruised past Russia
to a 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-22) win.
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The 23-year-old Patch picked off from where he left after his dominating performance in Friday's 3-0 win over Italy when he scored 17 points and leapfrogged into the competition's best scorers' top ten. He was once again essential to his team's performance as USA
claimed their 150th World League victory. Dmitry Volkov
and Maxim Zhigalov
split the best scorers’ honours on Russia’s side with 10 points each.
This outcome tilted the overall head-to-head World League record between these two teams even further to one side – USA has now won 11 of their 12 encounters with Russia.
But, just as they have done since the beginning of the 2017 World League, Russia started slowly, allowing the Americans to surge to a 8-4 lead. USA managed to hold into their advantage as high-flying Benjamin Patch and Taylor Sander piled on the points, scoring nine altogether in just the first set. Russia lent a hand by making eleven mistakes to offer a comfortable 25-20 win to USA.
The second set started with the US once again in the driver's seat with Torey Defalco
this time in the role of the spark with a nice ace (5-0). Daniel Mcdonnell
added another one and Defalco smashed the ball in the middle of the Russian court (11-6) to lift the Americans well ahead. Patch once again rose, scoring point after point, including an impressive 3.47-metre spike over the tall Russian wall for 18-14. And, when Dmitry Volkov moved into action, the American block countered to guide USA to a 2-0 lead as Micah Christenson
sealed the deal for a 25-22 win.
The Americans continued their demonstration, produced some fine volleyball as the usual suspects, Patch and Sander, piled on the pressure on a poor Russian side. A smart play by Zhigalov put Russia within reach (12-9) until Patch, Defalco and Christenson increased the American lead to 16-11. Dmitry Volkov then scored three points in a row as USA strangely collapsed - 21-17. But it was too little too late and John Speraw
finished the job with an outstanding Patch for a 25-22 close.